What is Passeio Livre all about?

The following is a presentation of Passeio Livre that was published in the CarBusters magazine #39, Summer of 2009.
“Passeio Livre” – the Portuguese expression for clear sidewalk – slowly evolved from a growing impression of the lack of respect towards pedestrian mobility to a new attitude: being critical of the apathy in which public authorities were sunk. The movement started in Lisbon, where several individuals gathered to organize an adequate response that could combat a disease which defiles all major cities in Portugal.
Inspired by the Greek “Street Panthers”, pedestrian advocates, in March 2009, decided to have 15000 stickers printed, with the slogan – don't just think about your navel (literal translation from the Portuguese meaning don't be so self-centered), respect pedestrians when parking – to be widely distributed and stuck on automobiles abusively parked.
The main purpose, to give pedestrian some power through a tool meant to express dissatisfaction, would make the problem visible and challenge the sense of impunity amongst brazen car drivers. Its popularity exceeded expectations; wide media coverage revealed a huge public interest under what had once been perceived as silent tolerance. Stickers were packed and sent to all over Portugal and some requests arrived from as far as Brazil.
A blog was created to document the actions and as a mean of communication. Readers were encouraged to send contributions to be published, home-printed copies of the sticker and they were also invited to participate in discussions.
In June all the stickers were gone; a contest was therefore promoted for a new design. Several proposals were judged by the blog readers and, in July 2009, 20000 new stickers in 4 different designs will be ready to be distributed at request.
Gradually, parking attitudes are changing.

3 comentários:

  1. I agree that parking on sidewalks is sometimes a nuisance. However, there is a definite shortage of parking space in some parts of Lisbon, so what is a person expected to do when there is no alternative? There are areas where one cannot find a parking place within any reasonable distance from one's destination.

    Also, making an issue of a car parked on the sidewalk at 4am, in a way that does not really interfere with pedestrian traffic (as if there was any at that time of the morning), shows that there are always people prepared to take a cause beyond reasonable limits.

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  3. Thank you for your contribution.

    Parking on the sidewalk is always a nuisance - think of the blind, children, elderly, people in wheelchairs and the damage you cause when placing more than one ton on a Portuguese sidewalk. And think of all of us that should not be forced to understand and accept your notion of reasonable.

    Shortage of parking and its relation with walking distance is always a subjective matter and cannot justify uncivilised behaviour under any circumstance. You cannot solve your parking problems at the expense of pedestrians.

    Trying to sum up illegal parking as a problem that only happens at 4 am only shows that there are always people prepared to take a cause beyond reasonable limits.