Nuisance parking

This article was published in 2002, in Newsletter 42.

Does your locked bike obstruct others?

I ask this question knowing that sometimes I’m guilty. Now that there are more secure spaces for leaving your bike in the city centre, has it changed where you park your bike? As cyclists we expect motorists to be responsible, and not to leave their vehicles where they obstruct the passage of other road users such as cyclists. Have you thought whether your locked bike might obstruct a pedestrian with mobility difficulties, or a parent with child in a pram or push chair? Blind people can also be put in danger by carelessly parked bikes see ‘Blind People and Cyclists’ in Newsletter 20 (October 1998). Following the opening of the secure cycle parking area in Park Street, some cyclists have declared that they do not use it as there are railings and street furniture nearer their destination.

Image as described adjacent
Bikes locked to the ‘handrail’ on slope to building on Tennis Court Road.

In the city and on University sites there are a number of locations, including hand rails, where locked bikes regularly cause obstruction to vulnerable pedestrians, to buggies and wheelchairs. Cyclists have responsibilities as well as rights. How far should you be expected to walk to your destination from your parked bike? When I did a parked bike count in the City Centre several years ago, most of the official and secure locations were occupied before 09:00 (by those working all day in the area?), leaving no such spaces for those on quick shopping trips to the city.

Perhaps the Park Street facility (see article) and then the Grand Arcade with its 500 or more new secure spaces will change our habits, and when long-term parking we’ll be willing to walk a couple of minutes to our destination, and leave pavements and paths clearer.

Jim Chisholm