The Brilliant, Satirical Campaign for More Parking in Michigan

They call their mission “The Cause.” And they say it’s critical to solving Michigan’s woes. Fortunately, though, the solution they have in mind is a simple one, and their name should make it obvious: “Michigan Needs More Parking.”

That's Dan Gilbert, founder of Quicken Loans and major downtown Detroit property owner. The quote is real. Image: Michigan Needs More Parking

This group has taken to the pages of Facebook and the local media to share their vision for a revitalized state finally relieved of its burdensome parking problem.

“Detroit — and Michigan’s — unemployment crisis will only be addressed when we close the parking gap. More parking equals more jobs,” the group’s Chene Park told Model D media last month. “Parking now or poverty later. It’s really that simple.”

Michigan Needs More Parking says the situation is not hopeless, however. They have proposed a series of reforms they say will put the state back on track to financial health. For instance, they re-envision Mackinac Island, the state’s beloved car-free tourist destination, as “series of surface parking lots and decks” connected to the mainland by a causeway.

And in 2014, they’re planning a voter referendum to “defend the right of parking for every man, woman and child,” by enshrining it in the state constitution.

“Remember: we’re never more than one generation away from the end of parking freedom in America,” Park says.

If it all sounds a bit frightening, the really scary thing is that the message from “Michigan Needs More Parking” isn’t all that different than what people in real positions of influence are saying.

We highly recommend reading the whole interview and hooking up with these guys on Facebook.

Streetsblog will be offline Monday in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and will be back publishing on Tuesday.

  • These satirists need to go national. Every parking subsidizer in America should have their destructive nonsense reflected back at them like this.

  • Larry Littlefield

    On the other hand, this guy seems to be single handedly trying to turn around downtown.  Perhaps he can be enlightened.

    I suggest a trip to some walkable mixed use neighborhoods in cities like New York.  And a trip to Rosslyn, Virginia, where the parking and vehicle movement came first.

  • shane phillips

    I don’t understand the problem. If “these people need parking,” why doesn’t someone build it? Clearly parking isn’t actually valuable enough to people for a property owner to be able to make money off of it.

    Also, love the fact that Park is the name of the person quoted for “The Cause”.

  • bill
  • Anonymous

    If you want parking, you should be willing to pay what it costs to build and maintain it.

  • Max Power

    Crazy idea here, but how about telling all of those people who “need” parking to move closer to the CDB so they can walk or use transit?  When last I checked, Detroit was *slightly* underutilizing the real estate there.

  • Richard Woodley

    I’m all for it and there is a simple solution just amend the second amendment to replace arms with parking spaces and solve two problems at once. After all regulated militias need parking too.

  • Anonymous

    Wait, is this serious?  Downtown Detroit is ALREADY consumed by surface parking lots.

  • betty barcode

    We really liked this stunt here in Buffalo, where we invented it in 2003, including the red-orange color-coding on the map

    http://tinyurl.com/l3tjthz
    [original undated press release]

    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/
    [newsgroup message showing date of release]