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Raging cyclist hoisted on own petard

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Raging cyclist hoisted on own petard

Old 09-14-11, 11:00 PM
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Daves_Not_Here
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Raging cyclist hoisted on own petard

This story reported by a local realtor in his monthly community newsletter:

In Long Beach, CA, a cyclist encountered a UPS truck parked in a bike lane. He confronted the driver, demanded he move his truck, driver refused, loud argument ensued, people emerged from their homes, police got called. Police showed up, informed the cyclist that delivery trucks can park in the bike lane, told him to move on.

I think the spirit of the article was to suggest that we be civil with one another and just because we're really upset and certain about something doesn't mean we're right.

Question I have is did the police make the right call? Is there any law against a truck parking in a bike lane?
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Old 09-14-11, 11:15 PM
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I think the reasonable thing to do was wait until it was safe, and ride around the ups truck. I grew up in Hermosa ,and have lived her since 1959, so what do I know.... Life is only hard if we make it so. Just smile, and ride around the UPS truck.

Paul
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Old 09-14-11, 11:36 PM
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^ Heh, I also live in Hermosa at the moment.

It will be a while before LA is like Portland, OR. I would suggest getting as many other people into biking as possible, as traffic volume will affect changes much more drastically.
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Old 09-14-11, 11:44 PM
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but is it actually legal for delivery trucks to park in the bike lane there? ...cops don't exactly have a stellar track record when it comes to knowing or understanding the law as it pertains to cyclists.
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Old 09-15-11, 12:02 AM
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Technically speaking, parking in a bike lane is not illegal in California. However, in my experience, if there is a bike lane, and it is not to the left of a parking lane, then there are nearly always "No Parking" or "No Parking - Bike Lane" signs present as well, which does mean that they can't park there except in an emergency.

I am not aware of any law that exempts delivery trucks from parking rules.
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Old 09-15-11, 12:23 AM
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A couple of decades ago those cops would have been correct. Back then any delivery vehicle was permitted to park in any bike lane that was not specifically signed by the local municipality as no parking. It looks like the only motorists who can do so now are utility vehicles, newspaper delivery vehicles while delivering their rags, garbage trucks while picking up rubbish and tow trucks hooking up. It's nice to see a positive change in the law (CVC 21211)
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Old 09-15-11, 01:17 AM
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Ask yourself if it is OK/legal to double park in a travel lane. If not, then why would it be OK to park in the bike lane?
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Old 09-15-11, 04:05 AM
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Originally Posted by CB HI View Post
Ask yourself if it is OK/legal to double park in a travel lane. If not, then why would it be OK to park in the bike lane?
Not too unusual for a delivery truck to "park" in the travel lane with flashers on very narrow roads, especially if there's just no other way. As far as actual legality, I have no idea; just pointing out it's fairly commonplace.

EDIT: As far as legality of parking in a bike lane, unfortunately it's perfectly legal in California absent any "No Parking" signs. In my experience, bike lanes are quite often accompanied by the signs.

EDIT EDIT: Although there may be local ordinances that prevent parking at all. I seem to remember San Francisco and LA having one. Interestingly, this blog points out that one may be able to pop a driver for double parking if they are in the bike lane on a road with a parking lane. Whaddaya know... a benefit to door zone bike lanes?

Last edited by sudo bike; 09-15-11 at 04:13 AM.
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Old 09-15-11, 04:30 AM
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Sounds like one of the cadre of indignant gladiators, riding around with a chip on their shoulders, looking for and being hyper-affected by every perceived transgression against them.
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Old 09-15-11, 05:21 AM
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Should the delivery truck park in a travel lane and deliver the packages across the bike lane? Another idiot cyclist picking a fight for all the wrong reasons.

