A horn honks. A man yells out his driver-side window. Your busy rush to work comes to a halting-stop. It’s bumper-to-bumper traffic, and no one quite knows the hair-pulling, blood-boiling stress better than city drivers. As a recent incident in Birmingham proved, not even a happy occasion could save the day when the wedding of Azad Munsif led to a £2 million supercar gridlock and a traffic management disaster.
Nine luxury cars parked in the center of Hurst Street, and while their drivers’ time inside the wedding may have been a dream, the obstruction caused by their vehicles outside made the day a nightmare for many. Traffic on the street was cut off completely by well-wishers who stopped their expensive vehicles—including a Lamborghinis, a Ferrari, an Audi R8, and a Rolls Royce Ghost—in the middle of the road.
Mr. Munsif, a CVS Self Drive Hire, claimed responsibility for all but the Lamborghinis, saying he had hired out the vehicles to family members and then apologized “for the anger and upset caused.” It is suspected that the Lamborghinis belonged to Lord Aleem, a millionaire teenager, while the rest were provided for Munsif’s guests.
By all accounts, Munsif meant well—roadside transportation provided for his family and friends on a day of celebration and love—and while no apologies can make up for the time and money his traffic delay caused the good citizens of Birmingham, few can blame him for being distracted. In fact, Munsif claims he was unaware of the parked cars, busy as he was with his own wedding.
“I was preoccupied at the time and not aware of what was going on down the road,” said Munif. But a video posted online and presented later to Munsif himself makes the traffic management problem very clear indeed. The thirty-second clips shows the nine luxury vehicles parked in the center of the road, preventing legally parked vehicles from exiting and traffic-abiding citizens from driving past.
“I have been surprised with the reaction that the video has had, but I can understand why people were upset and I apologize for that,” said Munif.
The video was posted by Garry Prentice, co-owner of the Eden Bar, another local establishment on Hurst Street. While the wedding incident surely intensified the delays, Prentice claims that traffic on Hurst street and parking have always been “horrendous” and that it is a problem that this particular road has faced for years.
The incident presents what is surely a common problem for city drives: impacted roads, meet limited parking, meet tight spaces and densely populated districts. With establishments like the Eden Bar and Second City Suite competing for space, clients and guests are often forced to park blocks away and walk in—or, as seen in this video, park in the road and face the consequences.
“There have been problems in the past,” says a spokeswoman for Second City Suite. “But this is usually caused by cars doing drop and go.’”
Drop-and-go parking is a common occurrence in the city, but even short instances of such obstructions can lead to traffic delays, and in cases like the Munif wedding, a “quick” drop-and-go can easily add up, leaving the rest of the city’s drivers to suffer.
It’s a story worth mentioning, as we must ask: is this truly an isolated incident, the fault of careless wedding guests, or a bigger problem with traffic management and city planning?