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25K pageviews and a new facebook group

24 Aug

Pedestrian Liberation has just topped 25,000 page views since it started and is now regularly getting 2,000 page views a month which seems like a great time to launch a new Pedestrian Liberation Facebook group where people can discuss issues, ideas and plan responses. If you are interested in creating a better pedestrian environment then please sign up to the group and get talking. The group is ‘closed(open)’ which means that the discussion is only visible to members of the group(visible to everyone). There is no restriction on joining. Just just click ‘join group’ and you are in.

Fyi, here is our usage since we started:

Pageviews on Pedestrian Liberation to August 2011

And just here are the search terms people used to find the site over the past month. My favourities include:

  • “which campaigns deals with pavements,road signs
  • “can wheelie bins be left on dropped kerb
  • “how to convince parents not to park their cars outside school gates for their own children’s safety
  • “why are cars allowed to park on pavements?
  • “how much does cow need living space” (not sure about that one!)
  • “why are roadsigns placed on pavements to block pedestrians?
  • “are people allowed to park on dropped kerbs?
  • “cars obstructing pavement law definition uk

And here are some of the more popular search terms:
is it illegal to park on the pavement 25
pavement parking 10
road works 6
road obstruction sign 6
raised crossing 6
pedestrian liberation 6
leicestershire pavement parking 5
dhl unmarked 4
archway road highgate during world war 2 4 4
can wheelie bins be left on dropped kerb 4
example of road life 3
council yellow line enforcement private land 3
parked on footway 3
road work signs 3
biased maps 3
unloading on a dropped kerb with double yellow lines 3
fast lane speed mph 3
council clearing pavements campaign 3
destroyed road 3
roadworks 3
rectangular bananas 3
legislation for parking vehicles on footpaths for business purposes 3
welwyn garden city 3
is it an offence to park a vehicle on a drive that obstructed the footpath 3
signs for pedestrians on paveement 2
parking lot paid space toy car 2
paving leaflet 2
pavement obstruction law uk 2
pavement kerb 2
without favour or affection malice or ill will 2
alternative parking 2
highway maintenance cars 2
which campagins deals with pavements,road signs 2
safety beacon leaflets 2
new forest cow in road 2
office people 2
damaged pavement 2
parking pavement narrow road 2
problems pertaining to pedestrians and law enforcement of pedestrian offence 2
street parking laws pavement blocking 2
pedestrian liberation cycle track act 2
to be treated with contempt 2
is it illegal to park on a pavement 2
highway maintenance van 2
parking on pavement leaving 1 meter 2
road works diagram 2
car sticker wheelchair pedestrians 2
no parking on pavement 2
is the pavement common land 2
is it illegal to leave bins on pavement 2
apc overnight depots in ipswich 2
west yorkshire police rogues gallery 2
footways use 2
chapter 8 road work sign positions 2
openstreetmap speed limit time 2
street slabs 2
how to convince parents not to park their cars outside school gates for their own children’s safety 2
other road pavements 2
is it legal to park on pavement? 2
parked on dropped kerb outside my own garage in cardiff 2
driving on pavement law 2
map speed limits milton keynes 2
no parking on the curb sign 2
parking on double yellow includes verge and footway 2
problem pertainig to pedestrian and law enforcement of pedestrian offences 2
asphalt pedestrian footway 2
child bending over puddle 2
speed limits for ipswich 2
i hate stickers 2
car walking 2
stevenage footpaths 2
department of transport parking on footpaths 2
why are cars allowed to park on pavements? 2
netherlands 130km 2
are you allowed to park on the pavement 2
cause unnecessary obstruction by motor vehicle 2
broken pavement 2
funny parking in the uk 2
zigzag traffic lights 2
no pedestrians 2
dpd 2
yellow lines parked pavement case 2
trek highway services 2
traffic management signs 2
are cars allowed to park on pavement 2
safety signs laws for works on pavements 2
archway road 2
sandwell school parking campaign 2
is it an offence to drive over a footpath to gain access 2
bollard planter 2
new paving designs 2011 2
broken slabs 2
speed limits on urban a roads 2
summer streets 2011 2
local regualtions regarding obstruction of a pavement 2
tnt lorry 2
road traffic act parking on pavements 2
is it illegal to park on the pavement 2010 2
what are the benefits of using email with regard to speed cost 2
range rover classic passenger safety 2
dpd van on fire 2
law on construction along the highway and busy street 2
no wheelchairs 2
lamp post damage 2
wheelchairs 2
dropped kerbs law 2
cumnor primary school 2
illegal to park on pavement 2
how much does cow need living space 2

