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Pavement parking sorted :)

28 Dec

Well here’s an approach to pavement parking that will definitely get the attention of the police 🙂


Ig nobel peace award to car crushing mayor!

30 Sep

Arturas Zuokas, the mayor of Vilnius, Lithuania has been awarded an Ig Nobel peace prize for demonstrating how the problem of illegally parked luxury cars can be solved by destroying them with a military tank.

Ig Nobel Peace prize 2011

For those who missed it, here is the stunt that led to the award.

Is this just a bit of fun? Personally I think it is another signal that people all around the worlds are getting impatient with the private car. Attitudes are changing. I am reminded that Ken Livingston was given an award for ‘policy innovation’ by Scientific American in 2003 after he introduced the congestion charge to London.

Anyone who thinks the private car is secure in out cities should take notice of what William Clay Ford, great-grandson of Henry Ford and the current executive chairman of the Ford Motor Company is thinking. In 2000 at a Greenpeace business conference in London he said that “The day will come when the notion of car ownership becomes antiquated. If you live in a city, you don’t need to own a car” and went on to explain how Ford would reposition itself as a ‘purveyor of mobility’ and would own the vehicles and make them available to people when they need access to them. Ford, good to their word recently went into partnership with Zipcar offering cars on American university campuses for hire by the hour.

Park(ing) day 2011

22 Aug

Park(ing) Day is a global grass-routes project to convert parking meter spaces into attractive social spaces for a few hours on one day each year, thereby challenging the dominance of the car in a playful and effective way. The initiative, which started in San Francisco in 2005  had already spread to 183 cities around the globe by 2010 and Parking day 2011 takes place on 16th September in a few weeks time. This could be a good day to do some stuff in our local areas. Any ideas?

In San Francisco this initiative has already inspired the city authorities to convert parking bays into pavement extensions for cafe tables, park benches, bike racks etc on a more permanent basis. Very simple, very effective and very San Francisco. Do of course remember that in North American English the ‘pavement’ is the carriageway, or more accurately the paved road surface rather than the footway. Click on the images for more information and do watch the video. Isn’t it great!

Divisadero Street Parklet (copyright image)

22nd Street Parklet (copyright image)

It’s my spot and I’ll park what I want to!

10 Aug

I friend just sent me this great link from Melbourne, Australia. The notice on the toy car reads “DO NOT REMOVE – This is the property of unit 1. We pay are rent for this parking place and shall therefore use it for whatever vehicle we want to“.

It’s my spot, and I’ll park what I want to!

Say it as it is :)

20 May

Back in 2001 and Commons select committee on ‘Walking in Town and Cities’ reported that pedestrians in this country were treated with contempt. In 2008 another commons committee looking at road traffic casualties spoke of the the scandal of complacency. Over in Philadelphia it has been reported that they take a more direct approach to communicating with pedestrians with Mayor Nutter (the mayor of the city) defending these new signs saying that ‘they are not vulgar” and “do not, in any way, show contempt for pedestrians‘.

New pedestrian sign?

You may like to check out the ‘news’ source for this last piece to see if you believe it. You don’t need to check if that is really the mayor’s name. It is.

A tight parking spot

5 Jan

You can fit a large vehicle into a surprisingly small space if you try hard enough. Here are a couple of ways…

Roman Signer – Engpass 2000

This first example is from an art installation ‘Engpass at Aussendienst’, Hamburg (2000) by Roman Signer. Thanks to Supralimen and Tate Etc for bring this to my attention. Images courtesy the artist and Hauser and Wirth, Zurich.

Roman Signer’s installation Engpass at Aussendienst, Hamburg (2000) © Roman Signer

Roman Signer’s installation Engpass at Aussendienst, Hamburg (2000) © Roman Signer

Stoke Gifford-Vertical parking 2008

This second example, which has been given a working title of ‘Stoke Gifford-Vertical parking’, was probably achieved by someone without any art training. The ‘installation’ was created in the early hours of 26 April 2008 in Stoke Gifford, Bristol and resulted in significantly less damage to the vehicle than the first method. Thanks to Bristol Traffic for that one.

Vertical parking 1

Vertical parking 2