Thursday, 21 January 2010

Paveparking: its for the pedestrians, you understand

Cotham Hill is fascinating, a single road that exemplifies all the conflicting needs of the city: pedestrians, of which there are too many for the narrow pavements. Intermittent trains arriving. Cars: the free parking pulls people in, and abandons them. The school run parents, the cyclists on a road too narrow for them, and the delivery vans and lorries.

What is not picked up on is why the delivery vans park on the pavement here. They are bringing supplies to the shops. Shops whose main customers are people on foot, be they students or train passengers. Those people need to pop in and by snacks and supplies, which means that a modern Just-In-Time supply chain needs to keep those shops full.

08:30, a train has just come in, and that means this is the perfect time for the delivery van YA55VDY to pull onto the pavement, park there on the zebra crossing zig-zags and see if there is anything needed this day. The fact that this interferes with car and cyclist visibility is unimportant: these are not the target customers.

A different day, a bit later on. Again, someone is bringing supplies to shops further up the road. No, pedestrians can't see to cross the road safely -but that gives them a perfect opportunity to visit one of the local cafes.
It is interesting that it is normally the same vehicle that appears in our database. The driver of the van YA55VDY must own the problem of keeping shops and cafes up this road fully supplied in milk and yoghourt related produce. With a single vehicle driving up the hill, stopping on the pavement wherever it needs to, congestion and road pollution is kept at at minimum.
If the pedestrians knew how hard work it was keeping them supplied in their morning, afternoon and evening snacks, perhaps they would be more appreciative of those people who struggle to pull it off -whatever the weather!

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