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)

Summer Streets. Cities without cars

8 Aug

New York Summer Streets 2011

New York Summer Streets is back for 2011 with the first of three major street closures last Saturday on the 6th August and Paris has again installed its regular beach on a dual carriageway along the banks of a Seine. A pavement chalk festival took place in London, in Passadena and Liverpool is hosting the 3rd open International Pavement Art Competition in September when the London Sky Ride also returns to the capital. So many ways to enjoy our streets when the cars are banished!

Pioneering pavement parking ban for Welwyn Garden City?

18 Jul

Welwyn Hatfield Council and Herts County Council are planning to ban all vehicles and in particular commercial vehicles from parking on pavements and verges in central Welwyn Garden City 24/7 using the new legislative powers announced by the government back in February. The engineer for the council said ‘Vehicles driving over and parking on footways and verges in these areas have been observed to cause damage to kerbs, paving slabs, soft verges and can cause obstruction and risk to pedestrians’ and ‘ the scheme would make parking or the loading/unloading of a vehicle on the footway or verge in these areas illegal.’

Great stuff, especially as Welwyn Garden City was designed with every road having  wide grass verge with a central parkway which was once described as one of the world’s finest urban vistas! Indeed it still is very pretty as shown below, but do notice the car tracks across the verges in the foreground. Not major at present and possibly there are worse problems elsewhere, but it is best not to drive on a garden!

Parkway, Welwyn Garden City (copyright Google)

Preston City Council to confiscate wheelie-bins left on the pavement

4 Jul

Preston City Council has announced that it will remove bins left permanently on the pavement and charge people for their return. They approach will be to first leave yellow stickers, then a red ones and then confiscate them and charge the owners £11 to get them both. Both the labour and conservative groups support the move; deputy leader, Councillor John Swindells explained: “People have complained bitterly about them being out on the streets all the time.. we have tried with education and neighbourhood management teams. Residents requested further action be taken”.

Needless to say, one does not need to go to Preston to find bins left permanently on the pavement. Notice that these people living in my home town have actually got space on where they could store their bins on their land but choose instead to keep them on the pavement where they get in someone else’s way and create a pretty little garden on their patch. It makes a mockery of the dropped kerb; notice also that the bollards which were put their to keep the pavement clear of parked cars are now making the pavement even less usable. My council have said that it would be too difficult to do anything about it and have not followed up my complaint with any letters or whatever.

Bins on pavement with pretty private garden behind

Cars Off Pavements campaign leads to 75% reduction in pavement parking

4 Jul

A trial ‘Cars Off Pavements campaign‘ at four parking hot-spots in Charnwood, a borough of 167,000 people in Leicestershire, led to a 75% reduction in pavement parking and is now going to be rolled out across the borough. The campaign is being run by Charnwood Borough Council, Leicestershire Police and the Royal National Institute for the Blind. Charnwood Borough Council street wardens will issue £50 Parking Charge Notices to offenders who park on pavements in contravention of the signs and lines. Police officers and PCSOs can issue fixed penalty notices to offenders who cause pavement obstructions.The local MP was out recently showing his support. Great to see such no-nonsense coordinated action on the issue!

Charnwood parking leaflet (copyright)

The ‘Road Witch’ trials

9 Apr

Here is a site brimming with ideas of how to challenge the current car-centric mindset in a playfull but powerful way. Highlights have got to be their Halloween Causality car crash from 2002 and the ‘scare-cars’ of 2005. Then there were the delightful human belisha beacons (made of white waste pipe, black tape and yellow balloons) and ‘Christmas dream‘ where they decked out their street with sofas, a TV (broken) piano and fire place and then unexpectedly found themselves being interviewed by Richard Hammond from Top Gear of all people! Here are a few images from the site (click to get to the full story).

All this brain-rewiring and community empowerment then led to the remarkable DIY traffic calming introduced permanently for Beech Croft Road in Oxford in 2010. Here is a description of what they had approved as as reported by the BBC and on the Beech Croft Residents Association website. However… this DIY conversion of a street deserves it’s own blog post which will be coming soon.