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Where To Park Cattle, Horses, Donkeys,
Yaks, Llamas, Elephants And So Forth ...

Coastweek -- Most people seek to park as close as possible to the location where their activity is going to take place, writes TETI KAMUGUNDA.

The location of parking in built up areas is an evolving science though at a slow pace.

What people do in parking is also very interesting and it is this that triggered the direction things will take this week. First however, is the science – and art -  of providing suitable parking.

Parking was an issue long before the motor car hit the street.

By building up or living in organised spaces, everything had to be kept in its own space.

In early days the first evidence of eth need to control the use of space by objects used for carriage was the construction of pens for work animals.

In this way, one would “park” the beasts of burden in a given place and return to find them where they were supposed to be and continue on their way.

Animals that were used for ploughing or carrying goods such as cattle, horses, donkeys, yaks, llamas, elephants and so forth were all corralled into a controlled space so that they could be easily accessible when needed.

The next evolution of this comes from what I remember seeing as the Wild West habits of cowboys when they arrived at a town or even at the locations where they would camp.

Whenever it was, they would look for the nearest solid looking object and would tether their steeds on it.

However, tethering of animals was a practice that had been in place for nearly ten thousand years so the Wild West was more of romantic presentation of an age old reality.

The need for organised places to keep one’s transport is what developed into the tethering stations that one found in built up areas. 

In time, it became apparent that it was necessary to develop rules as to how the owners and operators of tethering stations in public areas should behave or operate their facilities.

Animals would leave their droppings all over the place and the operators of the facility would allow nature to work as it should and take care of the waste.

There was also the piling of straw and water so that the animals could be fed and watered.

Fast forward to the early part of the twentieth century when horse drawn carriages and buses were the main means of getting humans and goods around in cities.

This created an even bigger problem than that of the parking lots.

The problem of using horses in city streets can be illustrated by the fact that each horse would produce between seven and fifteen kilogrammes of manure every day and all the horses used for transport in the city would produce it willy-nilly.

They would also produce about five litres of urine per day sprinkling it wherever they had the urge.

This natural activity by the horses led to the proliferation of flies and other pests that would be a nuisance to the public and other animals and in many cases also spread disease.

Transport became a major problem in those days.

This is not any different from today only the cause of the problem is different.

The end result for a lot of innocent bystanders is the same in many ways – congestion, disease and illness.

The big problem with the use of horses in urban areas led to the promulgation of legislation that governed the use of horses and horse drawn carriages in the cities that were choking under the burden of both the beat and its “effluent”.

Within this legislation was the rules about where they could be “tethered” or parked and how these places would be looked after, given the magnitude of pollution that this mode of carriage created at that time.

This legislation from the nineteenth century is what was the predecessor to a lot of the legislation that we see in many parts of the world that governs the use of vehicles in towns and also the provision of parking spaces and their management.

What has changed is mainly the form of carriage and special needs of the types of carriage but the general principles apply – hat of efficiency in the use of space, the cleanliness of the space, the duration of use and increasingly the health safety and environmental consideration in the use of the space.

With the explosion in the growth of traffic in cities, the legislation on the use of spaces to park vehicles has evolved in many different directions and management of traffic, whether people or vehicles has become highly technical too the extent that research is done on prediction of the direction of human behaviour and then anticipating their mobility needs and designing the whole universe of mobility in a proactive way.

Most of the designs are reactive and are premised on how people have been and a projection of where they are likely to end up in terms of their mobility needs.

However, it is increasingly becoming proactive where the researchers and the designers are seeking to change our behaviour through the way they design the use of space in parking.

As Kachumbari says, human conditioning can come in many different ways.

 

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