German Town Separates Parking Spots By Gender

A small town in southwest German has designated two parking spaces, "men only." They're two of the town's trickiest places to park. The mayor's response, guest host David Greene reports, is that it will attract tourists.

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DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Ladies and gentleman, that old, old saw, the battle of the sexes, is over, right? Nein.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: (German spoken)

GREENE: That's German for parking for men only, and that's the message the mayor of Triberg seems to be sending. The small town in southwest Germany has designated two parking spaces men only. They're two of the town's trickiest spaces, with difficult angles close to cement pillars. Now, female parking spots are nothing new to Germany. Many German cities designate a small number of well-lit spaces near exits for women concerned with their personal safety. In a new parking garage in Triberg, though, these spots are a little wider.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: (German spoken)

GREENE: Wider spaces for women? Difficult to navigate spaces for men only? You getting the feeling the town is sexist? Well, Mayor Gallus Strobel told journalists that the men only parking was merely a publicity stunt, geared toward the 60,000 tourists who flock to Triberg each year. I suppose while enjoying the country's highest waterfalls and extensive variety of cuckoo clocks...

(SOUNDBITE OF CUCKOO CLOCK)

GREENE: ...that's not a dig at Mayor Strobel at all - men and women can both take the parking challenge. Maybe Angela Merkel, chancellor of Germany, and one of the most powerful politicians in the world - male or female - can try her hand at it. Mayor, you want to tell the chancellor the space she wants is for men only?

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

GREENE: I don't think so.

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