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THE AMATEUR PARKER …


‘Green’ Parking –An Amateur’s Point of View


I BY MELISSA BEAN STERZICK


NAMONTHORTWO,DENVER International Airport


(DIA)


reportedly will break ground on a 4,200-space, $18.6 million park- ing facility that’s supposed to be


the world’s “greenest” parking structure. It will feature sustainable buildings and alter- native power sources. There will be a solar farm and wind turbines, and charging sta- tions for electric vehicles.


Two companies, Propark America and Green-


scapeCapitalGroup, are building the off-airport facil- ity, which they are set to name Green Park DIA. The “green movement” has become increasingly


visible during the past several years, and that’s putting itmildly. Itmust have reached newheights if it has hit the parking industry, because parking and conserva- tion are historically and inherently at odds. Cars are terribly inefficient, and the people driv-


ing them are consuming energy, not conserving it, no matter how much they recycle, carpool or compost. Parking lots and structures require serious infrastruc- ture and, while adding no beauty to the landscape or oxygen to the air, only encourage the hordes ofwaste- ful humans driving their gas-guzzling cars to the local mall to buy more processed, non-local products, all packaged in non-biodegradable bags, boxes and inevitably headed for the dump, where they disinte- grate and release terrible noxious fumes that kill pigeons and poison the water table. But that’s not putting itmildly at all. So the green trend has moved into parking. It’s


no longer just old hippies, young celebrities and self- serving politicians pushing environmentally friendly consumables, legislation and practices. My usual reaction to major trends is major skepticism. People love to jump on the bandwagon or join the band or whatever it is they do every time something new gets really hot. Butmy theory is that themoremainstreama trend becomes,


themore it has been tailored to appeal to the unthinkingmajority, a group I do not care to join unless I’ve thought about it first. I don’t read bestsellers because if everyone inAmerica is reading the same book, it can’t be that great. I feel the same way about Twitter, hybrid vehicles, low-fat cheese, Oprah and “Avatar,” among others. But I’mnot a complete snob, an ignorant grouch or an envi-


ronmentally indifferent goon. I buy recyclable things and recycle them. I avoid purchasing bottled water and other single-use plas- tic packaging. I grow a garden and have my own compost bin.


26 FEBRUARY 2010 • PARKING TODAY • www.parkingtoday.com


My family conserves water and electricity and donates any reusable item to charity.We are considering installing solar pan- els on the roof. I drive an SUV that gets pretty bad gasmileage, but because


I’ve read that disposing it will harm the environment more than keeping it for another two years, I just keep driving it aroundwith the paint peeling off and the upholstery shredding right out from under me.My kids are destroying it further every day with their crumbs, sand, spills and muddy shoes, so I might as well run it into the ground I do many things to show kindness and respect to the Earth


and gratitude for all the resources we humans take for granted. We all have tomake an effort. Just read the news, and youwill be


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