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  1. #26
    Not quite there yet Matariki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikemig View Post
    Why couldn't the city have put up signs about the new cycling ordinance? They do so for cars.
    Yep, they could have put up temporary signs. My suggestion would be to send a letter to all of those who have registered their bikes (as I understand it, the City of Charleston does require registration). If they did all this, then they would have only confiscated 32 bikes. The victims would then claim they didn't see a sign, didn't get the letter, didn't have their bikes registered, etc.

    This issue is much bigger than enforcement. It involves access to businesses, both by cyclists who don't want to lock their bike a quarter mile away, as well as others who may be impeded (endangered?) by bikes locked to convenient objects. It involves the quality and location of racks provided by the city. It also involves the behavior of other cyclists - I certainly don't want my rack parked bike dinged up by some other careless cyclist. Did Charleston really reach out to gain insight to all of these factors before they enacted this ordinance?

    For the record, my libertarian tendencies put me absolutely opposed to this ordinance - to the point of wanting to flaunt it. The thing that bugs me is all the whining about not knowing (or expecting enforcement). It happened - get over it.
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  2. #27
    Junior Member greenfleet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Looigi View Post
    FIFY.

    Why put it on the businesses? It's the cyclists problem and they should address it directly to the law and policymakers rather than pass the buck to people running business.
    I think the problem is a lack of sufficient bike parking. Why can't they work with the businesses? Businesses can benefit from better bike parking just as much as cyclists and the city:

    "Madison, WI strategically placed bike racks outside many of their businesses in the downtown area and saw a 3% overall increase in sales tax revenues"
    via http://www.marinbike.org/Resources/E...fBicycling.pdf

    Portland just put in their 100th bike corral this October:

    http://www.portlandoregon.gov/transp...article/468573

    I'd be interested in hearing from someone from Portland on this, but it seems like someone led a pretty vigorous campaign to get buy in from business owners. Check out this study. It includes a survey and letter to businesses. Seems like a good model for increasing bike parking:

    http://bikeportland.org/wp-content/u...rral_Study.pdf

  3. #28
    Senior Member dougmc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CB HI View Post
    I am sure that is true in texas, which seems to be the only place you know anything about. But in other states, some governments have a reasonable process for settling claims.
    I did not bring up Texas as an example this time.

    Also ... nice weasel words there, "some". How many is some? Is it 49? Is it 2? Which states, exactly?

    Perhaps Hawaii is different, but in general, trying to get the government to pay for damages they are responsible for is quite often difficult (and that assumes that you can even show that they caused the damages, which can be difficult all by itself if you're talking about damage to a vehicle that was towed.)

    At the local level you have a chance, as local governments don't enjoy sovereign immunity but at the state level it becomes harder (depends on the state) and at the federal level it's pretty close to impossible.

    But even at the local level it's generally difficult. First, you'll have to show that they're responsible for the damage -- which is difficult in the case of a towed vehicle, as they'll just say that the damage must have been there before. (Though that's not going to work for the damage to the lock that they cut off.) If it's a lot of money you can take them to court, but for a $50 lock that's nowhere near cost effective.

    But texas governments probably like getting lots of damage claims because of bad tow companies.
    What are you even talking about?

    I'm not sure why you're bringing up Texas here -- Charleston is not in Texas -- but since you've brought it up, Texas does enjoy sovereign immunity.

    Looks like South Carolina has partially waived their right to it, and replaced it with "qualified and limited liability". I don't know how far that goes.

    Based on this, it sounds like Hawaii does enjoy it as well, unless things have changed since this was written.

    That said, this would normally be a local government thing, which generally does not enjoy sovereign immunity. In general they don't like paying out money, even if they're responsible for damages, and if your city has a fair process for handling such claims -- good for them, and good for you for picking a place to live that isn't run by jerks.

    Don't expect to find that everywhere, however, and if Charleston will just cut loose 56 bikes and impound them without even putting up "no bike parking" signs first -- I wouldn't expect such a process there either.
    Last edited by dougmc; 12-07-13 at 12:00 PM.

  4. #29
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    This is really an issue of using a shotgun to kill a fly. I'm sure there are rude cyclists who lock their bikes anyplace and anyway without regard to whether they're blocking sidewalks or access to buildings. (just the same way some, but not all, drivers double park blocking traffic while they run into stores "just for a minute" on errands).

