Join Date: Jun 2003
Bikes: Zeus (Razesa) tarck, Giant TCR road, Eddy Merckx road, Fuji Touring Series IV for everything else
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Attn Atlanta: Bike lane on Edgewood
I'm sure many of those who travel down Edgewood Ave have encountered cars parked in the bike lane going into town. A few months ago, a friend of mine asked a cop what could be done to alert the police about the problem when a car is parked there. The cop said that the best thing to do is to call 911 and let them know. This has been done on several occations and police have responded by asking the people in the surrounding businesses if they know whose cars those are and if they would please move them. To my knowledge, there have not been any tickets written or cars towed, but it is possible that it has happened.
This leads me to the encounter I had today. Upon seeing a red ford explorer parked in the bike lane in front of the "Laced Up" shoe store in the Dynamic Metal Lofts, I decided to call 911 and inform them. This vehicle is commonly parked in front of this store and I find it difficult to believe that the owner has not been warned about it before. Not having a cell phone, I went into the shoe store to ask if I could use their phone. This is the conversation that took place:
-"Hi, do you work here?"
-"yeah, whats up?"
-"Is there any way that I can use your phone?"
-(employee looks me over for a few seconds) "No"
-"Its just a local call"
-"its just real quick"
-"no... its not a public phone"
-"Ok, thats cool. Is that your vehicle out there, in front of your store?"
-"Do you know whose it is?"
-"...no, I dont"
-"Well, thats a bike lane. And its illegal to park in a bike lane"
-"I don't care"
-"you don't care that its parked in a bike lane?"
-"no, I don't care"
-"all right then"
And I left the store.
As soon as I mentioned using the phone and he recognized me as a biker, the employee started to become, not hostile, but his demenor implied that I should no longer be there. He did not go back to his costomer as if I had interrupted him. In fact, I had waited until he was finished with the customer before engaging him. I was polite, only asking a favor that would cost him no money and take only a minute or so. I was greated with rudeness and, in the end, outright disreguard for cyclists. If it wasn't his vehicle, he should want to owner to know that it should not be parked in a bike lane. If it was hi, or a customer's vehicle, it is obvious that he cares more about money than doing a small thing to improve the safety of cycling in the city. I feel that this value is commonly held by people in this city.
I guess this post is just a heads up for riders. "Laced Up" does not care about cyclists.