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Cars in bike lane, stinkbombs, shoe polish

Old 12-05-08, 07:56 PM
  #26  
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Old 12-05-08, 08:23 PM
  #27  
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It's ok to do these things in our minds (and lord knows I do here in DC where the bike lanes often are more frequently used as an extra lane to double park), but I think our real efforts should be to appeal to the powers that be and see that cars are properly ticketed for such infractions. Personally, having to pay a parking ticket or fight it at the DMV is FAR more painful than anything I could think of inflicting.

We successfully lobbied our city council to address this very issue. Several years ago, the City Council passed a law that made it illegal for cars to park, stand, or drive in bike lanes. But they FAILED to associate a fine with such illegal actions, so the illustrious police in DC could do nothing about such offenders. Fast forward through several years and a few hundred angry emails from cyclists, and the City Council finally passed some legislation that attached a fine to this offense. I don't think it's in effect yet, but should be at the beginning of the year?? (if someone has more accurate info on this, please let me know).

Anyway, dream about the shoe polish or U-locks bashing windows, but DO take action through your elected officials.
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Old 12-05-08, 09:01 PM
  #28  
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I'd plant a gram of coke in his car, then call the police. My next call would be to his wife from his gay lover.
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Old 12-05-08, 09:33 PM
  #29  
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Even if the polish or soap comes off easily, you could still get charged with a crime like vandalism or disorderly conduct.

If you must express your displeasure, a note on the windshield or a fake ticket would probably be the best (and most informative) options. Alternatively, you could get some of those flexible magnets made up with some information printed on them. You could then toss the flexible informative magnet onto the hood of the offending vehicle as you pass by (but you run the risk of scratching the car with this method).

Whatever you do, please don't escalate the bad feelings many motorists have towards us. Educate the offenders as to WHY parking in the bike lane is so dangerous for us (politely and intelligently). My guess is that someone out there has already written the "please don't park here" brochure.
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Old 12-06-08, 04:55 AM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by riddei View Post
Whats a bike lane???
Any street I commute on.
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Old 12-06-08, 05:29 AM
  #31  
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My Dad rides bike lanes (some of them are obligatory here and some are not too bad). He sticks explicit icon decals to the right rear mirrors of cars while riding along. Its a quick action since a spit on them makes them stick to the mirror. Once the glue dries it takes some time to scrape them off but its possible without harm to the mirror.
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Old 12-06-08, 08:27 AM
  #32  
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WAtch out for #1:
Check traffic, pass the offender, and hold the high ground. Better to stay safe.
you are either part of the problem, or part of the solution.

plus... so I come back to my car and see a black stripe. I'm thinking it could be some middle school punks. The last thing I'd think is bikers.
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Old 12-06-08, 09:15 AM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by SSP View Post
Go to Target and purchase a small travel-sized container of shampoo...ideally, with a flip-top.

You can easily squirt a glob of the stuff onto a windshield to make a pretty obvious, but non-destructive statement.

FWIW, I've heard of folks who do this as a way of expressing displeasure with a-holes who intentionally take two parking places...not that I would ever admit to knowing anyone who's done that sort of thing.
Along the same lines, here's what a colleague of mine did when I was living in Japan:

He would arrive to work and consistently find his reserved, marked parking place occupied by another car (finding a parking space in urban Japan is insane). After about the third time this happened, he went to a nearby convenience store, bought a bottle of cooking oil, and poured a significant amount of it on the car's windshield. To make a long story short, the police were called by the car's owner, both people were questioned by the police, and the incident made the local paper!
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Old 12-06-08, 09:37 AM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by garysol1 View Post
What really bothers me is around here the landscapers are to lazy to back there trucks into the peoples driveways so the simply park them in the bike lanes with there mowers and tractors parked in the lanes right behind the trucks. These are pretty big trucks and trailers that you cant see around without going all the way out into the lane.......
I had a landscaper do just that every wed morning on a particular route. My solution: go around them while signaling the driver that he is number one. Juvenile? Yes. However, that is all the effort I can put into this annoyance.