    Adding well designed racks to provide an alternative makes sense when the numbers justify it, and possibly some dialog reminding bicycle parkers to be considerate. If the problem is bad enough banning random bike parking may be a solution. But some signage, the same way it's done for cars is called for, and police blitz campaigns reserved for an absolute last resort, maybe with warnings in advance.

    Possibly a smarter last resort approach might be analogous to the automotive boot. Instead of cutting locks and removing bicycles police could add their own, requiring going down and paying the fine to retrieve ones bike.
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  5. #30
    Cycle Year Round CB HI's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dougmc View Post
    Also ... nice weasel words there, "some". How many is some? Is it 49? Is it 2? Which states, exactly?

    Perhaps Hawaii is different, but in general, trying to get the government to pay for damages they are responsible for is quite often difficult (and that assumes that you can even show that they caused the damages, which can be difficult all by itself if you're talking about damage to a vehicle that was towed.)
    Also ... nice weasel words there, "but in general". How many "but in general" states are you talking about? Is it 49? Is it 2? Which states, exactly?

    Sovereign immunity sort of works internationally (the UN is working hard to change that). But at federal, state and local levels, the claim is treated as a joke and ignored by our courts. You should look at how much federal and states pay out in lawsuits.
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  6. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by greenfleet View Post
    I think the problem is a lack of sufficient bike parking. Why can't they work with the businesses? Businesses can benefit from better bike parking just as much as cyclists and the city:

    "Madison, WI strategically placed bike racks outside many of their businesses in the downtown area and saw a 3% overall increase in sales tax revenues"
    via http://www.marinbike.org/Resources/E...fBicycling.pdf

    Portland just put in their 100th bike corral this October:

    http://www.portlandoregon.gov/transp...article/468573

    I'd be interested in hearing from someone from Portland on this, but it seems like someone led a pretty vigorous campaign to get buy in from business owners. Check out this study. It includes a survey and letter to businesses. Seems like a good model for increasing bike parking:

    http://bikeportland.org/wp-content/u...rral_Study.pdf
    I'm not in PDX, but the traffic planners in Eugene like to follow what is done in Portland and copy it. They have approached businesses on several occasions to get a feel for which ones would like to see an on-street parking spot changed over to a bike parking corral and demand has exceeded supply on a consistent basis (supply being the transportation department's supply of funds for the conversions). The only downside has been that they protected them with temporary curbs and all of those have been destroyed by motorists who ran into them.

    I'm of two minds on this (a slight reduction from normal). While I applaud removing some of our public space from the exclusive use of automobiles, I would prefer to see the removal of on-street parking entirely. The right of way has many demands on it and all to often it is the on street parking that prevents us from making it safe for all users. I guess bike parking corrals are a baby step in the right direction, but I'm not entirely certain of that.

  7. #32
    ♋ ☮♂ ☭ ☯ -=(8)=-'s Avatar
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    I go to Charleston regularly. I think what is not mentioned here is what happens everywhere there is a cycling presence. This is just another level of authoritarian intervention due to escalating hostilities between cyclists and cars. The areas around Charleston, Mt Pleasant etc, are Florida style anti-bike. Not very accepting or forgiving of the culture. As the number of cyclists rise, so does the hostility, commensurately. Im sure I'll get branded a blame-the-cycler, but there are lots and lots of reasons to hate cyclers if you are a casual observer on the situation. As happens in any college town, lots of people en masse, doing stuff that is not flattering to us. Combine this with lots of cycle hate, and this is a reality based byproduct.
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  8. #33
    Senior Member dougmc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CB HI View Post
    Sovereign immunity sort of works internationally (the UN is working hard to change that). But at federal, state and local levels, the claim is treated as a joke and ignored by our courts. You should look at how much federal and states pay out in lawsuits.
    I have to question myself here ... I spend time finding providing citations to show that I'm not just making stuff up, and you either 1) ignore them or 2) look at them, latch onto something irrelevant and ride it off into la-la land. Am I just wasting my time?

    I strongly suggest you actually read the citations I provide, at least the summaries. They may help you avoid embarrassing mistakes like the above statement in the future. (Your statement is likely true in the case of local governments (which do not enjoy sovereign immunity), but not in the case of state or federal governments, which generally do, but may have waived it or parts of it.)

