I know, on such a news day! With Washington in meltdown and schools closed for education until further notice, with Europe looking like a totalitarian super state and the UK tipped for lockdowns through to 2022, with a 92 year old arrested and taken away at the Julian Assange bail hearing… And I want to write about parking?
I think it’s because the news today is too much. There is too much of it. The news is overwhelming and we all really, for a time, ought to be overwhelmed. It’s like we all need to shout ‘enough already!’ Gaining a handle on this level of otherworldliness, of impotence, of brain freeze is like grabbing handfuls of fog. But the fog can in part be teased into larger drops and so to be tasted. Worth a view are both Bitter Lake and HyperNormalisation, both documentaries by Adam Curtis, and both attempting to provide some understanding of how we fit into in a fogged up and ultra complicated world and we with very little personal or collective understanding of it.
But I am going to leave the chaos behind for a day and offer up intelligent and workable solutions for more parochial problems in the guise of my alter ego, the First Global Dictator.
As the only current candidate for the (soon to be by me) proposed post of ‘Global Dictator’ I can solve the car parking problems not just of Canton (Cardiff), but of the world! And my solution is not one of reducing car ownership, no, it’s a bit of sideways thinking that quite honestly I’m surprised has never before been considered. Of course, if I were ‘elected’ as the First Global Dictator I would of course, as one of my first decrees, enshrine the following genius into law…
My simple solution is to make all residential areas residential parking only. If a house is double fronted and has the space for two cars outside then it will receive two permits to park. If it is a small terraced house it will receive just one permit to park. If a family wants three cars but only has space for one then tough. Purchase private parking elsewhere, outside of area, or move on.
Those without a permit will be towed away and crushed.
Permits for carers and tradespeople are available but will need to be organised in advance. These occasional visitors will be able to park in the empty spaces made vacant by those houses who’s owners do not possess cars.
Of course, that is just the beginning. My aim as the worlds First Great Global Dictator would be to introduce the ‘Ring Car Park’ system, a city parking solution, dreamt up entirely by oneself, that would free up the streets for cycles and scooters and encourage all to be less reliant upon their vehicles. It is 100% true that I currently operate this system for myself and it works just fine and dandy. My car I often keep in Penarth and when it is needed I cycle to the car park and pick it up. When done I park it up in Penarth and cycle back to Canton.
The idea is also simple but would need some infrastructure works to make it possible, likely compulsory purchase of buildings and land in the area marked in red and shown on the map. This template could be used globally in every town and city.
Areas outside of the parking zone (indicated by red line) would have existing traffic regulations. The area inside the parking ring car park would be almost free from traffic. Each car owner would have a permit to visit their residential property or that of a friend or family member once a week. This would come in the form of a yearly pass with 52 digital tickets. These tickets would automatically reduce by one when the car leaves the parking zone and enters the central city area. Regular community buses and also bikes and scooters would all be freely available to use to get to and from the car park to the city centre, houses or flats and likewise for the return journey. CCTV and security would ensure car safety.
Please see this totally scientific poll of Canton residents proving that parking is the main problem in that district of Cardiff.
Oh, and the rubbish. Cardiff Council officials, when I am the First and Greatest Global Dictator, will en mass be sacked from their posts (for, first and foremost, dereliction of their duty to keep Cardiff clean) and an independent team (answerable directly to me) will be employed. This team will order that each residential block of 100 households or so has a functioning community group that is responsible for maintaining law and order, cleanliness and good parking etiquette for their area. These will not include paid for posts but will encourage the community to act collectively in everyones best interests and in recompense the areas council tax will be abolished. Shortfalls will be made up by taxing local business who will be charged less for good local engagement (employing local people, working with local charities/schools etc) and for anti littering operating procedures and more for failure to engage and for running a business that contributes excessively to litter in the locale (think MacDonalds etc)
I think that’s it.
When the time comes… Back me! Fight For Me! Make Me Dictator!