Vehicles no longer permitted to park on pavements

Saturday, 18 July 2020 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

This is the best news I have had in a long time during these dark and dismal days! I salute you for whatever role you had in implementing it!

The reason why it is such good news to me is because I am a very regular user of the broad pavements by Galle Road, from the place where the one way carriageway starts from near St. Peter’s College up to the Kollupitiya junction, for my daily exercises. 

While I used to be happily humming and singing on my way, over the past couple of years my songs have been replaced by the muttering of profanity, the vocabulary of which has increased vastly over that period. 

The reason for such conduct which I personally dislike, is the number of cars which are parked across the pavements, which obstruct pedestrians’ right of way. The worst offender is a shop right next door the Bambalapitiya police station. My frequent outbursts to the policeman on duty in the cubicle, absorbed in his iPhone and totally oblivious to the gross violations right under his nose, have literally fallen on deaf ears. The only reaction I have got is a look which says ‘Get real! This is Sri Lanka, a land like no other where you can do anything anywhere!’. 

Walking further up the other offenders are close to each other; a bank soon after the Bambalapitiya junction, then a clothing store, another bank, a jewellery shop, etc. etc. All my appeals to the security officers of those establishments and the policemen who may be around chatting on their mobile phones, have simply resulted in my receiving strange looks as if to ask msiaiqo?? 

Another totally unacceptable practice in parking vehicles across the pavements is that they block the yellow-tiled track for blind people who run their walking sticks along the track so as to keep on a straight path. A lot of people don’t know that the yellow track is for blind people; they think it’s a decorative feature! When blind users reach the car infested area of pavements, they have to manoeuvre around huge SUVs and Pajeros, and find their way back to the track again. There are three blind users of these tracks who regularly walk up and down, trying to find their daily bread. All my appeals to the security officers and police officers have fallen you-know-where. Putting themselves in a blind person’s shoes is beyond them.

Thank you Ajith Rohana, for sealing my lips from ;s;a; l=kqyrm and restoring my singing and humming which also attracts many sideways glances from decorated eyes! 

Now, please go a step further and make the blind people sing and hum too, while on their daily trudge!

Mahendra Fernando