  9. #34
    Cycle Year Round CB HI's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dougmc View Post
    I have to question myself here ... I spend time finding providing citations to show that I'm not just making stuff up, and you either 1) ignore them or 2) look at them, latch onto something irrelevant and ride it off into la-la land. Am I just wasting my time?

    I strongly suggest you actually read the citations I provide, at least the summaries. They may help you avoid embarrassing mistakes like the above statement in the future. (Your statement is likely true in the case of local governments (which do not enjoy sovereign immunity), but not in the case of state or federal governments, which generally do, but may have waived it or parts of it.)
    I have actually been in court against the US government, have you? Their claim of sovereign immunity carried NO weight. The claim of recreational use immunity for the property owner carried far more weight, but they lost that at summary judgement as I was cycle commuting at the time and not riding recreationally. The Motion of Summary Judgement that I won even established case law in federal court in favor of commuting and utilitarian cyclists.

    When the state of Hawaii sheriffs office created similar safety issues and declared law enforcement right and immunity (even though they did not wording of sovereign immunity), I put together a legal brief and sent it to the State Attorney General asking them to fix the problem with the sheriffs office before it went to court. The AG apologized to me for the sheriffs office behavior and came down hard on the sheriffs office for being stupid.

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  10. #35
    Senior Member dougmc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CB HI View Post
    Real life over a couple of internet links.
    I trust you'll be updating the wikipedia article I gave then? If it's so fundamentally wrong, I imagine it could benefit from the attention of a subject matter expert such as yourself.

    How much money did you ultimately collect from the federal government in that case? And how much from the Hawaii sheriff's office?

    The Motion of Summary Judgement that I won even established case law in federal court in favor of commuting and utilitarian cyclists.
    Really, doesn't every case establish case law? (Or are you saying this case set a binding precedent? If so ... most impressive.)

  11. #36
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    Why does the city treat bike riders differently from car drivers? I assume that drivers know where they can't park because of No Parking signs. Or does the city simply tell drivers on Facebook where they can't park?

    And which Facebook page? The city's own? How many people log on to the city's page? Are they required to on a daily/weekly/monthly schedule? Did the media publicise it/re-print the press release on the front page/broadcast it on the evening news? Is it a legal civic duty to read/watch them?

    And how many accidents/injuries/interruption of street sweeping machines have there been as a result of locked bikes falling down?

    And if I should be touring SC and visit that fair city, how would I know that I shouldn't park my bike in a particular location?

  12. #37
    Senior Member curbtender's Avatar
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  13. #38
    Cycle Year Round CB HI's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dougmc View Post
    I trust you'll be updating the wikipedia article I gave then? If it's so fundamentally wrong, I imagine it could benefit from the attention of a subject matter expert such as yourself.

    How much money did you ultimately collect from the federal government in that case? And how much from the Hawaii sheriff's office?
    No money from Hawaii - that was only a legal brief to the state AG and the AG fixed the problem before any need to legally file. The other case was also all about safety, and the settlement agreement included many safety changes from the federal government and the city plus $10,000 for my time and effort split between the federal government and the city. Plus it was an amazing educational experience presenting a case on my own.

    Quote Originally Posted by dougmc View Post
    Really, doesn't every case establish case law? (Or are you saying this case set a binding precedent? If so ... most impressive.)
    Traffic cases almost never establish case law. Most other cases end up as case law at appeals courts, Motions for Summary Judgement, or if published as case history in state or federal law books or listed in legal references - not all inclusive. Seems to be a real mixed bag and never certain except US Supreme Court cases.

    Mine was based on a Motion for Summary Judgement which the federal government lost, I won. It then got published as a note in the state law books.

    http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/hrscur.../HRS_0520-.htm
    United States' motion for summary judgment denied, where United States had not demonstrated that Hawaii recreational use statute exempted it from negligence liability to plaintiff stemming from plaintiff's accident on Pearl Harbor bike path while traveling to work by bicycle; plaintiff raised a material issue of fact as to whether plaintiff was a recreational user of the bike path. 180 F. Supp. 2d 1132.
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  14. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by atbman View Post
    Why does the city treat bike riders differently from car drivers? I assume that drivers know where they can't park because of No Parking signs. Or does the city simply tell drivers on Facebook where they can't park?

