German town introduces female parking spots
The introduction of 12 ‘easy’ parking spots in a small town in Southern Germany designed specifically for women is part of a marketing campaign to entice more tourists, according to the town’s mayor.
Gallus Strobel, the mayor of Tribeg in Germany’s Black forest region, insists that the new parking spots are a bit of a joke and says there have been no complaints so far.
“I have had much pleasure with this idea,” said Strobel. “I decided last month to do this as a question of humour for our society, and as a question of justice,” he added.
In addition to the 12 female-designated parking spots, there are two ‘difficult-to-manoeuvre’ parking spots in the parking complex that are to be left for ‘better’ male drivers. These spots are narrower, have concrete pillars and must be reversed into.
Strobel said: “It’s a joke. Everyone in Triberg thinks it is a joke. We looked at the two parking spaces and we said ‘they could be dangerous for your car’, so at the same time, we decided to make them for men, and then give 12 others for women.”
The mayor’s main reason for the new parking rule is to try and bring in more tourists to Triberg. He said that the new parking lot is geared towards the 60,000 tourists a year who come to visit the country’s highest waterfalls and the world’s biggest cuckoo clock.
Not a new concept, the city of Tianjin in China recently introduced female-only parking spots also. Similar to those in Triberg, these spots are also better lit, wider and marked with pink paint.
Commenting on the media attention, Strobel said: “I never expected this reaction. I’ve been on the phone all day, the TV will come. I am happy, and it looks like we’ve hit a raw nerve in society. It’s been a great marketing gimmick.”
He added: “Women can come here and prove me wrong, and while they’re at it they can see the town’s attractions.”
According to statistics published earlier this year by the Driving Standards Agency, women are more likely to fail their driving test based on parking problems. In 2010-11, 40,863 women failed due to a lack of control whilst completing the reverse parking manoeuvre – over double the 18,698 men failing for the same reason.