In Australia, people usually don’t park cars on footpaths. We know its not acceptable.
Yet some individuals and organisations think that it is okay to clutter up the space for pedestrians. Pavement clutter includes Telstra payphones, signs with multiple poles, temporary electronic boards, rubbish skips and parked motorbikes. These items should be either placed on the roadway, redesigned, fined or just removed forever.
Street clutter can be more than just an “inconvenience”. It prevents access for some people, especially those in wheelchairs and mobility scooters. It reduces the appeal of the cheapest and simplest form of transport we have: walking. It slows pedestrians noticeably in high use areas. And sometimes it can be hazardous, such as for those who are visually impaired, or when people step onto the road surface to go around an obstacle.
Some items are welcome on the pavement. When a pavement is wide and has low foot traffic, street features such as seating, bubblers, garden beds, and shade-providing trees are all welcome.
But clutter does not spark joy, so we should say goodbye to it.
Path obstructions can be reported to your local council to be addressed. See your local council’s website for their contact details (which will often include a 24 hour phone number for urgent issues). Snap Send Solve is an easy to use phone app that can be used to contact other organisations – eg. for dumped trolleys.