Here’s the latest reader question, along with my reply!
Glenn asks: Our family recently visited the Smucker’s Company outlet in Orville, Ohio. This company is a large conglomerate owning Jiffy Peanut Butter, Crisco, and several other brands. The experience was fun except we had some difficulty finding a spot to park in their lot. I noticed a number of empty spots reserved for “alternative fuel vehicles only,” next to ADA handicap parking spots. Is this a new trend or just virtue signaling?
My reply: It’s both.
You may already be familiar with other examples of special consideration given “alternative fuel vehicles,” such as being permitted to use HOV lanes, even when they are not Highly Occupied (i.e., they are exempted from the usual HOV requirement of 2-3 people in the car).
And of course, there are the tax rebates and other financial inducements.
But what you saw is slightly different in that it’s probably not a government mandate – like handicapped (whoops, differently abled) parking spots. Instead, it is a private business doing just what you’ve said – signaling its virtue.
One could have some fun with this. Assuming it is in fact a private business, they can’t ticket you for using the spot. They might be able to tow you. But what defines “alternate fuel” vehicle? What if I alternate between premium unleaded and regular? That’s certainly an alternative fuel situation, eh?
. . .
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