The pavement as a public good and urban space privatisations

When walking in front of the commercial spaces created by transforming into shops the ground floor apartments of 4-storey blocks,

the space remained for walking is increasingly narrowed. As the ground-floor apartments were not originally designed with a balcony, the current shop owners have appropriated more and more public space, illegally expanding their shop windows by closing with glass panels the space between the ground and the balconies on the first floor. After crossing the street at the junction with Petru Rares street, the road becomes increasingly narrow, almost impossible to walk.

Cycling in this area involves bypassing the street poles, cars and shop front signage positioned exactly in the middle of the only footway.

The same situation on the other side of the boulevard where, when getting back, the cyclist can difficultly ride through the very narrow space between the 3-storey block with companies at the ground floor and car parks. In order to spare the pedestrians, the cyclist must either constantly swerve through the area intended to be a car park or stop by the wall of the block.

The texture of the pavement and the building expansions are noticed more easily when cycling through the neighbourhood. We may well conclude that for a cyclist, the way in which the shop owners have expanded their premises intruding into what used to be the common space of the citizens is visible either through the way they have marked their territory by using a different paving material or by expanding their balconies and stairs which thereby become further obstacles to bypass.