• Outdoors Outdoors

Resident raises concerns over traffic annoyance happening around the world: 'I hate this so much'

"It might seem like a small thing, but the impact that it has is huge."

"It might seem like a small thing, but the impact that it has is huge."

Photo Credit: iStock

A Redditor from Germany took to the platform to vent about an all-too-common problem that is sadly happening all over the world.

In an anti-cars subreddit, they shared a picture of several cars that had used the sidewalk as a parking space. 

"It might seem like a small thing, but the impact that it has is huge."
Photo Credit: Reddit

In many areas, people are prevented from safely walking or biking places because of a lack of proper infrastructure, with governments often prioritizing better mobility for cars rather than for mass transit or those riding a bike or going fully on foot. 

In this case, that lack of transit and parking infrastructure likely left drivers without other options to park nearby, perhaps forcing them into a decision between parking far away or inconveniencing those who want to walk through the area. Not only that, but this decision will make things more difficult for people who are disabled or elderly, possibly forcing them onto an unsafe road. 

While a case like this that is happening up and down the street is a problem the city could address better with signage and ticketing of violations — which, incidentally, can also fund various infrastructure projects to make accessing a city less dependent on cars — many Redditors were still frustrated with the drivers who parked on the sidewalk knowing that's not what sidewalks are for.

"I have these types of car owners in my country," said a similarly frustrated Redditor. "Their excuse? 'It's not like people can't walk around my car. Besides, where else can I park my car?' And no, reporting it to the authorities never worked."

If anything, this example strengthens the case for walkable cities, which are designed to make it easier for residents to access goods and services without the need of a car. 

In addition to discouraging the use of dangerous, gas-guzzling cars — which killed 100,000 pedestrians in the United States between 2000 and 2019, according to a study published in the Economics of Transportation journal — walkable cities also help to limit the release of toxic fumes from tailpipes that encourage global heating and significantly impact air quality, increasing the risk of cardiovascular and respiratory illnesses. 

The Spanish city of Pontevedra banned most cars from the city center in 1999, and the results have been staggering. As of 2022, no car-related deaths had been seen in the area for over a decade, while air pollution had been reduced by as much as 67%.

What's more, walkable cities encourage residents to exercise, which provides numerous health benefits and can foster a greater sense of community. 

This kind of development would have also reduced the levels of anger and stress the Redditor experienced. 

"I hate this so much. I recently moved to London, which is the only place in the UK where pavement parking is illegal," one person commented (this UK government page delves into the pavement parking problem in greater detail). "It might seem like a small thing, but the impact that it has on walkability is huge."

"In my country you can search number plates and see who owns them," another added. "These people would get phone calls. I have done it before and I will do it again."

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