The Chainlink

If you ride in Rogers Park beware as you go down Morse West bound on the North side of the street. As you approach the el tracks the last restaurant is Main Stage Act One. Their valet sign obstructs the entire bike lane. I stopped last night twice and tried to have a reasonable rational discussion with the representative from VIP Valet but basically got a big go F$@K yourself from him. So on the second stop I went straight to the manager who agreed to move it for last night but stated "Look we're going to block the bike lane period we want our customers to see the sign" now mind you the entire parking lane along the front of the establishment is empty and could accommodate the sign and be visible but neither Mike the Manager nor the VIP rep thought that was good enough but last night was OK because of weather conditions for cyclist. Just a warning folks I have a reasonable doubt that this obstruction will be going away any time soon.

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Working through the alderman has helped in situations like these.

David, if you want to give the alderman's office a call, and post the info here about who you talked to and what they said, I'd be willing to make a follow-up call and maybe a few others would too.

Other approaches have included slamming their yelp or facebook page, but I think that has an equal chance of villifying them.

 

The alderman joe moore is a cyclist himself. He led a ride last month around the ward.

I live in the neighborhood. I can give them hell every time I'm on the way by there. Sounds like fun.

That's really sad though. I've seen a couple good shows there. 

Good point about Joe Moore. 

Sounds counterproductive.  I recommend talking with Joe Moore's office.

Jera Sue said:

I live in the neighborhood. I can give them hell every time I'm on the way by there. Sounds like fun.

I nearly got into a scuffle on Milwaukee Ave many years ago as a result of removing a valet parking sign from the bike lane myself. I asked them to move it politely a few times but nothing happened. So I dragged the sign to an alley with the intention of disposing of it. I was chased and threatened and the sign went back with the parker who followed me, but I never saw that sign in the bike lane again after that incident.

The call to the aldermans office sounds the most productive. Another route would be to call daily when the sign appears in the bike lane to the precinct desk at the police station. A gentle mention that the bikes are forced into auto traffic lanes and there is a chance that an officer will be needed to fill out injury or fatality reports due to the lane being blocked might get the police to start stopping by and reminding the restaurant the bike lane is not to be blocked.

Remember be polite to anyone that may help and the response will be faster and stronger than if ya get rude to the assistance...however if there is a Chevy Chase in the 'hood a good crash and fall into the sign might get response from a threat of litigation situation.

Jeff

The Chicagoan

I agree with you on all counts.

Jeff Markus said:

The call to the aldermans office sounds the most productive. Another route would be to call daily when the sign appears in the bike lane to the precinct desk at the police station. A gentle mention that the bikes are forced into auto traffic lanes and there is a chance that an officer will be needed to fill out injury or fatality reports due to the lane being blocked might get the police to start stopping by and reminding the restaurant the bike lane is not to be blocked.

Remember be polite to anyone that may help and the response will be faster and stronger than if ya get rude to the assistance...however if there is a Chevy Chase in the 'hood a good crash and fall into the sign might get response from a threat of litigation situation.

Jeff

The Chicagoan

I had a similar experience such as this with a restaurant on Halsted.  There was no use talking to the valet, which I attempted.  I came home and called the restaurant and asked to speak to the manager, who also happened to be the owner.  He listened to my story and agreed it was dangerous and a liability and it would be taken care of immediately.  I never saw the obstruction in the bike lane again and that was about 4 months ago.  I believe framing the situation as a potential danger and liability to the owner was the success to removing the impediment.  You have to find a way to motivate those in power to act out of their own self interest.  Perhaps you should attempt to go higher then the manager and figure out who the owner of the establishment is.  Other then that I would recommend photographing the blockage and taking the evidence to the alderman as others have suggested.

Sent to info@maynestage.com on 9/4/2011

The accounts of your club being a danger to the bicycling community have been flooding the internet. Several cycling oriented sites have seen accounts of your valet service being beligerent to riders as they are forced to manuever INTO AUTO TRAFFIC to get by your illegally placed valet parking sign blocking the bike lane. This and reports that the manager, Mike, said he will continue to allow the valet contractor to break the law show that your club has decided it is above the law.
When any group, company or organization decides it is no longer bound by the covenents the government and society have established it relinquishes the opportunity to have community support and to make money from the community.
There is no reason why the neighborhood or its residents should support an organization that flaunts the abhorant violation of safety and traffic rules. If you cannot find a way to follow the law the internet traffic stirred will be a bit of a dampening factor to your business and mean the community will be attentive to other 'problems' a night club can cause to a basically residential area.
All these factors can cause headaches and legal difficulties for you, all because you would not ask a contractor to abide by the laws established to keep people from being killed and maimed in traffic...
Somehow the simple answer would be to just do the right thing, follow the law, abide by the painted signage on the street and then everybody is safer and happier. No cost, no fuss and no overtime.
This is being forwarded to the cycling oriented web sites and advocacy organizations across the city so many will be waiting to see how this works out. Hopefully we can all talk about this in the future as a fine example of an easy solution to a basic misunderstanding, rather than a grievous misunderstanding between conflicting groups in an urban environment.

Jeff

The Chicagoan

Still going with calling the Alderman's office as being the best plan of action here. 

 

By the way, how much do you weigh?  Would you consider yourself light and breakable?  Someone else might.


Daniel G said:

I know that they have big problems with this in New York, though mainly with restaurants using valet signs to hijack parking spaces that are clearly not theirs. That's different though. This is extraordinarily obnoxious, disrespectful, and kind of dangerous. If they won't budge, kick the damned thing over if it's still up next time you ride by. If something's going to be in my bike lane, it had better not be light and breakable.

It's not just a liability but something they can do jail time for. How would that look for the business? Call 311 and tell them there's an obstruction. When they don't respond call your alderman, ask how many times you need to report an incident before the police do anything. BTW, adding that this carries a fine means the city is losing revenue.

 

You can also mail the code to the business with a note asking that they move the sign. Remember that calling a business during their busy time may not get you the most attention.

Joe

 

 

Obstruction of or interference with traffic

     Any person who shall wilfully and unnecessarily hinder, obstruct or delay or who shall wilfully and unnecessarily attempt to hinder, obstruct or delay any other person in lawfully driving or travelling along or upon any street or who shall offer to barter or sell any merchandise or service on the street so as to interfere with the effective movement of traffic or who shall repeatedly cause motor vehicles travelling on public thoroughfares to stop or impede the flow of traffic shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction thereof shall be fined not more than $200.00 or imprisoned for not more than ten days, or both, for the first offense, fined not more than $500.00 or imprisoned for not more than 20 days, or both, for the second offense, and fined not more than 30 days, or both, for each such subsequent offense. Violations of this section shall be prosecuted in accordance with the procedures set forth in Section 1-2-1.1 of the Illinois Municipal Code, as amended, and the provisions of the Illinois Code of Criminal Procedure, as amended.

 

First, go to the ward office, after that i'd give them a week to mend their ways.

 

If all else fails, i'd mount a raid with a few friends and toss that sign off the Pratt pier.

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