Play with this for a while. What is the difference in parking and stopping?
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Old 09-15-11, 07:21 AM
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Exactly where does this cyclist expect a UPS truck to park? (and I'm assuming the UPS guy was delivering packages, not out to lunch) Those trucks are huge; they're going to be blocking something no matter where they park. If I was coming up on a UPS truck parked to the left of a bike lane, I could see many circumstances where I would still pass the truck on the left. If I stayed in the bike lane I would be shooting "out of nowhere" on the other side. Nobody is entitled to his own curling sweeper.
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Old 09-15-11, 07:27 AM
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Share the road...share the bike lane?
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Old 09-15-11, 07:40 AM
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he would have been truly hoisted on his own petard if said delivery truck was delivering a package to his house.
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Old 09-15-11, 07:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Paul Barnard View Post
Another idiot cyclist picking a fight for all the wrong reasons.
Exactly.
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Old 09-15-11, 07:52 AM
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I have to pass semi delivery trucks and large pickup trucks extending or blocking the bike lane on a regular basis. I don't mind doing it as long as motorists are understanding of my situation, but I can almost guarantee that I will always get that one asshat wolfpack motorist behind me, and for them to instantly start nipping at my rear fender.
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Old 09-15-11, 08:00 AM
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It's probably not something I'd worry about, but if I did I would send an email to UPS with the truck ID and ask if they could find an alternative to blocking the bike lane. I've been surprised at the helpful responses I've gotten from a polite email.
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Old 09-15-11, 08:41 AM
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I don't expect delivery drivers to loop around looking for a spot, if they deliver less packages they probably get paid less or don't get as large of raises as the guy who does park illegally, so it's a tough spot for them to demand them to wait to find a parking space. And it's only a minor inconvenience for me.

But more importantly if the driver is way to the left of the curb then in a way it is safer: when a truck is far enough away from the curb that it's blocking the lane, then it's far enough out that it interferes with auto drivers as well, and they move over, or make sure to make room for me to move over. Most cars also tend to slow down when having to go around a delivery truck, which also makes it easier for me to go around wide enough to make sure a car does not try to pass me on the left.

When a delivery truck is right against the curb, then the bike lane is only partially blocked, which means I still have to move left. But the car lane is not affected and in this case the auto drivers do not expect me to move left because they think I have room in the lane. When I move left, cars will try to pass me on the left at the same time, nor do they slow down meaning i may have to merge left into a lane with cars going 25mph or more when I am going a lot slower.
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Old 09-15-11, 08:50 AM
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the only issue is that a driver seeing a truck in the travel lane may rear-end it. I have seen this happen. We all know drivers should be more attentive than that, but they aren't

I think what the cops were getting at is that the cyclist having a road rage incident trumps illegal parking. It's one thing when someone just uses a bike lane as a parking spot, it's a totally different situation when a delivery person uses it temporarily.
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Old 09-15-11, 09:00 AM
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Right or wrong delivery trucks seem to be able to pull up and stop ant damned place they want to. No matter who they are blocking the police turn a blind eye. Slap the letters UPS on your truck, and you can park anywhere. In the case cited, the cyclist is just peeing into the wind.
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Old 09-15-11, 09:54 AM
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Seems like a worthless rant to me, the delivery truck will move on soon and the bike lane will be free. Another black eye for cyclists in general.
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Old 09-15-11, 09:55 AM
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Originally Posted by CB HI View Post
Ask yourself if it is OK/legal to double park in a travel lane. If not, then why would it be OK to park in the bike lane?
What does this situation have to do with double parking? Where's the car he's supposedly parking next to? (That is what double parking is, after all. It requires at least two vehicles.)

The question is, can he park in the bike lane -- and that would depend on the state and local laws. I don't know the laws there, but here in Austin, TX, parking in bike lanes by anybody is legal by default, but the city can of course put up "no parking" signs if they want. (In general the local neighborhoods fight them big time on the signs, but it does happen in some cases.)

And even if it is illegal ... silly cyclist. Temporary minor parking issues aren't worth calling the police over.
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Old 09-15-11, 09:59 AM
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According to the CA DMV handbook: "You may park in a bicycle lane if your vehicle does not block a bicyclist and/or there is not a "No Parking" sign posted."

I suppose the truck driver could argue that there were no cyclists around when he parked. Otherwise it seems like he is in the wrong.
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Old 09-15-11, 10:03 AM
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Delivery people have a job to do that must be as quick and efficient as possible. This means that they park where they can to minimize the time spent at one place. So this means that they are parked in a bike lane for a few minutes. Just treat them like any of the many other hazards that gravitate to BLs and go around when it's safe. What do you think they could do to mitigate this issue? How 'bout UPS issuing a statement to all of their customers that they will not deliver to anyone not having off-street parking for their trucks!

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Old 09-15-11, 10:24 AM
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In my experience UPS trucks are effectively exempt from all parking regulations. <G>
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Old 09-15-11, 11:25 AM
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Originally Posted by CbadRider View Post
According to the CA DMV handbook: "You may park in a bicycle lane if your vehicle does not block a bicyclist and/or there is not a "No Parking" sign posted."

I suppose the truck driver could argue that there were no cyclists around when he parked. Otherwise it seems like he is in the wrong.
Or he could argue that he was stopped and not parked.
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