There is a new Service Plaza (and maybe several) on the Pennsylvania Turnpike (Hwy 76), and on my recent trip from Pittsburgh to New York I noticed the sign pictured above. Not only is there extra-special parking reserved for “Low-Emitting Fuel-Efficient Vehicles” but it is also right up front, next to the Handicap spaces. I was amazed.

I had heard about preferred parking for hybrid vehicles, but this was the first time I actually got to use it. On the way East I hadn’t noticed it until after I had parked, but on the way back I drove right up to the front and took my place on the “I am so special” throne.

The irony of it in my mind is that when I am on the road I actually prefer to park as far away from the building as possible so that I can get a little walking in and stretch my legs. My first thought was that most people driving super-efficient cars would also welcome the walk, but then I remembered that young, enviro-leaning, wiry , jumpy guys like myself are not the typical Toyota Prius drivers. Regardless, even if it’s just a parking space, I think it’s great to see official recognition that people driving fuel-efficient, low-emission vehicles are doing us all a favor.