parked opposite our driveway. It has been there for several days now. There is another parked a little further down the street. It is an almost permanent fixture. There are other cars parked along my regular pedalling route.
These cars do not live in driveways, carports or garages. There is no room for them. They now live in the street.
This is not legal but nobody bothers to enforce the law. It is too difficult to do that. Occasionally, if a car is causing a hazard, the local council will leave a notice asking for it to be removed - or risk being towed away. Even that is difficult.
There was one vehicle which was parked just past a "blind corner". It was there for weeks. A number of people complained about it - especially when two cars came within millimetres of colliding. Everyone believed it had been abandoned. It was there for so long the tyres had gone flat, the windscreen was covered in cobwebs and council notices. We felt sure the council would tow it away. Nothing was done.
Then, one morning, it had gone. It was parked on the lawn of the house across the street from where it had been standing. One of the neighbours, someone I know slightly, told me the owner of the vehicle had been furious at being forced to move it.
It seems to me that there are two major reasons for the increase in street parking. The first is that more people have cars. There is one household I know where there are five cars and four people. Many of the households along my pedalling route have two or three cars and two have four cars. Mum has one. Dad has one. The two eldest children have one each.
The other is that as older houses get knocked down two houses or "homettes" or "duplexes" or "dual dwellings" will be put where there was once just one house. This often means that there is almost no parking space (and not much garden) so people just leave their vehicles in the street.
It is not a particularly safe practice. It is not a desirable one. Nothing is going to stop it.
If we still owned a car we would have had extreme difficulty in entering and exiting our driveway while the car opposite is parked where it is. I doubt the owner knows we do not have a car. They probably do not care. It is their good fortune we do not have one and have not backed into the side of their vehicle. Such things happen.
My brother's vehicle, legally parked in the street in another city, was swiped by a bus recently. The bus company has paid for the repairs but the driver was reportedly trying to avoid a car which was illegally parked on the other side of the street where there is not supposed to be any parking at all.
Of course owning a car is convenient but I wonder whether all these cars are really necessary. It seems to me there is a difference.