Though I did once slap the side of a SUV parked in a bike lane a couple years ago. The driver was none too thrilled and we had a loud verbal exchange at an intersection. The end result involved the driver flipping out while I was laughing at his jiggling double chins. Yes, I am a jackazz.
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Old 12-06-08, 10:03 AM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by somnatash View Post
My Dad rides bike lanes (some of them are obligatory here and some are not too bad). He sticks explicit icon decals to the right rear mirrors of cars while riding along. Its a quick action since a spit on them makes them stick to the mirror. Once the glue dries it takes some time to scrape them off but its possible without harm to the mirror.
Thats great. My idea was to have cheap bumper stickers made that said something like "Don't park on bike lanes" and stick them on as you pass by.

but anything pro-bike would work too. Or not so pro bike.

what would you do if you found a "critical mass" bumper sticker on your rear windshield or bumber?
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Old 12-06-08, 10:15 AM
  #36  
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https://www.iparkedinabikelane.org/

Pretty simple solution.
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Old 12-06-08, 11:13 AM
  #37  
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Just light yourself up REAL well. Like 4 or 5 BRIGHT blinkies on your back and ride in the car lane. Make THEM go around you. It's what I do most of the time here in chicago. Especially in bad weather like today.
Sometimes you'll get honked at, but just keep crankin along.

Damaging someone's car (whether permanently or not) is a good way to get your ass beat, or worse.
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Old 12-06-08, 02:42 PM
  #38  
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Shoe polish, soap, etc., no matter how innocouos, is vandalism (and IMHO childish). Plus, the driver is probably not going to connect parking in the bike lane with the soap, so the intended impact will be lost.

You could pre-writeup some sticky notes that you would stick on the drivers window as you ride by.
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Old 12-06-08, 03:12 PM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by MadCapsule View Post
Is it worth the trouble of carrying around extraneous crap when you'll be past that car in a couple tenths of a second?
Originally Posted by I_bRAD View Post
I have an innovative way for dealing with the problem. I go around the car

You can do this by leaning to the left, and then leaning right again once past the car. Practice in a quiet area using pylons to perfect the maneuver.
+1 to each. It really isn't difficult.

Originally Posted by InfiniteRegress View Post
We successfully lobbied our city council to address this very issue. Several years ago, the City Council passed a law that made it illegal for cars to park, stand, or drive in bike lanes. But they FAILED to associate a fine with such illegal actions, so the illustrious police in DC could do nothing about such offenders. Fast forward through several years and a few hundred angry emails from cyclists, and the City Council finally passed some legislation that attached a fine to this offense. I don't think it's in effect yet, but should be at the beginning of the year?? (if someone has more accurate info on this, please let me know).
They/we did? Could've fooled me. I don't even think that they ticket people who double park without a bike lane to block (which happens more in my area on some days than people parking in a bike lane).
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Old 12-06-08, 03:41 PM
  #40  
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ride around it while hocking a mental loogie on the offending car.
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Old 12-06-08, 06:21 PM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by BarracksSi View Post
They/we did? Could've fooled me. I don't even think that they ticket people who double park without a bike lane to block (which happens more in my area on some days than people parking in a bike lane).
Yeah, I know. It's a big problem here. Here's an expert describing what went down in the City Council with regards to this issue (lifted from https://greatergreaterwashington.org/post.cgi?id=1244):

Council passes fine for blocking bike lane

Tommy Wells reintroduced his amendment to add another fine for blocking bike lanes, currently an illegal act but one with no fine. Before the recess, Wells tried to introduce the amendment, but some other Councilmembers wanted to first hear more research on the appropriate size of the fine.

Wells spoke with DDOT about the appropriate fine and compiled information on the level in other cities ($100 in San Francisco, $115 in Chicago and New York, $150 in Oregon). He settled on $65, just above the level of the double parking fine, but not so high as to create a financial burden or deter enforcement.

Drivers who blocked a bike lane while double parking would probably not receive two tickets, since according to Wells, most of the time MPD officers write only one ticket for the "primary infraction", but may (though usually do not) write both tickets. Since not all bike lanes parallel parking lanes, Wells pointed out, we need a fine for parking in the bike lane especially for those instances when the officer couldn't write a double parking ticket, but also to make clear that blocking a bike lane is more hazardous than just double parking in a vehicle lane.

Graham accepted the amendment as friendly and Phil Mendelson, who had raised some of the questions before, spoke up to praise the new amendment (and the bill itself). Mendelson specifically cited a recent case where a police officer killed a pedestrian on Wisconsin Avenue, but was not punished because the area had poor sight lines. As Mendelson pointed out, poor visibility is not an excuse for drivers to drive too quickly for conditions and hit pedestrians.