    And which Facebook page? The city's own? How many people log on to the city's page? Are they required to on a daily/weekly/monthly schedule? Did the media publicise it/re-print the press release on the front page/broadcast it on the evening news? Is it a legal civic duty to read/watch them?

    And how many accidents/injuries/interruption of street sweeping machines have there been as a result of locked bikes falling down?

    And if I should be touring SC and visit that fair city, how would I know that I shouldn't park my bike in a particular location?
    Actions like these come from officials trying to grandstand or just dislike bicyclists like many people. There are hundreds of cities with bicycles locked up all over, no body is falling.

  15. #40
    Senior Member rydabent's Avatar
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    I say again that cyclist should inform the businesses in that area that they will no longer be buying from them. And yes that is a proper response. Money talks, and if business owners that *****ed about bikes in the first place would immediately put pressure on city hall to do away with that stupid ordance.

    Of course a more reasonable response would be for the city to install more bike racks.

    Actually since I am retired I might even be moved to print up notes and distribute them to all the stores in that area, telling them that I will not longer buy from them.

  16. #41
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    This is a cautionary tale for all those who advocate for more bike infrastructure.

    The rack plan was fully endorsed by the local bicycle advocacy group (AFAIK, not the tow). The racks were installed with the express intention of eliminating the problem of on street bike lockup (I don't know how serious a problem this actually was, but will assume it was at least an annoyance). In any case, once racks were provided, than the attitude was "we gave you racks to lock your bikes to, now you'll damm well use them".

    My point is, that there's a parallel with segregated bike lanes. Once they're in place, we shouldn't be surprised by mandatory use laws, "you asked, we gave....) and ultimately heavy handed enforcement of these use laws.
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  17. #42
    Senior Member dynodonn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
    This is a cautionary tale for all those who advocate for more bike infrastructure.

    The rack plan was fully endorsed by the local bicycle advocacy group (AFAIK, not the tow). The racks were installed with the express intention of eliminating the problem of on street bike lockup (I don't know how serious a problem this actually was, but will assume it was at least an annoyance). In any case, once racks were provided, than the attitude was "we gave you racks to lock your bikes to, now you'll damm well use them".

    My point is, that there's a parallel with segregated bike lanes. Once they're in place, we shouldn't be surprised by mandatory use laws, "you asked, we gave....) and ultimately heavy handed enforcement of these use laws.
    Depending the location of these bike parking facilities, what type are used, and just because they were fully endorsed by a local bike advocacy group, does not make the bike parking facilities ideal to all cyclists. Basing on the types and locations of the bike parking facilities provided in my locale, I can relate to others in their parking/locking their bicycles elsewhere.

    Our local law enforcement does not confiscate bicycles that do not use bike parking facilities, locally, bicycle parking facilities are treated as an optional convenience rather than being made mandatory. The better the bicycle parking design and location, the more cyclists will opt to park their bikes there.
    Last edited by dynodonn; 12-08-13 at 09:47 AM.

  18. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by dynodonn View Post
    Depending the location of these bike parking facilities, what type are used, and just because they were fully endorsed by a local bike advocacy group, does not make the bike parking facilities ideal to all cyclists. Basing on the types and locations of the bike parking facilities provided in my locale, I can relate to others in their parking/locking their bicycles elsewhere..
    I don't know enough about the bicycle parking/sidewalk congestion issue in Charleston to comment either way about that. That's why I limited my comments to the unintended (at least I hope so) consequences of some types of bicycle advocacy.

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    Senior Member dynodonn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
    You have to be careful what you ask for, lest you get it ---- and are forced to use it.

    One should not have to be forced to use something that is poorly designed or flawed, no matter how good the intentions are. The lack of signage in this case or any indication that bicycle parking is mandatory and the act of confiscation without prior warning, just acerbated the situation.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dynodonn View Post
    One should not have to be forced to use something that is poorly designed or flawed, no matter how good the intentions are. The lack of signage in this case or any indication that bicycle parking is mandatory and the act of confiscation without prior warning, just acerbated the situation.
    Saying the same as you are, just in a different way.
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  21. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by howeeee View Post
    Ride your bicycle through Ann Arbor Michigan, there are bicycles chained everywhere, nobody gets a ticket, nobody falls over the bikes, nobody is prevented from entering a business, give me a break with this crap. These bicycles chained everywhere represent,persons shopping, eating, drinking coffee, visting the doctor,,all spending money. They are welcomed in cities like Ann Arbor where the city councilman and councilwoman dont have broomsticks up their you know whats.

