Cops parked in bike lanes

The Cops in Bike Lanes tumblr is just what you'd expect: photos from around America of police cars illegally stopped in bike lanes, a practice that forces cyclists to abruptly and dangerously enter the stream of automotive traffic.

The photos are often annotated by their submitters; the commentary on the photo above notes that "There is clearly plenty of room for this van to parallel park and not obstruct the bike lane if the officer gave half a second’s thought to cyclists' safety."

Cops in Bike Lanes (via Making Light)

Notable Replies

  1. More like "To Obstruct and Make Swerve", amirite?

  2. Here in Oakland where I live there are no bike lanes, there are only auxiliary car loading/parking/waiting/stopping zones that look like bike lanes. Delivery drivers regularly choose to park in the single bike lane, as opposed to one of the multiple other through lanes running alongside it. More than half the time I see a car stopped in a bike lane there is an open parking spot less than 200 feet away. This is a symptom of the open animosity, disrespect, and hostility (intentional or not) the average driver has toward bicycles and bike infrastructure, regardless of the actions of the people riding said bikes.

    Blocking bike lanes may seem innocuous but it's stuff like this which turns ordinary people off to the idea of bicycling themselves, which means more cars in the street and less safety for everyone.

  3. No, that's just an easy excuse that people use so not to have to take responsibility for their own behavior. Everyone on the streets (people in cars, on bikes, and on foot) frequently break traffic laws, but it's easiest to just point at the cyclists as the "scofflaws" because they are in the minority and easy to point out as the "other" who doesn't belong, in part because our infrastructure does the least to accommodate them as a group. Many non-cyclists I talk to notice the infractions made by people on bikes while simultaneously ignoring those made just as frequently by other road users, regardless of the actual impact of said infractions. It's called confirmation bias.

    Putting a person on a bike doesn't change that person, so if there is a significant amount of rule breaking among unrelated individuals traveling by bike then that should lead us to believe the behavior is in reaction to the environment. This theory is also confirmed by the fact that cities with better bicycle facilities also see more compliance among bicyclists. Creating risky facilities for bicyclists also weeds out those potential riders who are more risk-averse, which creates a self-selecting environment for a more aggressive ridership.

  4. No, just because I admit that there is a significant amount of rule breaking among cyclists that could be mitigated through improved infrastructure doesn't mean that the same thing shouldn't also apply to drivers. Common driver infractions like speeding, unsafe/illegal turns, and yes even blocking bike lanes could all be lessened via design changes.

    When it comes to changing attitudes, however, the most signicant thing we can do is to get more people to have an experience riding a bike for transportation, even if they don't do so regularly. This way they have a common experience with people on bikes they encounter while driving, are less likely to see them as an "other", and then become more rational and understanding about the actions of individuals without applying them to people in bikes as a "class". This is what makes public bike share systems like New York's CitiBike so powerful in terms of facilitating a culture shift.

  5. But this really has almost nothing to do with cyclists. Rather it is just another example of cops being assholes and breaking a law or rule just because they can get away with it.

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