Cherishing culture of parking a car

The residents of Kyiv, as well as of other large cities of Ukraine, face the problem of spontaneous and messy parking. Drivers complain they lack parking lots and leave their cars on the sidewalks, lawns, blocking the pedestrian crossings and the entrances of the apartment buildings. One of the reasons for such behavior is weak legislation, since a police officer can fine drivers only if they are inside the car. Another reason is absence of the culture of parking, believe the activists of DreamKyiv.

In their opinion, the flash mobs are one of the simplest and most efficient ways of involving the community in the development of the culture of parking. The activists decided to print leaflets with parking rules for drivers and put them on a car which has violated these rules.

The DreamKyiv team members have repeatedly discussed the design and wording of leaflets, says flash mob co-organizer Anna Ustenko. Finally, it was decided that the leaflets should be polite.

"The calls for behaving in a civilized way should be civilized. For the same reason we have refused to stick the leaflets to cars as this can be perceived by drivers as the damage of their property," she emphasized.

 

Bohdan Hdal designed the leaflets for activists.

The first flash mob took place on 15May 2016 in the Kyiv’s Podilsky district, which is usually clogged with cars due to the traffic intensity and unsuitable infrastructure. Local activists, patrol police officers from the police and community interaction department and chairman of the Podilsky district administration Valentyn Mondryivsky took part in the flash mob. During the event, the local residents told the police about the parking problems in their district. The DreamKyiv team recorded about 300 violations in the streets of Podilsky district and talked to the drivers.

In addition, the activists recorded a problem, the solution of which falls within the scope of local authorities. A traffic sign "No parking" was obscured with a branch of a tree. They activists wrote a report to the Contact Center of Kyiv 1551, and the problem was solved in about a week.

However, the distribution of leaflets was still a problem as the DreamKyiv activists lacked resources to hand over the leaflets to all the people, who wanted to get them.

The solution found the flash mob organizers itself.

In June, co-founder of one of the most popular public spaces in Kyiv –Art Plant Platform – Roman Tuhashev addressed the DreamKyiv team. He suggested uniting efforts. About 370,000 people annually visit the Art Plant Platform, and they are the target audience of this flash mob. It was decided to distribute the leaflets in the ticket offices of the Platform.

 

In order to make the leaflets more attractive, the activists opted for the thicker paper. In addition, the field for a phone number was left on the reverse side of the leaflets which already became the cards and they became useful not only for correcting the offenders. The flash mob organizers distributed about 2,000 cards during the first two festivals that took place at the Art Plant Platform.

"About 20,000 people visited our Street Food Festival, and about 30% of them arrived here by car. The parking lot is large enough, but the problem of parking still remains relevant because of the huge number of cars. We have long been thinking of such a service for visitors as parking cards, where they can indicate their contact telephone number, and if someone’s car obstructs free movement of people, we will be able to call that person. In the end, we decided to unite this idea with the DreamKyiv initiative, which we consider to be right and very useful. At first, our visitors were confused with those cards, but now more and more people get interested in them," says Kateryna Pavlevych, a representative of the Art Plant Platform.

Now the cards are distributed in the Art Plant ticket offices during each Street Food Festival. According to Pavlevych, about 3,000 cards have already been distributed. In such a way, the flash mob has become regular and does not now require the constant participation of DreamKyiv activists in its organization.

The article was written within the framework of activity of the expert group "Police and Community Interaction" with the support of the International Renaissance Foundation.

 

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