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Updated: May 13, 2024

A Look Back: An op-ed that railed against, well, just about everything

In the December 1995 issue of Mainebiz, an opinion piece devoted 600 words or so to “our magnificent obsession” — parking.

The piece decried the demolition of buildings — former theaters, supermarkets, toy stores and the like — to make parking lots.

“It is doubtful that citizens in any city four times the size of Portland moan and gyrate over parking half as much as we do,” the op-ed ranted.

It went on to suggest that even if we paved over Lincoln Park, Congress Square, City Hall, the Custom House and the Portland Museum of Art, “we would still cry, ‘The trouble with downtown Portland is, there’s no place to park.’”

The rays of sunshine kept pouring from our writer (it was an unsigned op-ed), railing against a range of other topics:

  • Pedestrians, “who, when they cross against the green light, put their heads down and do not look to the right or left in the common belief that you can’t be hit by a car if you’re not looking.”
  • Cyclists, “who, for reasons not understood, do not obey traffic lights.”
  • Motorcycles — “an overblown bike used by lunatics and parade cops.”
  • “A particularly vicious ticket-writer, [who] is suspected of double parking long enough to let a few meters run out.”

That was a lot of ranting. We can all be thankful Mainebiz did away with the opinion pages.

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