Street art

Our roads and footpaths are covered in white and yellow lines (sometimes in pairs), numbers, words and pictograms.  Many people seem to view these additions to the tarmac (or concrete) as graffiti, or some other form of street art, which is best ignored.  Now, I’m no fan of graffiti as most of it seems to be the human analogue of dogs urinating to make territorial claims, whilst being rather more visually intrusive.  I tried watching “Exit through the Gift Shop” but found it so boring I gave up well before even reaching the halfway point.  However, I do feel the street artists who decorate our roads in an (apparently) official capacity may have something useful (even important) to say.  Certainly, there does seem some support for this point of view in the Highway Code, even if their works do not command the sort of prices that Banksy seems to achieve.

As a cyclist, I tend to find myself operating towards the inside edge of most roads – and so it is the art here which most affects me.  Usually, this is some combination of solid white or yellow lines, with the occasional pictogram of a bicycle or bus to illustrate a lane dedicated to the illustrated vehicle.  My belief is that all of these strongly hint at an attempt to interdict parking of motor vehicles for some or all of the day.  However, I think most people take the view that these are in fact designed to specify special parking areas set aside for VIPs.  By keeping the great unwashed and their vehicles at bay, a VIP can always be sure of a parking space close to their destination.  Well, I say VIPs: I suspect that the users are VIPs only in their own minds, so perhaps SIPs (Self Important Persons) would be a more accurate description.  I’m sure that the traffic jams that seem to occur around these VIP parking zones when they are in use must be mere coincidence.  If parking wasn’t appropriate, I’m sure the authorities would have done something to indicate this fact…

Feel free to continue the lunacy...

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