News, features, and commentary from the biggest city in the Americas, Mexico City.

Mexico City’s Most Atrocious Drivers: Does Anybody Know How to Park?

By Fritz Schtickelmeyer

Of all the things Mexico City may be known for, having “good drivers” is not one of those things.

Part of the problem lies in the fact that nobody in this city ever has to take a drivers’ test to prove they know how to drive. You want a license? Just pay the fee and fill out a simple form with tough questions including “What’s your name?” “What’s your address?” and “What’s your date of birth?”

If you can manage that, you are now deemed “qualified” to drive in Mexico City.

Hey I know - let's park where we're not supposed to, blocking traffic!

Hey I know — let’s park in a lane of traffic, so nobody can get through! Brilliant.

So today, I want to talk about parking — and I want to publicly make fun of and shame those people who do not have a clue where to park their car.

I find it bewildering, the lack of courtesy shown towards other drivers and pedestrians I see in this town.

When I questioned a clueless woman who double-parked outside the 7-Eleven the other day, the best this lazy driver could say was, “Oh, I was just running in to the store for two minutes”.

Shut up. Quit your whining about there being no place to park. You’re breaking the law, and you know it.

And if you don’t know it, you should not be allowed to drive an automobile.

The sad thing is that the photos I snapped were just at random, taken without making any effort. These examples are not the exception — they’re more like the rule. I didn’t have to hunt for rule violators. They’re everywhere.

(And the only thing that annoys me more than the thoughtless behavior of drivers is that the authorities could care less about enforcing the simple rules of the road. Too hard?)

In any event, a few illustrations to highlight my points …

Double-parking in NOT okay. Double parking on both sides of the road is doubly NOT okay.

Double-parking ... on both sides of the street.

Double-parking … on both sides of the street.

Double parking in a Crosswalk is REALLY NOT OKAY. You’ve just double parked, and also, you did it in a crosswalk. There’s a special place for people like you …

Double Parking in a Crosswalk. That's worthy of the hot place.

Double Parking in a Crosswalk. You’re going straight to the hot place, Mister.

The Street Corner is OFF-LIMITS.  You’re blocking pedestrians, and you’re blocking the view of other drivers. This is considered dangerous, since you apparently are unaware of this. Pedestrians have to walk around your car, and dangerously into traffic, you thoughtless creep.

Parking ON a street corner? You're asking for it.

Parking ON a street corner? No no no.

You’ve just parked on a Street Corner, blocking pedestrians, people in wheelchairs, and the view of all oncoming traffic, which is speeding by this corner. Congrats, Einstein!

Parking on a Corner ... blocking the handicapped. You're such a winner.

Parking on a Corner … and blocking the handicapped. You’re such a winner.

Parking on the Sidewalk is not cool. ‘Nuff said.

Hey! A Sidewalk! I'll park there, 'cause I'm a thoughtless moron!

Hey! A Sidewalk! I’ll park there!

Even if your home is there, you still don’t own that sidewalk.

You don't own that sidewalk, pal.

You don’t own that sidewalk, pal.

On those rare occasions when a tow truck shows up out front of my Starbucks to haul away a double-parked car, I laugh at the owner, as they run out to try save their car from being towed away. Tough. You ought to be publicly ridiculed.

How nuts can it be? Take a look at this photo from a few days ago. And this is not unusual.  What is unusual is the rare occasion when a tow truck shows up to try haul away the mess.

The scene outside Starbucks. A mess of cars, and no control by the cops.

The scene outside my Starbucks: A mess of cars, and rarely a tow-truck to be found.

Anyway, that’s our quick look at how the wonderful drivers of this city park their cars. The scary thing is that these there are so many other bad examples out there — these are just a few random examples to highlight the point.

In a future story, we’ll profile yet more obnoxious behavior by motorists. With the amount of material we have, we could make an ongoing series about this.

Twitter: @mexdfmagazine

About Fritz Schtickelmeyer

A veteran journalist, he's reported from across the globe. For a brief time, was a high school teacher in Minnesota.

3 comments on “Mexico City’s Most Atrocious Drivers: Does Anybody Know How to Park?

  1. Dave Hansen
    August 9, 2013

    Wow, they do not even have to take a test (written or driving?) Amazing. How many pedestrians get killed and injured in the city in one year? If someone blocked me in I would let the air out of all four tires!!!!!

  2. p langdon
    August 10, 2013

    This is not unique to Mexico City. Visit Chapala and not only is there cars and trucks parked all whipper jawed there are the occasional horses to contend with. Plus the buses!! It’s a wonder one can get through town.

  3. Fernando Ibarra
    August 12, 2013

    I wonder if Mexico city major has thought for a moment the greast income opportunity that this bizarre situation could bring to city income by forcing a legal process to obtain driving license locally by passing all required testing as in any civilized country including neccesaru costs which will go directly into city treasure and at the same time meking sure people who obtain their diriving license do it meking sure they are competeley aware of the implied responsability of driving a car in city streets…..

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This entry was posted on August 9, 2013 by in Commentary.
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