Carol Schwartz supported the bill but also took the opportunity to chide pedestrians and bicyclists who cross against lights.

The bill passed with no opposition on voice vote.


IMO, it is still sort of crappy and a lot of this will now come down to an enforcement issue. I have actually communicated with Chief Lanier and Asst Chief Diane Groomes about this issue directly and they have been exceedingly helpful at ensuring police clear blocked bike lanes. They seem to recognize that such enforcement has not been a priority (or even on the radar) of MPD officers. When we had such an issue and went to Lanier directly (after the District Commander failed to do anything about it) we had immediate success. There is a rumor that Lanier herself is a cyclist, though I don't know how true that is.

Anyway, it's still a problem, but improvements seem to be happening. I ride the bike lanes on R Streets, Q Street, and 7th St each day. Anecdotally, they are more frequently clear now than they were a year ago, which means that someone is doing something.
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Old 12-06-08, 07:02 PM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by InfiniteRegress View Post
I ride the bike lanes on R Streets, Q Street,....
Probably the worst thing about living on those streets is...

... you have to go more than a block to pee!


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Old 12-06-08, 07:37 PM
  #43  
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What would be ideal would be to get a forklift, pick the car up, and move it so that the CAR is parked in the CAR lane where it belongs. THEN I bet the cops would do something about it.

Maybe you could use dollies too. It's fun to dream about stuff like this, anyway.
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Old 12-07-08, 01:57 AM
  #44  
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Hopping off your bike to rub soap on the window, or to pull out paint and a brush, or even put a note on the window, is just going to slow you down even more, as well as make you really obvious and vulnerable should you piss off the owner of the car.
I don't recommend this at all.

Think about it, you already have bar ends, just lean over a bit and let em scrape the car as you ride by, don't even stop moving.
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Old 12-07-08, 02:05 AM
  #45  
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limpet mines.
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Old 12-07-08, 06:55 AM
  #46  
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This is great. Instead of educating someone on the implications of parking in the bike lane, some of us it seems are trying to make more biking enemies.
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Old 12-07-08, 07:42 AM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by mr jones View Post
How hard is it to write a short note on the computer and print off a bunch of copies...
just print them from this site:

https://youparklikean*******.com/

You may even Email the guy for bicycle specific tickets to point out the evildoer's infractions.

Each "parking ticket" refers the offender to the site where there are explanations about what they did wrong.

Ok...maybe it would be less inflammatory (and more educational) if the guy substituted something a litte more civil for the word a***h***.
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Old 12-07-08, 07:46 AM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by bdcheung View Post
I'm trying to think of non-property damaging ways to show our lack of appreciation for cars that block the bike lane. What are everyone's thoughts on either fabricating some sort of stinkbomb, or (my favorite) using shoe polish to paint a line down the car as you ride by?

I'm pretty sure shoe polish washes off easily right?
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Old 12-07-08, 07:59 AM
  #49  
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I carry copies of a 'citation' (I printed it on yellow paper)put out by a local bike group; the citation states the local law concerning parking in the bike lane. The last time I used one was on a large suv parked in the bike lane across from a popular local eatery. About a half mile down the road the motorist caught up with me and started yelling at me about not touching her car--she was just about foaming at the mouth because I placed a piece of paper under the windshield wiper. So be careful about doing anything to someone's car.
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Old 12-07-08, 08:09 AM
  #50  
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Originally Posted by Map tester View Post
I carry copies of a 'citation' (I printed it on yellow paper)put out by a local bike group; the citation states the local law concerning parking in the bike lane. The last time I used one was on a large suv parked in the bike lane across from a popular local eatery. About a half mile down the road the motorist caught up with me and started yelling at me about not touching her car--she was just about foaming at the mouth because I placed a piece of paper under the windshield wiper. So be careful about doing anything to someone's car.
I like that one... Civil and to the point, drawing attention to the correct statutes...not resorting to name calling.

I would hope that these would be less inflammatory....but pointing out a person's infractions has never gone down easy. Just ask any Policeman about encounters while ticketing. Some people just feel they are entitled and that the rules shouldn't apply to them.
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