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Living Car Free Do you live car free or car light? Do you prefer to use alternative transportation (bicycles, walking, other human-powered or public transportation) for everyday activities whenever possible? Discuss your lifestyle here.

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Old 09-01-06, 05:10 AM   #1
chennai
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Parking In The Bike Lane

Last night was back to school night at the local high school. It's an urban school, next to a park. If one is willing to walk about three blocks, there is essentially unlimited, on-street parking around the school.

There's a bike lane on one of the roads directly adjacent to the school. When the school parking lot (recently expanded - an expansion that wasn't even vaguely questioned) filled up, people started parking their cars in the bike lane, though it's a no parking zone. I asked (okay, really told) a woman who was getting out of her car that she shouldn't park in the bike lane, she said "I've had a long day."

Downtown, the valet parking services typically use a bike lane as a parking lot for several cars, too.

These things make me angry, and I'm not sure why. I think it because parking in the bike lane is a metaphor for (or maybe an expression of) how people treat bikes, both on the road and as a form of transport. I think that it's not the parking that makes me angry as much as the attitude. Somehow, when I see people parking their cars in the bike lane, I feel as if I am drowning. But I'm not really sure.

Last edited by chennai; 09-01-06 at 05:40 AM.
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Old 09-01-06, 05:40 AM   #2
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I think if you looked at the debate in the advocacy forum on bike lanes, that you would find that this is one reason some cyclist aren't too thrilled about bike lanes. It's annoying to me as well, but I just remind myself that I have the right to use all of the roadway and not just the narrow bike lane. In theory, I try to think of a roadway with a bikelane in the same manner as one without a bikelane. They can paint that little stripe there if they want, but I will ride according to conditions. I'll ride as far to the right as safely can be done. If that allows me to ride to the right of the little painted white line, cool. If parked cars (to the right of or in the bike lane), glass or trash, gutters, passing turning cars, dictate that I ride to the left of their little painted line, that's fine as well.
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Old 09-01-06, 07:21 AM   #3
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You should make a couple of fake parking tickets and slide one under each windshield. But, instead of a usual ticket, just write "Please don't park in my lane. Thanks!"

On the other hand, this may backfire, with people parking in the bike lane out of spite. It may be a better idea just to call the parking enforcement and let them know about a juicy score on such-n-such street. Gotta maintain that quota!
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Old 09-01-06, 07:27 AM   #4
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If it's actually illegal to do so, take photos and send them to the relevant authorities detailing times, etc.

It does show how people consider cycling, but it also shows how few of the local population take advantage of the cycle paths - drivers know that blocking them is unlikely to have any come-back.
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Old 09-01-06, 10:01 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeff-o
You should make a couple of fake parking tickets and slide one under each windshield. But, instead of a usual ticket, just write "Please don't park in my lane. Thanks!"
Here is a link to a nice "fake" parking ticket if you are serious about doing it:
http://www.cicle.org/properganda/ticket.pdf
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Old 09-01-06, 11:42 AM   #6
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Call your city hall and local councilors, write down the time, dates, response you get, and incident report numbers. Get a copy of the relevant city by-law showing that parking is not allowed in bike lanes.

Wait one week.

If you don't see law enforcement, call the local TV station. Present the situation with calm authority, explain it as a safety issue and how city hall didn't care to enforce local law.

It often works, particularly in election years.
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Old 09-01-06, 01:19 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chennai
These things make me angry, and I'm not sure why. I think it because parking in the bike lane is a metaphor for... But I'm not really sure.
Have you ever been outside of any other suburban school at opening/dismissal time that did not have bike lanes? You probaby would see just as much illlegal parking to include double parking in the traffic lanes. It is a problem, but it is not a metaphor for anything bicycle related. IMO,, unless the parents/guardians are tempororily parked in the zone reserved for school buses, I doubt that anyone in authority is going to pay much attention to your metaphor or your complaint. Save your complaints for something where you might get some positive result.
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Old 09-01-06, 11:31 PM   #8
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Call the police and ask them to ticket the cars in question, if in fact it's illegal to park in bike lanes in your area. My guess is that the city wouldn't mind making a bit of extra money. (This happened to me when I still had a car. I parked too close to a stop sign, a local resident asked me to move, I laughed at her and went on my way, and when I got back to my car, there was a ticket waiting for me. Yes, I was mad at that woman, but I was in the wrong, so thoughts of retaliation were short-lived and unrealized.)
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Old 09-02-06, 08:14 PM   #9
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There are only two bike lanes in my town, and people use them for passing when another car is turning left. In fact just this morning I saw a guy riding in it and a car started to pass in the bike lane but saw him at the last second. Luckily he was wearing a neon-yellow shirt. If he hadn't been wearing such bright colors I don't doubt that I would have seen something horrible.
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Old 09-03-06, 05:53 AM   #10
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People use the bike lane for just about anything but biking on my street..

lol

Wrong way joggers that don't move...
Dog walkers let their dogs poop on the bike path...
Cars park in the bike path ...
Cars use the bike path as an extra lane to pass people making turns..

Great work.
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Old 09-03-06, 06:40 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike
I doubt that anyone in authority is going to pay much attention to your metaphor or your complaint. Save your complaints for something where you might get some positive result.
+1
I am going to post a link to a NC advocacy site in A&S where Im sure
it will be opined upon......again . In Cary, the illegal parkers complained about
the lanes and actually won. We (bicyclists) are nothing. 'Rise above' / Passive resignation
makes dealing with this stuff a little easier as sadly wrong as that is.
Take our lanes than complain because we hold them up ??? Go figure.
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Last edited by -=(8)=-; 09-03-06 at 06:49 AM.
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