Sunday, July 20, 2014

Pavements are for people

Today I watched a couple make their way slowly down the high street. He was pulling a shopping trolley with one hand and supporting his companion with the other arm. She had a walking stick in the hand which wasn't holding onto him. Walking clearly wasn't easy. Perhaps they wanted some exercise, or fresh air, or didn't have any option except walking. Then they came to a part of the pavement through which, despite its ample width, it was impossible for them to pass side by side.

Because an irresponsible motorist had parked on the pavement next to a bin.

I've lost count now how many times I have seen this kind of behaviour from Barkingside motorists, on Barkingside streets, accommodated or tolerated by the authorities.

There's a choice to make. Do we want people who used to drive,

The Message by sean_hickin on Flickr
'The Message' by sean_hickin - cc
can't drive,

'Little girl, big eyes' by Barbara Piancastelli - cc 
may never drive,

'Meeting local guide dog users in Noel Park' by Lynne Featherstone - cc
have decided not to drive,

'Day 99 - asthma sucks' by dieselbug20017 - cc
or otherwise aren't driving,

'Arm in arm' by Elliot Margolies - cc
to be able to get around safely and easily?

Or do we insist on parking on the footway,

Outside The Chequers, High Street Barkingside, 20th July 2014
High Street Barkingside, 20th July 2014
sometimes obstructing all but the most agile pedestrians,

Off Fullwell Ave, 7th April 2014
and forcing people onto the road?

Off Fullwell Ave, 28th June 2014
If an irresponsible motorist has ever obstructed you from pushing your pram or walking frame, giving somebody your arm, holding your kid's hand, reaching your home with two armfuls of shopping, or getting around on your mobility vehicle, then you may be interested in the Living Streets campaign, partnered by Age UK and Guide Dogs.

Redbridge's plans for footway parking are available on Redbridge i. This depends on exemptions to the bans which apply to much of the rest of London. I think we are too accommodating of cars here and ask too little of public transport.


  1. Car litter

  2. The High street has to accomodate everybody and accessibility is an important aspect of where people choose to shop. Under no circumstances should footway parking be tolerated if it restricts the free-flow of pedestrian activity.

  3. I saw this incident myself and thought how inconsiderate and brain-dead some drivers are.... no wonder we have road-rage. .... and Pedestrian-Rage is negative and pointless.

  4. Lets not be unfair to the motorists in the last two pictures. On pavement parking is specifically permitted on that side street off Fullwell avenue. Their would be no capacity for any street parking in this street if it was not the case. In a perfect world everyone would use public transport, walk or cycle to Barkingside town center. However the reality is that this is just unrealistic or not possible for some town center visitors or local residents. I'm sure if it was strong majority view of the residents in that street, then those pavement parking permissions could be removed.

    1. The one in the final picture has moved well to the right of the permitted area, designated by the white line painted just to the right of the kerbstone.

    2. Well, yes that car does seem rather far up on the pavement. However, looking closely the white line markers look like aerosol spray paint and not official road markings. Perhaps the work of some sort of parking restrictions vigilantly.

    3. More likely aerosol markings put there by council officers to tell the contractors where to put the permanent white lines. See comment on an earlier post here.