Rules and laws are part of our modern life, helping to keep society in order so we can all get along. I value realistic rules over ignored rules.
The yielding stop sign
There is a beautiful almost-pedestrian street in Limerick city called Thomas Street. I call it almost-pedestrian, because it’s actually a road, dressed as a footpath. This area got sooo close to being a city as a footpath.
What do drivers do when they get to this stop sign? Do they stop? Indeed they don’t, and I don’t blame them. Why would you stop when there’s no-one else around you? I have never seen a driver stop at this stop sign if the road to the left was clear.
This stop sign is an unrealistic rule. It’s living in a fantasy land in a parallel universe. It may as well not be there. Or at least, it may as well be a yield sign.
Better yet, if this road literally in the heart of Limerick city centre cannot be made into a place for humans, wouldn’t it be lovely to be a shark teeth yield instead?
Another unrealistic law in Ireland is that you may not park on a footpath. That rule lives in a parallel universe. Everyone in Ireland parks half on the footpath. We could brainstorm for a realistic healthy forgiving guideline instead, such as leaving enough room for two people to walk together, and after that park to your heart’s content.
Update 2019: I’ve spotted “giant shark teeth” in use in Limerick:
Your own rules
Moving away from the topic of urban laws, what unrealistic rules do you place on yourself, only for yourself to break them and feel guilt as a result? Could you be better off with healthy, forgiving guidelines for yourself on how to deal with certain situations?