I have observed an inconsistency. The question

Free parking in downtown San Jose, CA?

has bee closed and heavily downvoted (-3), whereas the question

Free parking in downtown Mountain View?

has been left open and upvoted (+2)

Both questions are nearly identical, have been asked by the same person within one week.

Is there an objective explanation for this inconsistency?

2 Answers 2


Sorry, I can't answer your question. The difference is indeed puzzling, with so similar questions treated so differently only a week apart.

I will however state my stance on these questions. They both provide useful information to a traveler who is going to drive to some place and will need to park his car. The question is even directly related to the means of travel. So I don't see how they can be considered off-topic. In such non-obvious cases, when voting to close, you should really leave a comment explaining why you're voting to close.

A very simple web search directly led me to http://sjdowntownparking.com/parking-map, which has all the details about where to park in San Jose. This site is linked from the San Jose municipality website, too. But what both these sites lack is a good overview — how hard is it to find free parking? Does it matter how long you stay? Does it depend on the time of the day? So I can't see a reason to downvote for lack of research, either.


I suspect some people downvoted because the person was going through several cities in the Bay area and asking free parking questions, then answering his own immediately, and from the [chat] there were comments about points-mongering. I do feel if we accept one, we accept both. I initially voted one closed as I didn't really consider it a travel question, but in hindsight I think it should be - I've wanted free parking in cities I've visited before. I've cast my reopen vote. Can't help the downvotes though - those weren't from me.

  • what i find funny is that right now SJC question is closed with 4 reopen votes, yet MV question is open with 4 close votes; surprisingly, there were no close votes on the MV question prior to the start of this thread
    – cnst
    Commented May 13, 2013 at 5:54
  • presumably same thing, I believe they're linked as related if you click on one or the other.
    – Mark Mayo
    Commented May 13, 2013 at 5:56
  • also, I'm not exactly sure what points-mongering you guys are talking about; obviously, you're not supposed to +1 a question/answer, unless you yourself found it to be useful and correct; i've lived in the south bay for a couple of years, and, in hindsight, would have found my answers quite useful upon first moving there (for one, the free parking garage in mountain view is not at all something that is so common elsewhere that it deserves no mention; i originally had no clue there was a free parking garage when my gf threw a suggestion of where i should park etc; same for validation in SJ)
    – cnst
    Commented May 13, 2013 at 5:59
  • Like I said, I didn't downvote, my close was for off-topic reasons, until I thought about it. I just remember seeing something about that in the chat. (Just hunted for it, it was a few days back, the term 'rep hog' was used, shrug). There was also issue taken with the fact people had improved the wording of the question and it'd been rolled back. You can go read it if you want, all history in the chat is maintained.
    – Mark Mayo
    Commented May 13, 2013 at 6:09
  • I appreciate your vote to reopen SJC, but, sorry, you didn't improve the wording of MV, you only made it less clear. E.g. the whole thing was compacted into one line, an implication that there are meters was made (there are none) and you corrected me into asking whether the parking at the [non-existent] meters is free. What kind of clarity is that? I reverted; then it was twice reverted back to the wrong version, without any corrections. Surprisingly, all that was in regards to t MV question, yet it was the SJC question that got closed! So much for welcoming a new member of the community!
    – cnst
    Commented May 13, 2013 at 6:32
  • 1
    Er what? I added 22 characters (Revision 3) - expanding US of A to United States of America, included the word "available" and added the word "Parking" to "meters". All of that is for clarity, and is pretty welcoming. No "implications" were made in that, and no sentence structure was changed. There've been several changes since then, but none of those were mine, so I can't speak for them.
    – Mark Mayo
    Commented May 13, 2013 at 6:42
  • travel.stackexchange.com/posts/17068/revisions to see the revisions, if you're
    – Mark Mayo
    Commented May 13, 2013 at 6:43
  • yeah, i guess it wasn't you, sorry for that; you did remove the newline, and it was less easy to read because of that
    – cnst
    Commented May 13, 2013 at 16:22

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