Park Wherever You Want



I was just about home last night, when I passed a car parked on the sidewalk just down the street.  For whatever reason, I decided to actual try and do something about it this time.  So I called the non-emergency police number and told the dispatcher that they could score an easy ticket, as there was a car parked on the sidewalk.  While he didn’t say it, I could sense from the dispatchers voice that he thought I was wasting their time.

I figured nothing would come of this call, so I sat down with the family to enjoy dinner.  Part way through the meal, I was shocked when I saw out the window that a police cruiser was actually driving down the street; I really didn’t figure they would even bother.  I was even more shocked when the officer just drove by and did nothing!  I saw at least a half dozen people need to detour off the sidewalk because of this car, a few of them opting to take the blind leap onto the road and potential oncoming traffic.

Just another sign that the car does truly rule in America.


  • Aug 26, 2008 at 7:14 am

    I'll take cars on the sidewalk over shootings, brawls and open drug dealing any day, care to switch neighborhoods? 😉 I can imagine the cops weren't too worried about it, especially with Providence allowing (practically) no overnight on street parking..

  • Aug 26, 2008 at 4:31 pm

    Well that definitely puts it in perspective! Your absolutely right, they weren't dealing drugs out of the vehicle. However, it still exemplifies the general attitude police have towards motorists. They are able to get away with murder, figuratively and in some cases literally.

    The same exact car was back, parking in the exact same manner two days later. Had they gotten a ticket that first day, I bet their behavior would have been different two days later. Obviously, police could have far more important things to do and I didn't make a big stink on the phone. But to have a cruiser actually drive by and still do nothing, that's what amazes me.

  • Sep 1, 2008 at 4:38 am

    When Penalosa was the mayor of Bogata, Columbia, he was able to reduce crime by 2000%. How? By towing away cars parked on sidewalks, minimizing motor vehicle use/parking in the city, offering free bus service, upholding bicycling/pedestrain rights, and, basically, returning Bogata to open air markets and street life. Children were no longer afraid to leave their homes to go to school or play outside.

    Most crime seems to be related to LAZY ways, supported by vehicles, and a lack of community oversight of citizens mingling amongst the community. This doesn't eradicate crime, by any means, but it does make it more likely to be prosecuted and thus deters some. You just don't care about a community that you can zoom through. I, for one, do not find eating al fresco at a sidewalk cafe very appealing with exhaust fume being blown into my face. People watching is severely curtailed when all you see are ugly cages creeping by.

  • Sep 1, 2008 at 5:02 am

    BTW: I've long espoused that Providence provide free, huge, secure park 'n' locks on the city's periphery, each with a police substation, fuel/service station and around the clock free bus, light rail, monorail or trolley service to financial and jewelry district. This, alone, would propel Providence into one of the country's most desirable, liveable cities.

    To the kneejerk idiots who reply, "Where's the money going to come from?" I counter, "The same place they got a half billion to put a bunch of unnecessary bridges and automotive boondoggles, like the Iway." It's way past due that we see a lot of patronage position holders fired, and shady commissioners and pols recalled for this bad planning and public malefeasance.

    One bright note is the rumor of a new supermarket in the city. A population center without a supermarket and other stores selling necessities has no pedestrian traffic. Mall keeps its own, who don't go outside. With pedestrians, you can add theaters and other draws to enliven downtown. Ask yourself, when was the last time you biked/walked across the city. There are bike lanes (badly kept) that don't connect, and broken, discontinuous sidewalks. Planners have spent a decade ushering motorists around and out, but not into Providence, whereas all roads in Warwick lead into their huge, successful malls (with hardly any bike racks or sidewalks).