No Space to Park or Walk in Athens

In Athens, people park anywhere. If you complain or participate in the popular sport of "car vaulting", you get arrested. "All I did was exercise my right as a pedestrian," he [Tassos Pouliasis] said in an interview. "No one, neither the police, the car driver or even a single bystander, could see beyond my action to realize that there was a blatant traffic violation to begin with."

Evidently in Greece, the concerns and rights of pedestrians are widely disregarded. "Step on a sidewalk or try crossing any street here, and chances are you'll instantly feel like the prey of a safari hunt," said Vassilis Theodorou of the Hellenic Association of Road Traffic Victim Support. "This is the only place in Europe where the golden traffic rule — that pedestrians have the unconditional right of way — is so brazenly disrespected."

Some are fighting back, putting Dayglo stickers on windshields depicting a donkey in a car above the message, "I park wherever I want." ::New York Times

Of course, in places like New York City things are so much better:

Our hero No Impact Man has learned what all of us who ride in the City do eventually: it is a form of assertiveness training. Aggravated that a police van was parked in the bike lane, (a very common phenomenon everywhere), he writes:

I turned my bike around and rode up to the officer. I said, but very politely, "Officer, if you guys park in the bike lanes, what chance do we have with everyone else?"

He said, "How about I write you a summons for riding the wrong way?"

I was merely trying to point out that if the police don't respect the very few rules that offer protection to vulnerable bicyclists, no one else will.

I guess he didn't get my point.::No Impact Man

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