The Shredded Schrader

February 27, 2010

Bicycle lanes are not for parking, mam.

Filed under: Journalism,Misadventures,Parasites,Vigilantism — Danimal @ 3:03 pm

There is this awful stretch in front of Alewife where motorists rejoice in abusing the bicycle lane. I have gotten into arguments with motorists over this before. Some times the exchange is openly verbal as I wheel up to their open window to have a chat with them about safety, and some… slightly more obscure. My most recent experience leans towards the latter. The crime deserved something special.

I was heading home from work driving Nostrildamus, The Slothful (an abandoned bicycle from the 80s that I recently liberated and restored), when the motorsite in front of me came to a sudden stop in the bike lane, threw on her hazards, and ran into the daycare, pausing momentarily to glance around guiltily. I may have been seen, but I didn’t care.

If this was an emergency, if she was seeking help for problems with her auto-mobile (they are especially susceptible to these) she did the right thing by pulling over in the manner she did. In emergencies, it is entirely acceptable to pull to the side of the foremost right lane. The bike lane is a lane like any other, except with certain restrictions vetoed in certain situations such as these. However, this incident didn’t wasn’t in that sort of situation. As I would soon observe, she was just going into the building to retrieve her snot-nosed kid.

After figuring out what she was up to, I pulled to the side of the road and rummaged through my backpack for pencil and paper. Soon after producing them I had written an informative, albeit potentially hopefully disturbing note. It read as follows…

Bicycle lanes are for bicycles, not for parking.

You endanger the safety of cyclists.

You have been reported.

I slipped it under her wind-shield wiper and hid behind a pole, awaiting her return. After all, I could not categorize this post as Journalism if I bailed before I had the whole story! Even if I was the one making the news…..

After a considerable stretch of time she returned to the car with her kid. On her way to her side of the care she froze as her eyes met the note. As she picked it up I declared victory and road away in search of another adventure. (As a side note, I found it. I can’t write about it here, so ask me in person).

What sort of example is that for your kid? Jeez.

I wrote down her license plate number for my personal records. I struggled with myself a great deal over whether or not I should share it. At last I decided against it, choosing instead to file it away in a database somewhere. I will keep an eye out for her to see if she becomes a repeat offender. Picking up her kid from daycare is probably a regular event. Next week I will see if her antics are also a regular event.

Solidarity my fellow cyclists! Bike on.
~ Danimal ~

PS.
For the sake of your amusement I should note that the notice was printed on the back of a recycled article on the environmental sustainability of beer production. Coincidentally, my environmentalism has also been satisfied. Hail Eris!

One response to “Bicycle lanes are not for parking, mam.”

  1. mtalinm says:

    is it worth reporting people who double-park in the bike lane? I could make a long list if so.

    whenever I see a cab or UPS truck or regular car doing what you saw, I have to restrain myself to keep from spitting on the car.

    classy of you to leave a note…

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