I noticed that there was a bit of a backlash coming from people who are threatened by attempts to make parking more difficult downtown and in the South Loop area [The Works, September 30].
I also noticed that one letter writer [October 14] said, "We Americans have the right to own cars as long as we obey all the applicable laws. Except on some few special islands where private cars aren't allowed, we ought to have the right to park those cars someplace close to our homes." Allow me to say the following: You are correct, Americans do have the right to own cars. Using a car is by no means a right, it is a privilege. I would venture to say that it is a luxury, but most people do not see car usage as such due to the widespread use of autos and their intense presence in our culture.
Because using a car is a privilege, convenient parking is also a privilege. Parking of any sort is a grossly poor allocation of space. Active promotion of programs attempting to make a more drivable downtown area are misguided at best. The time and money could instead go toward programs that have a chance to benefit a larger group of people, rather than trying to make a handful of well-to-do people who fancy automobiles happy, some of whom do not even live in Chicago.
If everyone truly has the right to park close to their homes, I would like the parking spot where I would have the right to park to instead be a garden.