The Shredded Schrader

March 9, 2010

Complaint filed with the MBTA

Filed under: Journalism,Vigilantism — Danimal @ 4:56 pm

The following was submitted via the MBTA’s support form.


At around 8:45am today (March 9), bus number 0199 came to an abrupt halt in the street, next to (but not in) the Dawes Island Park bus stop. The driver then negligently let the passengers off while parked in the street (again, outside the bus stop; in the middle of the lane). This caused the passengers to almost collide into several cyclists who were (legally) passing to the side of the bus as the law permits given a single lane and adequate room.

I have been assured that the MBTA cares about the safety of its passengers. I look forward to seeing this promise put into motion.

I sincerely thank you for your time. We have a mutual interest here and I am glad we can work together for it.

I hope to hear from you in regards to this incident,

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 ~

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!

February 5, 2010

How to report dangerous MBTA drivers

Filed under: Advocacy,Solidarity,Vigilantism — Danimal @ 5:26 pm

While not all MBTA drivers make a game of running red lights, even a single driver poses a risk to our lives and is something worth speaking up about.

Here’s the cool part;  the MBTA will listen.

If you see dangerous and/or illegal activity conducted by an MBTA driver and you would like such actions to end, follow these steps.

  1. Make note of the time, place, route, bus number, and incident
  2. Call (617) 222-3200 with the information at the ready
  3. Courteously provide the information they request
  4. When the time comes, ask for a response
  5. Share your experiences along with any email address or numbers you may obtain.

Create a blog and join the revolution!