Some of you likely noticed that mybikelane.com has shut down*, stating "This has always been a side project, and unfortunately I do not have time to properly maintain the site or the service." There's a TCL thread about it here.
But I still regularly hear need for such functionality. People are muddling through using Facebook or Twitter or Tumblr. But I could easily render it with massup.us** so I want to explore the issue.
This is probably contentious, so let's stay focused:
* You can still see what MyBikeLane.com looked like in the internet archives here.
** MassUp.us can automatically post emailed photos with geolocation. It'd work exactly like the abandoned bikes reporting here: http://massup.us/llbb/c
If it's legal and not already well done, I'd add an address like firstname.lastname@example.org - just need a better name, and to be sure it's not a terrible idea.
And CONGRATS JULIE!!!!!!
I guess the underlying plan would be to...stop people from driving/parking in the bike lane? Your idea would be something nice to see on a wish list for someone like Active Trans, League of Illinois Bicyclists to come up with though.
My understanding is that it's absolutely legal to take pictures of anyone on a public street. Google blurs out license plates and faces to protect peoples' privacy and reduce complaints. You could certainly irk some people but I'm not convinced they'd have a case as you aren't revealing anything that anyone on the street couldn't see anyway. I am not a lawyer :P though I'd say you'd have to be diligent about requested takedowns.
I don't know what stopping to take a picture of someone parked or stopped in a bike lane will accomplish, though I'm all for shaming bad drivers and cyclists alike. That said: this happens to me on my ride every day. I just slow down and go around. If I got upset about every little idiotic thing that happened to me because of negligent or oblivious drivers I'd spend half of my commute cursing and screaming. The road is only so big and there are only so many places for people to go, and only so much time to do it in.
It's not worth being constantly frustrated about. Then again - I'm of a calmer variety, so I might be wrong.
Great stuff! (PS. I love bike cops.)
I'd say the legality question is settled.
Diligence about take down requests sounds like a lot of work, and ineffective due to archives and caches. ChicagoFunNews.com's many thousands of photos have only generated a few such requests ever, but MyBikeLane.com was world-wide.
Frankly, my top interest in the subject is a fondness of bicyclist relevant crowdsourced geodatasets. Personally, I've only had a few incidents ever where it would have even been possible. Most utility I'd expected was mining by insurers, and could identify worst hotspots.
I assumed a broader set than bikelaneparkers, but am now thinking anything worse (potholes, accidents) is 311/911 territory. Just gotta await their automation.
I'm still thinking Twitter's a best bet. Advocates could reference it there. It does require login, but 'cmon, it's Twitter. MassUp.us could feed from there if we ever really wanted plots and such. Just needs a memorable hash tag or user.