Men get more “difficult” parking spots than women under mayor’s edict

Justin Hyde

The mayor of a small German town known for its waterfalls and the world's largest cuckoo clock found another way to draw attention to his fair city this month: Designating 12 spaces in the city's new parking garage for women, with easy access and well-lit exits, while deeming slots of "difficult" parking spaces for men. No wonder he thinks men want to be challenged more than women.

Gallus Strobel, mayor of Triberg, Germany, has been half defending, half promoting his public relations stunt for several days, telling a local daily newspaper that he's no anti-woman crusader, and that the idea of Mars-and-Venus parking was meant only to kick off a little conversation, not as an any indictment of driving differences or preferential treatment. The two spaces for men in the 220-car garage require parking at an angle with tight clearances to concrete supports, something Strobel calls "an attraction for any aspiring driver." But men, he says, are just a little keener on rising to the task than moving on to a different space.

Strobel says he he knew his obviously silly decision would get some pushback, but that the reaction has been mostly positive -- with women and men both vowing to drive to Triberg to test their skills in the just-for-men parking spaces. After which, they can enjoy the waterfalls, the clock and maybe spend a few euros on souvenirs, which was Strobel's intent.

As for the question of whether men or women are better drivers, there's several studies to show on American roads at least, women have the edge; more men die in accidents behind the wheel than women, and get traffic tickets at a far higher rate, adjusted for population. Maybe one gender deserves the better parking spot.

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