Despite city guidelines to the contrary, tour buses continue to drive and park in crowded, narrow residential streets.
RÚV reports that blues musician Halldór Bragason, who lives in the downtown Reykjavík 101 postal code, has been frustrated with how tour buses continue to park and disembark passengers on narrow residential streets, blocking traffic and often coming dangerously close to his house. In his effort to push back against what he calls “the bus-suffering of 101’s residents”, he has taken several videos of the buses in action.
Two such videos can be seen here and here. Halldór also posted a video of a police officer responding to a tour bus completely blocking a street downtown, with the officer in question telling Halldór that recording him and posting it is illegal. Halldór repeatedly asks what law states this, emphasising that he is standing on his own property, without receiving a response to his question. The Grapevine could find no law banning citizens from recording video or taking photos of the police.
The actions of the tour buses are not just a nuisance for some downtown residents; they are also a violation of city guidelines. Establish January 2014, the guidelines were approved by the city’s Environmental and Planning Committee. However, as there are no fines nor penalties for breaking the guidelines, many tour bus operators are ignoring them.
“[These buses] are clearly breaking the established agreement that is in effect and has for the most part been respected,” Hjálmar Sveinsson, the chairperson of the committee, told RÚV, adding that the agreement was put in place after repeated complaints from downtown residents.
The owner of Hópferðabíla Akureyrar, the company which owns the buses featured in the two videos, refused to respond to questions from reporters.