Parking Spaces Reserved for Swiss Women In some garages in Bern, Switzerland, there are dozens of parking spaces reserved for women. The spaces, which are close to exits and well-lit, are also under video surveillance. Melissa Block talks with Bjorn Rohrbach, who runs two parking garages in Bern.
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Parking Spaces Reserved for Swiss Women

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Parking Spaces Reserved for Swiss Women

Parking Spaces Reserved for Swiss Women

Parking Spaces Reserved for Swiss Women

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In some garages in Bern, Switzerland, there are dozens of parking spaces reserved for women. The spaces, which are close to exits and well-lit, are also under video surveillance. Melissa Block talks with Bjorn Rohrbach, who runs two parking garages in Bern.

MELISSA BLOCK, host:

Sometimes getting a great parking spot requires a woman's touch - in Bern, Switzerland, anyway. In some of the city's garages there are dozens of spaces reserved for women - spaces that are close to the exit, well-lit, and under video surveillance. It's a safety measure. The problem is - wouldn't you know it - men are parking in those spots. And in Bern that problem sounds like a job for this guy.

Unidentified Man #1: My name is Bjorn Rohrbach. For English, Bjorn Rohrbake(ph).

BLOCK: Mr. Rohrbach runs two parking garages in Bern. He was hesitant to talk with us because he says his English is not so good. But we convinced him to tell us about his ideas to stop men from parking in the women's spots. He said he wanted it to be a little fun.

Mr. ROHRBACH: At first we have to make it over humor; you understand that?

BLOCK: Uh-huh.

Mr. ROHRBACH: We have make pictures on the walls. On these pictures you see a man who comes out on this - on his car from a women place, and the women came to him, take his pants, makes it open, looking in and say, okay, I will let it be so.

BLOCK: Oh, she's looking inside his pants...

Mr. ROHRBACH: Yes. Yes.

BLOCK: ...to see whether he is a man or a woman?

Mr. ROHRBACH: Yes. On this picture, you see that. Yes?

BLOCK: Like a cartoon?

Mr. ROHRBACH: It makes it (unintelligible) put on the pants and looks in and say, okay, I will let it be so. You understand this?

BLOCK: I do. So she's - she's checking him out.

Mr. ROHRBACH: Yes. Yeah. Right. Right. He's a little bit (unintelligible) and you are a woman.

BLOCK: Well, how did that work?

Mr. ROHRBACH: So we have to - they also laughing about this, but they take it real. And next we try to make a paint on the floor with signs of women. You know that, a ring with a cross under there?

BLOCK: Sure.

Mr. ROHRBACH: Lying forward(ph), yes you know?

BLOCK: Uh-huh.

Mr. ROHRBACH: We want that to paint on the floor. That the next step we - that we take. But so long we have no punishment, we can do nothing exactly against this. When we have a punishment, we can take these cars' numbers and give it to the police stations and make a - what's the right word when you make something about the person who has a punishment make?

BLOCK: A complaint?

Mr. ROHRBACH: A complaint, yes.

BLOCK: So you're going to be painting the symbol for woman on the ground where the parking space is?

Mr. ROHRBACH: Yes, that's right.

BLOCK: What color?

Mr. ROHRBACH: I think yellow. That's the normally color we take for women places.

BLOCK: We had read in an article on the Internet, and maybe this is wrong, that parking spaces were going to be painted pink with flowers. Is that incorrect?

Mr. ROHRBACH: I never seen before.

BLOCK: Uh-huh.

Mr. ROHRBACH: It's a good idea.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. ROHRBACH: And when the car from a man is on the floor for women, we make the car also pink.

BLOCK: Oh, you'll paint the car?

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. ROHRBACH: That would work.

(Soundbite of laughter)

BLOCK: You're a desperate man, Mr. Rohrbach.

Mr. ROHRBACH: Sorry?

BLOCK: You're a desperate man.

Mr. ROHRBACH: Desperate, I don't know the word.

BLOCK: You are desperate, you are...

Mr. ROHRBACH: I have heard before desperate, I - but it has a movie by us in Europe, "The Desperated Wives."

BLOCK: Oh, "Desperate Housewives."

Mr. ROHRBACH: Yeah.

BLOCK: Yeah.

Mr. ROHRBACH: Housewives. Yes, right. But I don't know what it is.

(Soundbite of laughter)

BLOCK: You - you are desperate man, it means you - you will do anything to get these men from - to stop parking in the...

Mr. ROHRBACH: It takes every possibility to make it right.

BLOCK: Yeah.

Mr. ROHRBACH: Yeah, I think. It's the best way we can go.

BLOCK: Well, Mr. Rohrbach, best of luck to you and let us know how things work out.

Mr. ROHRBACH: Oh, okay. Bye.

BLOCK: Bjorn Rohrbach runs two parking garages in the Bern, Switzerland, where he's trying to figure out how to keep men from parking in women's spots.

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