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Sidewalks Are For People, Not Vehicles

April 5, 2013 Accessibility, Downtown, Featured, Walkability 8 Comments

Few things are as frustrating to me as people who feel entitled to park their vehicles on public sidewalks. They must think they’re so much more important than everyone else that may use the sidewalk.

I thought I was photographing a pedestrian forced to walk in the street but it was the owner returning to his car.

He was upset with me for photographing his car parked on the sidewalk! I’m just so insensitive toward others I guess. I posted the pic to Twitter & Facebook and feedback was positive, except one…

A conservative gay man, Yippee Skippee on Facebook, posted the only comment not upset with the driver. Yippee Skippee has posted before, click image for post.

So it’s liberal to hold people personally responsible for their actions? I suppose I could’ve called the police but they’ve got bigger issues to worry about. Besides, I’m not sure they’d understand the problem.

The day before…

Police vehicle
A police vehicle parked on the 9th Street sidewalk between Olive & Pine, in front of a substation.
The opposite view

True, I was still able to continue, but it shows disrespect for pedestrians. As I took this picture an officer came out of the substation and asked “You like that?” as he passed by on the way to his personal vehicle. I replied, “Not on the sidewalk, I don’t.” He laughed.

Pedestrians get so little of the public right-of-way as it is, but even that is taken away daily.

— Steve Patterson


Currently there are "8 comments" on this Article:

  1. Rick says:

    It never ceases to amaze me how the offender is outraged and insulted when someone points out their indiscretion. Some people don’t seem to care how many others they inconvenience or place at risk when they do something stupid or illegal. And why some third party would care is beyond me – unless they have the same “me first” attitude. Keep it up Steve!

  2. moe says:

    Maybe it’s just me but I just can’t seem to fathom how someone can be so bold as ot blatantly disregard the laws like that. I might be willing to cut the police some slack as I don’t know the surrounding area or why they were there. (for instance: was that just a quick stop in and there were no spots?) But overall I just think it’s….well disgusting just isn’t the word I would use, but it’s darn close.
    Not to defend them, but I think there is a lack of mutual respect for all that use the roads. Cars ignore pedestrians, pedestrains ignore walk signs and such, same with cyclist. Same with road crews (as Steve has posted before). You get the idea. I think the only thing that will change peoples mind is if they were to get injured and even then that is doubtful.
    Sure it may be enforcement issues, but greater than that it is the “screw everyone else, I’ve got mine” mentality that is so prevelant today. Sad, sad, sad.

  3. JZ71 says:

    I’ve been tempted, more than once, to go the American Graffiti route: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CgZTVkjQwto

  4. RyleyinSTL says:

    Yippee Skippee; he is clearly angry and bent out of shape about something, his name perhaps…doesn’t it have something to do with farting, jumping and hand waving?

    What you highlight in this post is a huge problem. My wife and I run for exercise. This has us covering hundreds of miles of city/inner county sidewalks every month. The worst and most common offenders are city residents that park cars in driveways with part (or all of) the car blocking the sidewalk. To avoid these automobiles, my wife and I have to run out on the street (in traffic) or run on the homeowners private property. If the homeowner is in the yard I usually advise them (as I’m running over their flowerbeds to avoid their car) that they should comply with the law. Generally this makes them very angry, swearing, yelling, middle finger, level angry. On occasion I’ll get a “sorry” or “I didn’t know” but usually its all about the yelling. Proper enforcement is obviously the answer here but, as Steve mentioned, the understaffed SLPD likely have other tasks more pressing (could this, or is this, be/being done by the cities Traffic division instead?). I also imagine that city alderman would get an earful from constituents if the city started handing out violations for this kind of thing…so called “harassment of law abiding citizens”….which is BS, just follow the laws people!

    • JZ71 says:

      Nailed it – I agree COMPLETELY!

    • samizdat says:

      Try this crap in DC (and by that, I mean the sidewalk parking), and the Parking Enforcement will be all over that thing before you can say “jerk”. They are seriously hardcore. Probably because it raises revenue. Which is strange, since you’d think the City would do the same thing in order to take in a little more scratch.

      As for the MSTLPD, I’ve seen too many of them driver’s window-to-driver’s window, sitting there doing…what? Complaining about their pension problems? Dunno.

  5. Jack says:

    In many cases the offenders are city employees. There are always multiple vehicles parked on the sidewalk surrounding the fire station at tucker&spruce.

  6. branwell1 says:

    I like to think that the locally prevailing “car over human” mindset is evolving, however slowly. In my own S. Grand neighborhood, you often take your life in your hands crossing the boulevard, and that’s at a WALK light! Too many motorists honk furiously at pedestrians who have the right of way and narrowly miss running them over as they turn north onto S. Grand at Arsenal. For disabled or elderly people or mothers with small children who might not be able to dart nimbly out of the oncoming vehicle’s unlawful path, it is a harrowing situation. I fear that someone will be killed or seriously injured. If that happens, I hope there are plenty of witnesses and full criminal prosecution for the driver. Sadly, that seems to be what is needed.


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