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Watch Your Step



Watch Your Step
Originally uploaded by youplayawhat.
Late last year the Czech Republic adopted a new smoking law. It allowed restaurants to provide a smoking section during lunchtime (it was previously against regulations to smoke in a restaurant during lunch), and it prohibited smoking at tram stops. Apparently the reasoning was that 1) you were eating unhealthy food anyway and 2) the tram stops were dirty. I just hope no one tries to start a tramside restaurant.

As you might imagine, many people ignore the new regulations and smoke at tram stops anyway. (I actually saw someone ticketed one evening for smoking at the tram stop! It was dark and the police just pulled up behind me, and I thought, "Uh oh. I don't have my passport. How did they know?" Then one of the cops got out and gave the guy standing next to me a ticket for smoking.) I can't say that the tram stops seem much cleaner overall.

It seems to me that public parks could use some help, too. Often the smaller ones are not just dirty, but also full of muddy paths, broken park benches, and evidence of dogs. Some also have litter problems since trash cans can be scarce - it depends on the park. I saw the above sign outside a park in Jindřichův Hradec, a town in Eastern Bohemia. It notifies viewers, "Walking Dogs Is Prohibited," although I think the graphic shows the real problem. The problem, I suspect, is not the dogs, but the people who don't pick up after them.

So here's an idea for Czech planners. First, get more of these signs. Then, develop something similar to put at tram stops. Or perhaps they could develop a mascot like Woodsy Owl - "Give a hoot and don't pollute." Perhaps a Scotty dog for the park? Then come up with a better slogan: "Bring a mitt, pick up that ..." A similar campaign could be adopted for the tram stops. The possibilities are endless...

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Comments:

Blogger Karla said . . .

Forbidding smoking at tram stops was simply ridiculous (and I'm sure you've noticed the new nervous behavior at the Florenc bus station). But despite the many complaints by visitors about Czech dogs, I'm always amazed how little problem there is. There was a time when you couldn't look anywhere but the sidewalk while walking in pretty much any European city. Well, maybe not Copenhagen.    

9:28 AM, March 25, 2006


Anonymous Joe W. said . . .

How about--
"If it's gonna poop, ya better scoop." Of course, I'm sure something would get lost in the translation.    

2:30 PM, March 25, 2006


Blogger amy7252 said . . .

The Parisians have the same problem, but their signs are not NEARLY as cool! They say (roughly translated) "I love my neighborhood - I clean up!" with a hip graphic of a guy walking a dog. Of course, the 400 euro fine reminder is what does it for me. Too bad it doesn't do the same for all of my lazy neighbors!!    

1:05 AM, March 26, 2006


Blogger morskyjezek said . . .

The worst is when you step in it at night, unwary, in a dark courtyard where no one has thought to install night-time lighting. If you're on your way to the čajovna it makes it a bit hard to just be part of the crowd since everyone is wondering why such a strange odor is emanating from the sole of your shoe. Thank goodness that didn't happen.    

6:18 PM, April 10, 2006


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