Mayor Wants To Eliminate Sidewalk Parking

25.1.2013
Words by Paul Fontaine
Reykjavík Mayor Jón Gnarr says he has asked local and national authorities for the power to tow away cars that park on the sidewalk.

The mayor said he has asked both the Reykjavík Parking Service and the Ministry of the Interior for permission to be able to have city workers tow away cars parked on the sidewalk, Vísir reports. As it is now, only police officers have that authority.

"You don't need a police officer to estimate whether a car parked illegally is parked illegally," Jón said. "I find this [parking practice] really disturbing and it would not be tolerated in any other city. If you parked your car on the sidewalk in Coperhagen, it would be towed away in minutes."

Anyone who has lived in Reykjavík can probably attest that some people are creative about their parking habits, at times even parking on sidewalks. Vísir has recently reported that this has caused problems for parents pushing prams and strollers, as well as those confined to wheelchairs.

"It is completely thoughtless and careless," Bryndís Snæbjörnsdóttir, whose daughter is wheelchair-bound, told Vísir. "We've lived abroad and you don't see it there. This is something particularly Icelandic."

Bryndís said that people parking on sidewalks has compelled her to have to push her daughter's wheelchair into the street to get around the vehicle.

"This is both very difficult and very dangerous," she said. "This is always happening to us."

The mayor is currently waiting for a response from the relevant authorities.

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