I was surprised when I moved to Pittsburgh to find that parking on the sidewalk seems to be somewhat common and tacitly accepted.
Someone explained to me that the streets were built before large trucks became prominent so there is not enough space on the road for drivers to drive and drivers to park, so the move onto the sidewalk began.
But where are pedestrians supposed to go?
Walking up to this giant truck in Lawrenceville there was no option but to step into the traffic on Penn Ave. I can hop around it, but I shouldn’t have to.
What about parents with a stroller? A grandmother in a wheelchair? A man using a cane? There are no options except walking directly into the path of traffic.
This is a truck parked on the sidewalk in the Strip District:
When I asked someone else about it they responded it wasn’t a problem on this particular street because “No one really walks there anyway”.
No kidding! Why would anyone WANT to walk somewhere if you were going to be dodging cars and trucks when crossing the street and trying to escape them on the sidewalk too?
For more delightful images of “Space hogs” around the world, check out the Streetsblog photo contest from last year.
And if you drive, please think about your neighbors before you decide to park on the sidewalk.
11 thoughts on “Please Stop Parking on the Sidewalk”
Sometimes people park on the sidewalk because they live on a small street that allows parking on both sides of the street. Now, if you have a small street, cars that are allowed to park on both sides, and cars that frequently speed down that street, AND you do not have a driveway, what are you supposed to do? On my street, I can’t even begin to count the times that I’ve walked outside in the morning and seen neighbors side mirrors knocked off. Who is going to keep paying to have their mirrors replaced? Are pedestrians going to pay? I completely understand your complaints about large trucks taking over the entire sidewalk. That is completely understandable and you should complain; however, what about people who live on smaller streets and have to pull part of their cars on the curb to ensure that no damage befalls their vehicles? The picture from 1.15.10 of the truck in the strip district is a bit far fetched. A mother with a stroller could EASILY fit on that sidewalk considering how LARGE the sidewalk is. Also, it’s the strip district!!!
Cars are always parked on the sidewalk on the north side of Western avenue near Fulton street. The amazing thing is that the headquarters of the Pittsburgh Police Department is right across the street so hundreds of police must see it every day and do nothing about it.
Pittsburghers and Pittsburghettes can call 311, or fill out a handy internet form. There might be convenient options in other cities. Anyone know?
Thank you for this post! Another issue I come up against frequently: construction signage blocking the sidewalk. They have huge bases that are almost as wide as the sidewalk itself sometimes stabilized by even wider sandbags. Tricky for me to walk my bike around, even trickier I imagine for a user of a wheelchair or baby stroller.
Those construction sign / sandbags often seem to be taking up the entire width of bridges a lot of times, too. One of the worst parts is when they close a sidewalk for construction in the middle of the block and you have to dash across the street in the middle of traffic — like Butler around the 40th St Bridge. If you have any good photos of these, please share!
THANK YOU for this post. I live in Pittsburgh and have noticed this baffling trend, too. There is a tow truck that often parks on the sidewalk on my way home from work, requiring me to step out into rush hour, Boulevard traffic (read: they’re not even THINKING about pedestrians being around), and there’s a blind hill involved on top of it. I always plan to call 311 when I get home, and I always forget to.
Police do ticket vehicles that park on the sidewalk now so if you start calling, maybe it will change. Andy’s neighbor does it every time! People hate paying for parking tickets so if parking on the sidewalks is no longer free then maybe you won’t have to walk around giant trucks. Good luck!
I know a guy who calls the cops each time they do this in his block, and they actually ticket the drivers.
That seems to be what it takes to change people’s habits. Does he call 311?