Eyes on the Street: Taking the Lane


From a Streetsblog tipster comes this shot of five of the city’s 142,000 placard-bearing vehicles parked in the bike lane on Lafayette Street between Franklin and White.

What was especially damning is that in the real parking spaces, to the left of these double-parkers, there were about three vacant legitimate spots.

  • Larry Littlefield

    If you park in a legitimate spot, you get parked in.

  • ddartley

    My opinion about Class II lanes has always been something like this:

    “We needed some extra parking or double parking around here. Our prayers were answered when we heard they were putting in a bike lane!”

  • The culture of entitlement is out of control.

    On the other side of the courthouses, on Centre Street, the right traffic lane is always completely full of double-parked cars during the day.

  • Mike W.

    The bike lane on Adams Street in Brooklyn is no different. If enforcement is not stepped up, the DOT might as well take the lanes off of the bike map or have a new color line for “maybe a bike lane” so that it is more accurate.

  • Brandon

    This makes me really angry, who do they think they are? I hate those cards and I think 100% of them should be revoked! When I see photos like this I wish someone would develop those stickers they had in Italy (I think) saying something like, “I want where ever I please.” with a donkey. A STICKER that will be hard to get off, not just a peel off decal.

  • Paul

    If you park like this you driving privileges should be revoked forever. How about I just leave my old appliances and furniture in the middle of the street.

  • I’ve said it before: parking in a bike lane should result in an complete revocation of your license.

  • ddartley

    Or, sean and Paul, how about we design bike lanes differently, or do something else?

    Of course those parkers are wrong to park there, but since the people charged with enforcing those rules are a division of the police, I think we’re crazy to even hope for the parkers’ behavior to change.

    I no longer completely oppose the use of Class II lanes, but only because I now see them as necessary cannon fodder in a long cultural fight that will eventually end up in streets that don’t even need bike lanes: fewer cars, and slower speed limits.

    I think the solution is to fix the streets and bike lanes, not to “fix” these scofflaws.

  • Jacob

    Ddartley, you are on the money. Put the bike lane next to the curb. Make it narrow enough that cars can’t park or drive in it. Then, allow curbside parking on the other side of the bike lane to keep cars out. The 9th Avenue cycletrack is too wide, and is not self-enforcing. Double parked cars will then block other car traffic and cyclist will have a clear right-of-way. Doing this will relieve a lot of pressure on cyclists and make cycling much safer and easier.

  • Doored Me

    @Jacob, that sounds like a fine idea:
    1) As long as the bike lane is always to the right of the traffic (one-way streets included). Idiots will still fling their doors open without looking.
    2) Do you believe cars won’t park into the lane? Or that cabs won’t pull up to the corner and block the lane?
    3) Trash. Now the stores have more space to dump their crap.

  • Geck

    Enforcement is a big issue.

    Those with permits who park in bike lanes (cross walks in front of hydrants, etc.) should loose their permits. There should be a special enforcement unit for this purpose.

    Fundamentally, though Jacob is right about bike lane design with a curb or other divider separating the lane from the parked cars and enough clearance to avoid dooring. Plus we need an advertising campaign to enlighten the masses about looking before cross a bike lane and not standing in them at intersections waiting for the light to change. A critical mass of bikers using such lanes would help too.


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