Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Bicycle Videographer Documents 61 Cars Parked In Bike Lanes

This shaky and time compressed YouTube video was sent to me this morning and shows a lot of cars are parked in the bike lanes on this trip from West Philadelphia to Headhouse Square.

It's likely that this video was taken on a Saturday or Sunday and as many of you know house of worship attendees with a placard placed in the windshield are allowed to park on Spruce and Pine during services. There is a later shot of a person unloading their car, which is also admissible.

However the video also spots a half dozen or so cars parked in the 22nd St bike lane as well as the usual stray cars parked in the Spruce and Pine bike lanes for no apparent reason. In West Philadelphia the most interesting feature is that the bike lanes on the streets appear faded. At the 1:03 mark a plastic barricade is blocking the entire eastbound Spruce/South St bike lane just across from Franklin Field.

How was the cyclist behaving? Scrutinizing the video the cyclist appears to be obeying the signals although at 1:59 the he or she seems to leave ahead of the green along with 4 pedestrians on Pine St. Woodland walk is also used, it is one of the walks on the UPenn Campus that allows bicycles at all times and avoids the chaotic 38th and Spruce intersection.

The Bicycle Coalition is currently researching City and State traffic laws that prohibit parking in bike lanes. While there are no specific bike lane violations on the books, current traffic laws which prohibit parking in certain areas may allow Police or Parking Authority personnel to ticket cars parked in bike lanes. We are also looking towards other cities to see how the bike lane blockage problem is dealt with.


Anonymous said...

A bicyclist behaving like a bicyclist and not a motorist? An outrage!

Andrew J. Besold said...

The description on the YouTube says, "West Philadelphia to the Headhouse Square Farmer's Market via bicycle around 12:30PM on Sunday, 14 November 2010. 61 cars are parked in the bicycle lanes on Pine and 22nd Streets."

While we are talking illegal parking, why the heck doesn't the Parking Authority start ticketing and towing cars that I constantly see parked:
In crosswalks,
Directly in front of stop signs,
On sidewalks,
On street corners, sometimes at an angle on the corner apex.

All of the above cause a direct public safety issue as with parking in the bike lane.

Car Free in Philly said...

Re: the faded lanes in West Philly, I have been trying to get the Streets Dept to paint the bike lanes on the Spring Garden St bridge (westbound where it crosses over the turnlane onto 76) and 44th St between Market and Walnut for about one year. I've submitted multiple requests through 311. Nothing has changed and motorists continue to not see/ignore these lanes. It's a major safety hazard, particularly on the bridge.

caduceus said...

YES! Please, we need a mechanism for feedback about specific spots that actually gets attended to. I have likewise written letters to the city and filled out every form I can think of about the extremely dangerous lane markings on 38th st northbound at the intersection with Market st. Someone repainted those lines to (incorrectly) swerve to the right, and directly in to the bike lane on the north side of the intersection.

Frey said...

I snapped a picture of this parking job the other day, while riding at about 36th and Walnut, near the Penn Campus. The Brinks truck find a new way to disrespect the bike lane.


Fritz said...

What are (legal) actions that can be taken against this? What would you recommend? Pamphletting the cars with "Don't park in bike lanes" material?

Can you be ticketed after the fact? I'd like to take pictures of the cars in the lanes, submit it to PPA and leave a pamphlet on the windshield explaining but without PPA taking any action it seems a tad hollow.

Unknown said...

sarcasm noted. count me among those that think it actually is an outrage.

Anonymous said...

This problem has been going on for at least a year and the Coalition has only become aware of this now??!! Good luck taking any action, the police will tell you the same thing they told me. They have better things to do and the bike lanes can be used as loading zones. Clearly all of those cars were loading and unloading.

Kelly said...

This isn't anything new, however what I witnessed yesterday was- someone driving down the buffered bike lane on Spruce, as if it was still a car lane, around 7pm, from 17th to 22nd St (unsure how long they had been doing it, that is where I turned into the lane). I made sure to ask her when I caught up if she was aware she was driving in the bike lane. She said it was dark out and she saw us biking but supposedly had no clue it was a bike lane. Clearly there needs to be more public education on the lanes. Parked cars in the lanes are a pain, yes, but moving cars are worse.

Athan Chiz said...

there is a precedent for this type of issue. a blogger i follow was victorious in revoking the church's privilege to hand out parking passes. there were definite fines for bike lane parking in his case. i'm researching philadelphia's fine structure - it would come as a shock if our fine city missed a single opportunity to make some money off parking tickets.

the link to his article is below:
Ink Lake:Victory

as an atheist and a biker, i am doubly bothered by this lapse in city diligence. hopefully it can get resolved for everyone's safety and equal treatment.

Unknown said...

how was the cyclist behaving? poorly. to me it seems like they failed to stop at any of the red lights. just cruised on through against traffic like most of the cyclists i see every day...

how can you be righteous about cars in the bike lane when you aren't following traffic laws yourself?!?

Unknown said...

Is it legal to park cars in any travel lane? If not, why can't they city treat cars parked in the bike lane the same as cars (double) parked in any other travel lane, with tickets or towing?

Personally, I would think parked cars would be bigger problem than cars moving at a reasonable speed.

With more bike lanes, I've notice far more harassment and profanity from drivers whenever I'm not in the right lane/bike lane due to parked SEPTA buses, parked trucks, cars with doors actually open, making turns, or use streets without bike lanes. If the driver wasn't trying to run the bicyclist out of the bike lane, I find blocked bike lanes a much bigger problem.


How were you viewing or paying attention to the material you posted about? Poorly, or not all all it seems. Yes, there were bicycles and yes there were cars but that's about all you may have actually understood.

There are just about as many drivers, cyclists and pedestrians all disregarding laws. That's life. The first 2 groups are both being affected by people taking up a lane to maybe attend services. This was the case before the cycling lanes were painted.

Also, none of the 3 groups were cruising against traffic and only self-righteousness on display here was posted at 9:37 AM on 11/18/2010.

Based on your comment, it may be in everyone's best interest for you to avoid walking, driving, typing and cycling.


Whoops. The self-righteousness occurred on 11/19/2010 8:18 AM, not 11/18/2010 9:37 AM.