Great New Website: Get Outta MyBikeLane

Check out my favorite new web site, MyBikeLane, by Greg Whalin.

It’s a simple idea. If you see a motor vehicle parked in a bike lane, snap a photo of it with your digital camera or camera phone. Upload the photo to MyBikeLane. The web site publishes the photo of the offending bike lane blocker and keeps a running tally of license plate numbers and locations throughout the city where lanes are being blocked. The site currently has members in four other cities in addition to New York (They have bike lanes in Fort Lauderdale? Who knew?!).

The site is just getting going and is a little bit rough around the edges yet it has already managed to identify an egregious repeat offender. New York City’s number one bike lane blocker is a Fed Ex truck operating along Lafayette Street. It has been snared by MyBikeLane three times already.

The site also allows you to write a comment along with your photographic submission and its members seem to be eager to engage and "badger" motorists who are found blocking bike lanes. Here’s one savvy comment:

This guy pulled in in his van about a block ahead of my last set of pictures.
The entire other side of the street was empty (for street cleaners). I asked him why he was parking there and told him that it was illegal. He told me
"I’ll take the ticket." I badgered him for a bit until he finally agreed to move
across the street.

People fear parking on an empty curb for fear of a ticket from the street
cleaning crew, but have no fear of parking in the bike lane.
I think that is
because they know NYPD will not bother with them there.

I don’t expect that MyBikeLane will be getting any members signing up from Copenhagen, Denmark, where I was attending a conference last week. In that city, for the most part, it is physically impossible and culturally unacceptable to park in the middle of bike lanes. Let’s hope DOT officials are looking at bike lane designs like the ones used in Copenhagen as they build out the bike network over the next three years.

  • Just so y’all know, Shield has had a flickr group called “Cars in Bike Lanes” for a while. Same basic premise. Maybe they can combine forces for the greater good.

  • hey thats my photo! i love greg’s site because it catalogs the offenders by license plate # and by location

    i can’t even count how many times i see poople parked in a bike lane when there is an empty place on the other side of the road – clearly they are scared of getting a ticket for standing in a no standing zone… but isn’t a bike lane a no standing zone? where are the cops on this one…i saw two delivery cans parked on the sidewalk in brooklyn (henry st.) on friday

    on the sidewalk!

  • naomi

    I emailed Fed Ex a complaint with all the info about the trucks on the MyBikeLane site. About a week after my complaint, they phoned me to follow up.

    For others who want to complain, the number that showed up on my phone is 404-325-2479. They want license plate number, date, approx. time and intersection. Supposedly the manager for that district will be notified of the problem with that truck, but it’s anybody’s guess if that’ll translate into changed behavior.

    If that isn’t an actual number, you can also email https://www.fedex.com/cgi-bin/qrf2.cgi?link=4&first=y&formpage=general
    Or call 1-800-Go FedEx.

  • I actually see this as more the city’s problem than FedEx’s. Trucks need to make deliveries in NYC. Lots of them. Delivery trucks should have priority over curbside street space ahead of private motor vehicles. More curbside space should be set aside in business areas for delivery trucks. One of the reasons why FedEx is sitting on top of the bike lane is because it has no other place to park and do deliveries during the day. This is because the city isn’t managing and valuing curbside street space properly. We’re just giving this space away at rates far below market and letting people store their private motor vehicles there.

  • anon

    I love the site too. But until the culture changes some lines on the road don’t mean a thing. I think some people park there intentionally because it’s for bikes, with their thinking that bikes are for idiots so it doesnt matter, what’s the harm. They don’t even know they are being rude.

  • That site is a great idea. The sad thing is, there places to street-park in Manhattan, if you know where to look. Taking up space in a bike lane isn’t just rude, it’s plain lazy.

  • paola

    Maybe if Fed Ex and other businesses get enough complaints, they will get together and lobby to get the City to allocate curb space to them instead of to private vehicles. I’m sure at least Fed Ex and Fresh Direct and, god knows, Snapple, have a little more pull than the cycling community.

    It IS the City’s problem, but they won’t see it as such until businesses complain.

  • j

    The other day I was rding home on the 10th Street bike path here in Manhattan. I rode across 1rst Ave and continued down 10th when this car drives into the bike path squeezing me between it and the parked cars on the side of the street. So I screemed at the driver that your driving in the bike lane and I continue. The car then drives parallel to me and there sat two undercover police officers. They ask me If I had a problem and then threatened that they’d break my neck. If only these kind of event could be documented for the record on put on a website. I think it be quite telling what the average cyclist has to contend with especially considering my respectful, law abiding, clean cut demeanor.

  • Joe,These questions appear to be not dissimilar from your line on your Legacy incident. ,

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