Monday, December 14, 2009

Setting an Example

Posted By on 12.14.09 at 03:54 PM

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My Bike Lane Chicago, a site dedicated to documenting cars illegally parked in Chicago bike lanes, yesterday posted this image of a police car parked in a bike lane in Evanston—for 20 minutes, apparently, while the police officer stopped in at 7-Eleven.

Washington City Paper last week noted a similar situation, where a parking enforcement vehicle was blocking a bike lane, and there are a couple more examples in the comments section of that post. Having to go around a stopped car might not seem like a big deal, but it forces cyclists to either stop and wait until there's no oncoming traffic or merge into traffic and risk pissing off drivers who don't want to have to slow down for five seconds until the cyclist can get back in the bike lane. I don't know if it's actually illegal for police officers to block the bike lane while on duty, but unless there's an emergency it seems like it should be avoided. (Better yet, they could take things a step further and start ticketing all the taxis that use the bike lane as a passenger loading zone.)

It happens in Toronto too—but at least there the police are willing to admit they're wrong when caught out. I wonder what the odds are of that happening here.

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