I think it’s fair to say there is a parking problem in the town, or, more to the point, some motorists have a problem parking their cars, which then has a knock on effect for the rest of the community. Cars parked on pavements and grassed areas churned up to such an extent they are both unsightly and dangerous should anyone have the misfortune to slip on the mud smeared pavements and roads. It’s also fair to say it’s a community based problem, so common sense should tell us it requires a community based solution, which requires people in the community to take personal responsibility for the current situation.
Are some of the parking issues created by inconsiderate and lazy drivers? Yes, without doubt, but the real problem is you have more cars than you have parking places. If people can’t park outside of their own home they will park in the nearest available space, regardless of whether it’s a vacant piece of grass, the curbside or pavement. Factor into the mix households with more than one car and the situation is exacerbated even further. Young people have a tendency to see owning their own car as a sign of their independence, so the problem is only going to get worse with more cars on the roads and looking for a place to park. Everyone has the right to own their own car but with every right comes an underpinning responsibility in the way we exercise those rights.
Some would say it’s the councils responsibility to sort the problem out, but the council don’t own the cars, we do, and it’s we who are causing the problem in the way we are parking our cars without thought or consideration to pedestrians or other road users.
Even if we chopped down every tree in the town and turned every piece of grassed area into parking spaces you would still have lazy and inconsiderate drivers causing problems. This drastic measure would still only temporarily alleviate the problem as the increase in cars would eventually surpass the parking spaces available, and who would pay for such drastic, if unacceptable, measures, everyone or just those with cars, and the more cars you have the more you have to pay?
There are no easy solutions or quick fixes to this situation, but I think part of the problem lies in the unwillingness of some people in the community to hold themselves accountable for their actions. It’s not my problem, is used as an excuse for what is, in effect, destructive anti-social behaviour. If teenagers caused the same kind of damage to grassed areas and caused the same level of disruption and obstruction there would be outrage, but because it’s people and their cars causing the damage, we treat it as an acceptable and unavoidable fact of life. But as long as we see it as someone else’s problem we will never be able to achieve a community based solution.
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