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.

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