How Parking Slots Can Ruin Your Image (Neste Rally Is Here)

Neste Rally is taking place here in Jyvaskyla, Finland and it’s quite amazing how different feeling there is to go outdoors. You can hear the rally cars cruising down the streets, some people waving country flags, and generally just enjoy the sun and all.

It’s not so nice to see how Jyvaskyla decided to solve the parking slot problem. Basically, there’s too many cars here – and people who like to see rally cars don’t have parking slots. Instead of arranging more parking slots, the city has taken a different way to tackle this.

We were just walking on a wide “walking street” (I don’t know what’s it called in English, it’s a street not for cars – only for people and bikes). We saw some cars parked on the side of this walking path. There were plenty of room to walk, so this wasn’t bothering me (even though anyone who drives a car understands that you are not allowed to park in such places). And then the herd effect happened: somebody had seen somebody else to park on this walking path, so they also parked there. And then another. And another. Eventually, I saw a very long line of cars parked on the sideway.

That was perfectly fine for me – since there was still plenty of room to walk.

But… the city didn’t like this. There was two women giving tickets for “parking wrongly”. It was almost hilarious (but sad too) to see them going the cars one by one and giving tickets.

Technically they were doing the right thing: you are not allowed to park there, so you must pay a fine.

But was it the right thing to do?

I suppose these women were doing their jobs, but I think it’s kind of sad way to deal with this. What do you think these guys think after seeing the ticket. It’s pretty much the first day of the Rally, and these guys have probably come a long trip to enjoy the race. The first thing they see is (1) no parking slots (so what are they supposed to do – drive back home?) and the next thing is (2) a ticket for parking “wrong”.

No wonder if these guys get pissed off.

And what if there’s people who have contacts to some well respected international newspapers for example. I think it’s pretty bad imago for Finnish Rally organization to answer to parking problem by giving parking fines and pissing off people in the very first day.

Sure, everybody who parked there should know in theory that parking on such places is against the rules (and gets you a parking ticket). But if there’s no parking slots, and if there’s freaking international event that brings people into this city, then why not bend the rules a bit (since it would hurt nobody to do that).

I would have given these guys a warning or perhaps brought a big sign saying “no parking”… and perhaps like arrange parking slots instead of arranging an army of ticket people.

Juuso Hietalahti


  1. Short-term maybe… long term: I wonder if those people who got tickets will return… nor be voting for this town to get the rally possibility in the upcoming years ;)

  2. Why would the city spend money to warn away the impending windfall of revenue? Your “army of ticket people” will more than pay for themselves with the tickets that they write. As a bonus, it won’t be the locals who earn the fines (for the most part), as they already know better than to park in restricted areas — all of that extra money will come from out of town or out of country.

  3. I’d call it a paved pathway, but maybe that’s just me. Pedestrian street is probably the technical term.

    Yeah, that is pretty uncool. They could’ve just left a note saying the city preffered they didn’t park there or something. It wasn’t handled well at all.


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