The Boston area is working hard to add bike lanes wherever they can. As a biker, in principle, I like the idea.

But as I’ve watched a busy stretch of road convert from no bike lanes to bike lanes, here’s what I’ve noticed most: more people park illegally. Somehow the bike lane operates as a permission to “temporarily” park at the side of the road. This morning, for example, I had to weave around 5 different illegally (but “temporarily”) parked cars; before the bike lanes were added, I literally never encountered a similarly parked car.

Weaving doesn’t sound terrible, except I worry that drivers are less attentive when there’s a bike lane than when there isn’t one. There’s a subconscious sense of “that’s your space, and here is mine” that I fear makes them less attentive. 

Of course, this doesn’t mean cities shouldn’t install bike lanes. But they also need to adjust the rules about temporary parking. And schmucks need to learn that walking an extra half block to get your double tall carmel latte won’t kill you. Indeed, and as an extra bonus, it would make it even less likely to kill me (or a bigger concern, my kids).

  1. d-r-o-f reblogged this from lessig
  2. nondeclination reblogged this from lessig
  3. realmaco reblogged this from lessig and added:
    Bike lanes should be physically separated from other lanes. There should be a curb there (hell, with bollards!)...
  4. idealog reblogged this from lessig
  5. nic-aragua reblogged this from lessig
  6. tekym said: JWZ on the topic:…
  7. astudyinmovement said: Cities should install physical dividers on bike lines where this behaviour is particularly problematic.
  8. cincodenada said: It’s not often used, but here in Portland, OR you can write citizen citations for such things - document well and show up to court. Perhaps that would be a good tool here.
  9. mcchris reblogged this from lessig and added:
    Yes, weaving between parked cars is very dangerous because overtaking motorists don’t expect bikes to pop out from the...
  10. jonprins reblogged this from lessig
  11. fedelowe reblogged this from lessig
  12. russwould reblogged this from stealingsailboats
  13. assholesinbikelanes reblogged this from lessig and added:
    h/t to Matt Lehrer
  14. za7ch reblogged this from lessig
  15. doneworseforless reblogged this from brianvan and added:
    I endorse all of this.
  16. brianvan reblogged this from lessig
  17. ninjatengu said: Growing pains, I hope. When Chicago started adding bike lanes, I saw this a couple of times, but I don’t see it as much anymore.
  18. mikescarduzio reblogged this from lessig
  19. squashed said: Of the city’s I’ve been in, Boston is unique in it’s acceptance of “temporary” parking. Elsewhere, you can use the blinkers so long as you are physically in or within arms-reach of the car. In Boston, you can wait in line for ice cream.
  20. chartier said: Living in Chicago I’ve seen similar problems, and I wonder if simple enforcement is an issue. It seems like the bike ecosystem isn’t taken seriously by citizens or law enforcement, so entrenched laziness like this gets a free pass.

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