    Taking an entire lane in most cities in America is ludicrous and asking for trouble. Maybe New York and Portland are exceptions. One thing has nothing to do with the other.
    Often the issue is that there is no parking provided for cyclists as there is for motorists... now apparently this was not the case in Charleston where there were new racks... but in other cities, this is often not the case and there isn't safe bike parking available like there is in places like Austin or Portland. San Diego downtown for instance has scant bike parking and has also cut locks on bikes... but another area of San Diego, North Park has seen fit to convert at least a couple auto parking spaces to bike parking and provide strong racks... and lest one think that reduces the MV parking, well the same area has also put in a parking garage for motorists. North Park is trying to become a "drive to" not "drive thru" subdivision of the city.

  22. #47
    Senior Member dynodonn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by genec View Post
    Often the issue is that there is no parking provided for cyclists as there is for motorists... now apparently this was not the case in Charleston where there were new racks...
    New racks mean diddly squat to me, if they are poorly designed or located, a number of cyclists will opt to park elsewhere. There are a number of businesses in my locale, that have installed bicycle parking facilities to satisfy local building ordinances, but the ordinances are vague on where the bicycle facilities are to be located, letting many of the businesses to install bicycle parking facilities in some out of the way, and less than desirable locations The local businesses that have well designed and located bicycle parking facilities, have little or no issues of cyclists parking their bicycles on other locations of the business's property or public property for that matter.

  23. #48
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dynodonn View Post
    New racks mean diddly squat to me, if they are poorly designed or located, a number of cyclists will opt to park elsewhere. There are a number of businesses in my locale, that have installed bicycle parking facilities to satisfy local building ordinances, but the ordinances are vague on where the bicycle facilities are to be located, letting many of the businesses to install bicycle parking facilities in some out of the way, and less than desirable locations The local businesses that have well designed and located bicycle parking facilities, have little or no issues of cyclists parking their bicycles on other locations of the business's property or public property for that matter.
    We are in total agreement. My local grocer installed a rack right up against a wall... where 4 bikes should be able to park only two really can, due to the location of the rack... but they have a huge parking lot.... all they had to do was dedicate ONE spot to a decent rack and 6 cyclists could then park there... vice one car... but that thought never occurred to them.... such is the autocentric thinking of America.

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    Quote Originally Posted by genec View Post
    We are in total agreement. My local grocer installed a rack right up against a wall... where 4 bikes should be able to park only two really can, due to the location of the rack... but they have a huge parking lot.... all they had to do was dedicate ONE spot to a decent rack and 6 cyclists could then park there... vice one car... but that thought never occurred to them.... such is the autocentric thinking of America.
    There are a couple of large grocery stores, in my locale, that did just that and more, one store has a large bike parking facility across from the main entrance and cordoned off by bollards, another grocery store has a bicycle parking facility along the walkway in front of their building......both of these stores bike parking facilities can handle up to two dozen bikes each.......but the only reason that these facilities are there is due in part that many of the stores' patrons arrive by bicycle, and these parking facilities are really an anomaly in my locale's business district.
    Last edited by dynodonn; 12-08-13 at 01:02 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by genec View Post
    We are in total agreement. My local grocer installed a rack right up against a wall... where 4 bikes should be able to park only two really can, due to the location of the rack... but they have a huge parking lot.... all they had to do was dedicate ONE spot to a decent rack and 6 cyclists could then park there... vice one car... but that thought never occurred to them.... such is the autocentric thinking of America.
    I don't know if we can form judgements based on how much bike parking stores provide or don't. Not one of the supermarkets in my area has any bike parking. OTOH- there's plenty of places I can lock my bike all within a few yards of the entrance, and some even encourage me to bring the bike inside where it'll be safer, as do some other businesses. I asked a few about racks, and they all say that they never see more than one bike at a time, and don't have a problem justifying a rack.

    For my part, why would I want a rack vs.my VIP parking privileges?
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