Thursday, April 13, 2006

Talked to a driver today - a professional driver, with truck-driving experience. A very nice man. He said it's allowed to park on sidewalks - as long as you leave 2 meters or more for pedestrians.

I bought myself a driving rules brochure right after talking to him, because he told me it should be written there somewhere - and yes, there it was (in Ukrainian):

15.10. Parking is prohibited:


c. on sidewalks, except for cars and motorcycles, which can park on the edge of a sidewalk, leaving at least 2 meters for the movement of pedestrians;


f. in places where a parked vehicle would make movement of other vehicles impossible or would create an obstacle for pedestrians.


I'll carry the brochure with me every day now and will bug traffic cops every time they're around when a parked car pushes me off the sidewalk.

Just think of it: the bullshit I've been told by two traffic cops already - right next to where Yushchenko used to work (the Cabinet of Ministers and the National Bank) and where he works now (the Secretariat on Bankova).

European capital, my ass.


The ugly parking lot on Khreshchatyk - impromptu and free, as far as I can see - is totally legal, because Khreshchatyk sidewalk (on our side, at least) is so wide...


The driver also said he thought fines should be introduced for parking violators, serious fines, 200-300 hryvnias ($40-$60), and there should be more traffic cops, not fewer. He said, "I'm saying this - and I mean it - despite being a driver myself."

The reason our drivers let pedestrians cross the street is because several years ago they were being punished severely when they failed to stop. The driver's relatives live in Moscow, and they were shocked during a visit to Kyiv: "You've got Europe here," they said after a day of walking around and watching cars stop each time they approached a zebra crossing.


  1. Tell me that I don't see snow on the ground. Please tell me.I was in Uzhgorod for 10 days and it was very warm. You have more right to the sidewalk than the cars do. They have the streets..

  2. Ouch! I'm sorry! It's an old picture! Way back from January or February! Sorry! :)))))))))

    I'm glad you had a good time in Uzhgorod, by the way!

  3. People/drivers will do what they know they can get away with. There is something about owning a car that empowers people.

    You have a very pretty city center. It is worth protecting. It is horrible that cars are getting parked on the sidwalks like this. It will, over time destroy those sidewalks.

    Those laws are way too vague. Cars shouldn't be allowed on sidewalks at all. Parking spaces need to be clearly defined with paint or other means. And violations should be consistently addressed. The police need to understand that this is their responsiblilty or it needs to be in a traffic authority.

    Hopefully the mayor will figure out how much money can be made by parking fees and violations, and will also realize the value to the community in having a car free city center. But it won't happen without activism and bringing attention to the problem.

  4. This sounds like the beginnings of 'Neeka starting a grass-roots campaign to win back the sidewalks of Kyiv! I notice the flickr badge is devoted just to parking violations.

    Pedestrians of Kyiv unite! :-)

    Leaflets on the windshields of cars that violate parking - placed by citizens ... might be one way to start. At least that is the sort of thing citizens do here, until they can get the attention of the mayor, city, and police.

    Parking in a city should definitely be more clearly delineated and not allowed on sidewalks. In general, the former CCCP nations have sort of a wild driving atmosphere. I was almost run over by a car on a sidewalk in Bishkek, for example. I've seen some pretty crazy stunts by cars while travelling in Russia as well.