Schrödinger's parking space in Rīga is both legal and illegal

Take note – story published 1 year ago

In Rīga, 13. janvāra Street, a special parking space has caught the attention of the public. It is permitted to leave the car there but not drive into that space, Latvian Television's broadcast 4. studija reported May 1.

Around 20 cars are parked on 13. janvāra Street by the tram tracks every day. There is no sign prohibiting parking, but there are signs prohibiting entry. Yet, by mysterious means, perhaps teleportation, the cars spawn there daily.

Traffic safety expert Oskars Irbītis told LTV: "There are signs on both sides, no entry signs [..]. The only legal way how the cars could be parked here was if they were brought by tram."

"Legally, it is allowed to stand there, but not enter. It is a question of logic - how did they get there? Were they carried? If we see ten guys carrying a car, it will be clear legally as this is permitted, but of course, they cannot drive in there."

Rīga municipal police representative Toms Sadovskis said the police were aware of the parking space, but unable to impose any penalties as after the administrative infringement reform there was a loophole in such situations. Plus, only the State Police can penalize someone for driving under the 'No entry' sign. It can only be done at the exact moment of entry. 

"In practice, someone should stand here and watch people entering or not entering," said Irbītis.

"In theory, we could stand there and call State Police with every car, but from the viewpoint of resource planning, it would be absurd," said municipal police representative Sadovskis.

One of the solutions would be to legalize the parking space, as there have not been any complaints from Rīga public transport company Rīgas Satiksme about possible disturbances to tram traffic.  "If the spaces are so demanded and do not disturb the tram, [..] they should simply be legalized and the entry should be legal," said traffic expert Irbītis.

No real solution has been promised currently. In the meantime, the cars continue mysteriously appearing.

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