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Get Yer Wheels Off The Blinkin’ Pavement!

Get Yer Wheels Off The Blinkin’ Pavement!

Walking around town, more and more these days I see cars parked with their wheels up on the pavement. Now we all have our pet peeves, the things that make us see red, and this is one of mine. Pavements for people, roads for cars – it’s not really that hard to understand is it? I don’t sit down and wait for a bus in the middle of the road, do I? Drivers would (rightly) be annoyed if I did. So why do drivers think they can park (the equivalent of a pedestrian stopping and sitting for a while) part way up on the pavement?

Yes, pedestrians and drivers must sometimes cross over each others domains. Pedestrians must cross the road to get to the other side, and drivers must cross a pavement to get from the road to a driveway. But pass through each others territory quickly and carefully. Don’t dawdle. And don’t bloomin’ well park there!


I admit that many streets in the UK aren’t designed for easy parking. Many are far too narrow, the streets having been built before cars were invented. The houses there often don’t have driveways and the house owners have no option but to park on the street. If the pavement is very wide and the road is very narrow there might just about be an excuse for parking half way up onto the pavement, but far too often I see cars parked up on the pavement when the road is easily wide enough for them. I can only guess that the drivers are trying to avoid having their wing mirrors clipped by passing traffic, but frankly they then deserve to have them bumped by passing pedestrians! And leaving just enough room for a person to squeeze through isn’t good enough – what about parents with prams or pushchairs, and elderly or disabled in wheelchairs? They have just as much right to get past.

In France they have a solution – where the pavement is clearly more than wide enough the authorities often allow parking part way up onto the pavement and paint narrow parking bay markings on the pavement to indicate that. Cars can partially mount the pavement and park there as long as they keep within the white lines of the bays and those are designed to leave adequate room for pedestrians. At least with that solution both drivers and pedestrians know where they stand (or park!).

Maybe we should consider adopting that solution in the UK?

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2 Responses and Counting...

  1. girihpuri

    August 22, 2012


  2. Karen Gross

    August 22, 2012

    North Americans might be a bit confused here – we call the streets and roads pavement. Pedestrians walk on sidewalks here. But most of our cities and towns were built after cars were invented. One of my pet peeves is that many of our towns and cities were not designed with pedestrians or kids on bikes or roller blades in mind. We live on a street with no sidewalks, and heavy traffic. My girls were quite excited when we moved into town – finally pavement for their skateboards, roller blades, and bikes – plus our own driveway is paved and steep. They were sad to hear that they would not be allowed to coast down our driveway, they would have to take the back alley to the nearest pedestrian walkway.

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