The parking of vehicles on streets and pavements has become a common sight in Accra, with its attendant unpleasant implications on commuter and pedestrian movements.
The practice also inhibits the mobility of many vulnerable people, including the aged and the physically challenged, especially the visually impaired.
The Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) Bye-law 2017 2 (a) on Obstruction in Public Pathway states that a person shall not park a vehicle, goods or other things in a public pathway or pavement.
However, drivers and mechanics continue to flout the law with impunity.
While drivers take comfort in parking on the roads and pavements, auto mechanics also use the two public places as the extension of their workshops.
Depending on how long a mechanic will finish working on a faulty vehicle, the vehicle will be left on the pavement and the road.
Sometimes mechanics abandon the vehicles on the streets.
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The practice puts the lives of people at risk, as pedestrians are forced to use the road as their walkway.
It is an eyesore on streets such as the Brewery Link, the Brewery Loop, the Akuyea Addy Lane, the Angetebu Avenue, the Additrom Link and the Glover Road, all in Adabraka Official Town in Accra, as vehicles are parked on the pavements and the roads.
One dominant practice in the area is that anytime it is about to rain, people move their cars onto the pavements, so that floodwaters will not get into them.
Some of the vehicles look abandoned, with the owners having no intention of moving them away.
The Daily Graphic has also gathered that some of the car owners who flout the AMA bye-law at Adabraka are business owners who operate within the central business district (CBD) of Accra.
Other areas visited which have cars parked on pavements include the Okponglo stretch of the Madina-Legon road, the Atomic Junction, parts of the Graphic Road and streets close to the Madina Polyclinic.
The situation is worse at Abossey Okai, as majority of the pavements within the spare parts enclave are encroached upon by vehicles.
Streets such as the Oblogo Road, the Okaile Tetteh Street and parts of the Abossey Okai-Korle Bu stretch (Ping Ring Road West) are not left out of the mess.
Lack of pavements
The Daily Graphic observed that most of the communities lacked pavements, forcing pedestrians to use the road as pathways.
Streets including the Paul Tree Avenue, Lily Street, Oak Street, Fertilizer Road and King Kortey Road, all at Teshie, have no pavements.
A number of people were seen walking on the streets because of the lack of pavements.
The situation was not different on the streets at Madina.
A vehicle sprayer called Charles, whose workshop had encroached on a pavement at Adabraka admitted that the encroachment was against the law, but added that usually the cars were moved away right after working on them.
A pedestrian, Abigail Antwi, said for a long time it had been a headache accessing the pavement.
A young man, Francis Osei, said the road had been used as a walkway for many years, to the extent that it had become normal practice and, therefore, urged the authorities to act on it.
A petty trader who gave her name as Aunty Serwaa said she witnessed a lady knocked down by a car while walking on the road for lack of space on the pavement.
Parking space in the city
On what was being done to put things right, the Public Affairs Officer of the AMA, Mr Gilbert Ankah, said some parking lots had been designed for car owners as part of efforts to ensure pedestrian safety in the city.
He said the Chief Executive of the AMA, Mr Mohammed Adjei Sowah, had also directed all vehicle owners to desist from parking on the streets and pavements and rather use designated parking spaces in the city so that their vehicles would not be clamped and towed away by city guards.
According to Mr Ankrah, there were about 3,657 off-street parking spaces and over 1,000 on-street parking bays in the city to address the parking needs of commuters.
He said available off-street parking spaces in the city and their capacities were the Ridge Car Park, 500; SSNIT Pension House Car Park, 627; Accra Financial Centre Car Park, 80; SIC Life Mall Car Park, 60; Octagon Car Park, 1,500; Accra City Car Park, 500; Rawlings Park, 320, and the Makola Shopping Mall Car Park, 310.
He gave an assurance that the assembly would continue to empower its metro guards and the Motor Traffic and Transport Department (MTTD) of the police to act on the issues to ensure safety on the road.
Efforts to reach the Municipal Chief Executive for Korle Klottey, Mr Samuel James Nii Adjei Tawiah, for his comments did not yield any result.