Park Place

Increasingly, I am struck by the public space consumed by automobiles. 

They sit quietly, making their presences felt. Here, two pedestrians without a stretch of dedicated sidewalk along 103 Ave are funnelled onto the roadway, the automobile drivers having claimed the curbspace before becoming pedestrians themselves and walking away:

Curb appeal

And here as I bicycle east down 103 Ave, it's me who feels the imperative of the parked car, as it escorts me out from the curb and alongside it, in the process placing me closer to the stream of motorized traffic:

Central park

Sometimes, the space taken up by parked vehicles is enough to make you stop and think. This is a regular feature on 103 Ave just west of 104 St, as deposited tour and sports team buses turn the roadway into a kind of Park Place during morning rush hour:

Bus lane only

Now, parked vehicles do have to go somewhere. One of the laws of thermodynamics ensures that, I seem to recall. Here's a solution in Chicago that we came across earlier this month: 

Car on the cob

When conversation turns to the other side of the story of the automobile in the city, the less positive side of the story, the talk rightly is about speed. But cars and trucks and buses also have an effect when they are not moving at all. This doesn't mean that bicyclists and pedestrians can't modify their own speeds and routes to find safe passage around these urban islands of steel. Give and take is what moving in a city is about. It's just to say that sometimes you don't really see what's sitting in front of you until you move in a different way. 

At rest in piece


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