traffic on 14th street in new york on wednesday, october 2, 2019. because of the l train shutdown, and after being approved by the courts, the city will ban private car through traffic between third and ninth avenues on the thoroughfare beginning on october 3 between the hours of 6am-10pm.
one would think this would be obvious, that sidewalks are for people, not cars.
in japan, you are not allowed to buy a car unless you can prove that you have a place to park it off-street. in new york city, 140,000 cars have placards and park wherever they want. when i was in scotland last year, i took particular note of how many people parked their cars on sidewalks, or this even more egregious half-in-sidewalk, half-in-bike lane. it was everywhere. as living streets scotland notes, this is a serious problem: "pavement parking is a pain for everyone, but it’s particularly an issue for those with mobility problems, parents with pushchairs and older people, who may fear leaving their homes as they feel unsafe."
egregious[ɪˈɡriːdʒiəs]: adj. 惊人的；过分的；恶名昭彰的
but at least they are trying to do something about it. the scottish parliament just passed a bill banning parking on the sidewalk, or as they call it, the footway.
stuart hay, director of living streets scotland, is happy: "people in wheelchairs, parents with pushchairs and older adults who are currently forced into oncoming traffic when faced with vehicles blocking their path will now be able to enjoy a new freedom. it also stands to offer huge savings to cash-strapped councils currently charged with fixing footways damaged by vehicles parking on them."
there is an exemption that will be a problem; delivery vehicles are allowed to stop for up to 20 minutes, which is a very long time.
hay complains: "our concern around the blanket 20-minute exemption for delivery vehicles remains. this clause undermines the goals of preventing obstruction and pavement damage, whilst the enforcement of a waiting time is incredibly impractical."
he's right; trucks and delivery vehicles are often the worst sidewalk and bike lane blockers. the police aren't going to stand around with a stopwatch for 20 minutes. besides, the drivers all say, "i'll just be a minute," and meanwhile, cyclists and parents with strollers are forced out into traffic. there shouldn't be any exceptions.