In Gallus Strobel’s 10 years as mayor of Triberg, a small town in Germany’s Black Forest region, his bid to create two male and 12 female parking spots in the town’s new public lot is one of his greatest feats, he said.
“I have much pleasure with this idea,” Strobel told ABC News. “I decided last month to do this as a question of humor for our society, and as a question of justice.”
By “justice,” Strobel said he meant that allowing for two difficult-to-maneuver and potentially dangerous spots in the parking complex to remain in use, to be challenged by “better” male drivers.
“It’s a joke,” Strobel said. “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. ”
On June 8, the mayor unveiled Triberg’s new parking lot, which he said was geared to the 60,000 or so tourists a year who flock to the town – population 5,000 – to check out the country’s highest waterfalls and what’s called the world’s biggest cuckoo clock.
“It’s a big space, 220 spaces, and so far many, many people have tried to park in the two places,” Strobel said, adding, “Dozens of women have tried also.”
He said that this “rule” was more symbolic than a rule of law, and that women were more than welcome to take part in the parking challenge. Asked about how difficult these two spaces really were to handle, Strobel laughed and said, “Many park here every day. Myself, I also parked there many times, especially now for all the TV and media who come.
“But many also cannot par; Like my secretary. Five times she tried and no success.”
Apart from a good chuckle, Strobel said that he hoped his parking rule, which one male and one female architect behind the parking lot complex helped him come up with, would give Triberg more prominence on the global tourist map.
“Perhaps many more people would like to come and not only see our waterfalls but try our parking,” he said.
“It’s a marketing idea and it works. I cannot work this week with all this publicity.”