Thursday 11 October 2012

Strike! Balance not struck

Here are some double yellow lines that were never completed, because someone parked their car there the day the lines were painted...

Contested space

Years later. And the lines never were completed. Mothered Motorist types still make good use of it now. I see the chap park there regularly. Their selfish parking narrows the road, creating a pinchpoint for cyclists. A job well done if you were keen to discourage cycling. The bully wins.

Contested space

Meanwhile at the university, we see this sign. Another "sign of our times". Let's ignore it. A balance ought to be struck somewhere. Maybe by striking.

Well done, Newcastle


  1. FWIW I'm not even sure those yellow lines are legally enforceable as they are missing the "T-bar" yellow line to join the two at the end. I seem to recall that being one of those creative legal loopholes that arsehole lawyers used to get their clients off parking tickets at one point.

  2. This afternoon I filled in the response form for a formal consultation on residents-only parking and other parking restrictions in my town in Surrey. The council has already completed a preliminary exercise involving about a dozen roads and streets which are worst affected by commuters or shoppers seeking to avoid using paid off-street parking. Unsurprisingly, the residents were substantially in favour (about 2/3rds of responses) of their streets becoming ROP. Some of the affected streets had also previously submitted petitions or had undertaken house-to-house surveys resulting in near-100% support.

    Despite this, a stridently vocal parking lobby (which apparently supports unfettered parking wherever you feel like) has tried to deflect the council with protests, a hand-collected petition and veiled threats of legal action, to abandon their plans. They argued among other things that the 66% positive responses from about 33% of residents is actually a pretty low level of support, but then somehow didn’t draw attention to the fact that their petition actually only represents about 6-7% of our local population – even if all the signatories really wanted to sign instead of just being “polite”, or actually live anywhere near here in the first place.

    The road I responded on is a narrow lane, at one end of which I live, and at the other end of which commuters park their cars close-ish to the station (about a 5 minute walk in fact). At the moment there are few parking restrictions there and I often have to deal with impatient motorists who try to overtake me where I am squeezed between their car on one side and parked cars on the other in a gap which is too narrow for comfort. The council is proposing to extend the double-yellows about 200 metres further up the lane but I would like them to add a further 200m to that, because commuters who are desperate to avoid paying for their parking would probably be willing to walk the extra couple of minutes necessary to park further off.

    The real solution would be for the rail company to build a bigger car-park. OK, that isn’t really a solution but it would remove the inconsiderate parkers from the narrow country roads. Only it won’t happen unless the council can either prohibit them from parking on the street or at least, pro-tem, charge them a little more than the station car park charges so that the cost of construction can be recovered – who is going to pay if they can get it for free?

    Of course the real problem is that I live in Surrey, where affluent lard-arses would rather die than walk or cycle anywhere, if they can park their Volvos somewhere close to where they are going. My ride to the station is about 1.5 miles, but I know of many people who drive much shorter distances to the station. One day when I have the time I will dream up some suitable exhortation that I can print off and stick under their windscreen wipers. I doubt that it will be subtle.

  3. Thanks for your contributions!

    Sadly we live in a country where car parking is valued over pedestrian and cyclist safety. And we live in a country, where removing one, just one, car parking space creates an uproar, a ripple goes through society. A society that's deadset on wanting to be dependent on the car.

    It's sad to witness, every time, how people dig their own holes. And once you are in it you can't look out, and see the real world anymore.

    Reminds of the cave allegory.