Car Impounding

Partizaning teamed up with Flacon Design Factory to deal with the problem of motorists who unabashedly block pedestrian crossings, trolley ways and bus paths. We designed an intervention for pedestrians to take charge and make motorists more accountable.

On Feb 26th, we invited residents to a meeting where we distributed stickers and instructions. These stickers were designed to emulate official traffic and parking violation notices. Participants were told to place these stickers on parked cars disrupting pedestrian routes near Moscow's Garden Ring (the main circular avenue in the center of the city), and to document their actions.

 

The problematic design of cities dominated by cars spread from the US to Europe and
reached the Russian metropolis of Moscow in the late 1990s. Moscow now has among the worst traffic jams in the world because of increasing car ownership and a shift to driving instead of the use of public transport. The number of cars is growing exponentially, negatively affecting the urban environment and livability. Drivers sit in traffic jams and park everywhere, blocking pedestrian and bicycle paths, emitting megatons of pollution into the atmosphere. They continue blaming urban services and act helpless about finding a solution. In urban areas dominated by private vehicles, pedestrians and public transport are not respected, and comfortable enjoyment of public space is not possible. We decided to help city residents take charge and address this disturbing behavior through our intervention.

 

Our Position

We do not believe the problem is due to inactivity by the city government – even if they construct a second, third, fourth tier of roads, the problems created by cars in relation to pedestrians and public transport would remain unresolved. Researchers have shown that constructing new roads only encourages more people to use cars. Conscious living, environmental awareness, and above all, respect and responsibility to each other are necessary to educate drivers and change established behaviors.

 

The Intervention

The labels used in this campaign were modeled on tickets used to fine cars. Our method was emotional – trying to bring a sense of shame and responsibility to drivers about their actions. The idea was to simulate the process of impounding cars that violate parking or traffic rules.

The intervention on Feb 27th sought to raise awareness of the critical situation facing the city today, and to serve as an example or a call to action for people to begin reclaiming space from vehicles. Approximately 100-150 cars were covered, and we hope that this will serve as an example urging citizens to take action.

To keep the intervention on going, we have organized more stickers to be delivered to 'Milk Cafe' at Flacon Design Factory, for people to pick up. We have also created a Facebook group for participants to share documentation of their actions, and to post pictures of places that require an intervention. Participants can also e-mail photos and videos to: autopartizaning@gmail.com.

   

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