The System Works?

Over the past several months, Bristol City Council have been introducing Residents’ Parking Zones in various areas to replace the current on-street parking with an (alleged) fairer system. Last Monday, they began to implement the RPZ near my flat. Not owning a car myself, I have observed the bitter response with a somewhat amused eye.

The campaign against the scheme has been very determined in its anti-RPZ notices. At one point half the lampposts bore a poster complaining about how attaching all the notices needed for the scheme would be tantamount to vandalism; some days you get the irony and some days the irony gets you.

Don't Even THINK of Parking Here sign, Clerkenwell, London, UK
Cory DoctorowCC BY SA 2.0)

In a similar ‘not certain which way to take it’ vein, a number of the newly installed ticket machines had a poster of the mayor stuck to the side; no words, no added horns or fangs, just a picture of his face. My wife would be the first to say that George Ferguson is not as handsome as I, but I doubt anyone would consider him to so closely resemble an evil monster that no commentary was necessary. Therefore, my only supposition is that someone was aiming for the metaphor that putting money the machine was equivalent to handing it to the mayor; however, he has made no secret that he intends to spend the money raised by the RPZs on council projects so it seems a somewhat hollow allegation.

Even those who are not attacking the machineries of the system have not escaped my quest for humour. Due to (alleged) delays by Bristol City Council in sending Resident’s Permits to applicants, the zone around my flat came into force before anyone who lived nearby had a permit in their car. So it was several days until I saw a permit: on a car parked on double yellow lines. I am uncertain whether this was due to a mistaken belief the permit over-ruled the lines, an ironic commentary on the (alleged) lack of parking spaces under the scheme, or just the petty criminality typical of a minority of drivers.

In answer to the question potentially in many of your minds, you might think the high incidence of alleged throughout this post is a reference to a well-known joke about lawyers, but I couldn’t possibly comment.

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