The Mysterious Thudding

As I made my way through the upper level of Westlake Station this morning, I heard a mysterious and rhythmic “thud”, over and over, which seemed to be coming from the platform below. I got to the stairway down to the platform and saw a man with a very large, and very bulky, suitcase making his way down, pulling his luggage down, step by step. If he had been closer to the top, I would have pointed out that the elevator was right there.

It reminded me of the time I saw a couple trying to buy tickets from the ORCA card reader on the platform. A helpful passerby reached them  before I did and directed them to the ticket machine on the upper level.

I suppose that as tourist season approaches, I’m going to be seeing more of that sort of confusion.

As the end of my workday approached, I found myself in the mood for a car2go drive. I pulled up the map, knowing my chances of snagging a car2go Downtown on a Friday evening were slim. I spotted one parked on Fourth Avenue, not far from my desk. I didn’t book it, though. It was too early, but, more importantly, I knew the car wasn’t really there. There’s no parking on Fourth Avenue during the evening rush hour, the car had probably been towed away, and the car2go icon on the map was a ghost. Then the car disappeared off the map – either someone else had booked it, or car2go removed it from the map.

As I was packing up to leave, that car reappeared on the map, in the same spot. Maybe, I thought, the car really was there. Maybe there is a legal spot on Fourth. Or, maybe the car wasn’t actually on Fourth, but on a corner, and there was an error in the GPS accuracy.

Remembering that there’s no penalty for making a reservation but not using it, I booked the car2go, just to be optimistic.

The car2go wasn’t there, or anywhere nearby. There were no legal parking spots on Fourth Avenue. I kept walking to the bus stop.

Then I realized what had happened. The car2go had been towed. Someone booked it, couldn’t find it, the reservation expired, and it reappeared on the map – until I booked it.

Parking a car2go in a tow away zone messes things up for everyone.

I expected to find an email when I got home, letting me know my reservation had been cancelled, but I didn’t. Maybe that’s one more feature car2go has discontinued.

Phillip had the day off today. He used it to take care of some business at the Social Security office Downtown. He was lucky enough to find a car2go for his trip home.

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