Watch out, cyclist! A commentary by Daniel Münich

Publikováno: 12. března. 2024, 4 min. čtení
Aktualizováno: 08. března. 2024
Úvodní foto: Koláž MNK (podklady Falk2, Brompton, zákony ČR)
Publikováno: 12. března. 2024, 4 min. čtení
Aktualizováno: 08. března. 2024
Úvodní foto: Koláž MNK (podklady Falk2, Brompton, zákony ČR)

Yesterday, something rather unpleasant happened to me. As a member of the National Economic Council of the Government (NERV) and an attendee of an important meeting, I was – with my folding bike – expelled from the Chamber of Deputies of the Parliament of the Czech Republic (PSP).

At the PSP guest registration, the receptionist together with the police expelled me, stating that not only was I not allowed to bring the folded bike inside to the meeting, but I was also not allowed to leave it in the guest cloakroom. After many minutes of futile persuasion that a folded bike is the size of a suitcase, the lady told me that I could leave my bike in the PSP garage. I couldn’t understand why they didn’t tell me that right away.

So, I set off for the PSP garage. These are about 200 meters away from the PSP entrance, all the way up at upper Malostranské náměstí. So, there and back to the PSP entrance is almost half a kilometer…

Bikes are not allowed inside, in the cloakroom, or in the garages

At the entrance to the PSP garage, however, a surprised policeman very dryly informed me that bikes – even folding and pocket ones – are definitely not allowed into the PSP garage, period. After over five minutes, I eventually persuaded him to at least call the PSP’s reception, which had directed me to the PSP garage, to clarify the situation.

After a long conversation between the policeman and the reception, he came back to say that they do indeed have some storage for bikes, but he was not aware of it (sic). But then he said that I still wouldn’t be allowed in with my bike because I don’t have a permanent PSP employee card. And he definitely couldn’t put my bike there himself.

So, I returned with my bike to the PSP reception through streets crowded with cars, returned the PSP guest card, left, and calmed myself down with a beer.

I ride around Prague on a folding bike, which, when folded, occupies just the space of a small suitcase. So far, I have been everywhere with it, including the National Theatre, the Senate of the Czech Republic, the Government Office, and I don’t know where else. The only place where I was not allowed to enter in over 10 years was the Prague University of Economics and Business (not even into the campus where cars are normally allowed). But that’s just how it is at the University of Economics.

So, if someone plans to visit the PSP as a guest, you might prefer to go to the center by car, because motorists are warmly welcomed there. Cyclists, like unwanted insects, are not. I will go to the PSP next time only after the absurdity of the situation is understood by the PSP’s operational management and something is done about it.

The text originally appeared as a post on Facebook. Republished with the kind permission of the author. Photo captions added by the editorial team.

Daniel Münich
Economist, Associate Professor at Charles University, and Executive Director of the academic think-tank IDEA at CERGE-EI, focused on applied and politically and empirically oriented research. Since January 2022, he has been a member of the Advisory Board to the Prime Minister of the Czech Republic and since June 2022, a member of the new National Economic Council of the Government.

This is an adjusted machine translation using Automat’s CycleLingo Translator (ChatGPT) of this article:

Komentáře k článku

Bob 15. 3. 2024, 20:27

PSP ČR a VŠE = největší nepřátelé cyklistů :-)
Zajímalo by mě, zda to bude mít nějaké vyústění, nebo zda tyto dvě ostudné instituce nic měnit nehodlají.

Martin Šnobr 15. 3. 2024, 23:26

@Bob – zjišťujeme to. :-)


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