Share your pics, videos, streets, stories of what you find in the bike lane of the non-bike variety that has an impact on your ride and/or your safety. I've decided to keep it a little more open ended - cars, snow, buses, garbage, cabs, etc. If they shouldn't be in the bike lane, go ahead and add it to this thread. Please be safe if you are taking pics or video! :-)
My hope is that we can collectively build some evidence of what we see when riding in the city with the overall hope of better enforcement of "bikes only" and improving maintenance.
Update: More Hashtags to Capture Vehicles in the Bike Lane
With popular hashtags:
#LaneSpreading (Chicago Bike Selling)
#ClearTheWay (ActiveTrans), there are many options to capture violations.
We think you should use ALL of them AND post your photos on The Chainlink. ;-)
i believe you nailed it, Dug. This in an exercise in futility, and i'm of the opinion it's a waste of bandwidth. The city doesn't care.
And here's some more evidence for that point of view. Today at about 5:40, on my way to Union Station, I passed the Police Training Center on Jackson and saw not one, but two squad cars parked in the bike lane.
It also perpetuates the perception of cyclists as whiners and cry-babies who want to own, not share, the road.
I wish people put this much effort into real bike advocacy or positive participation in the cycling community.
No problem sharing the 99.9% of the roads that are not bike lanes.
I do have a problem with the handful of motorists that decide that they need 100% of the asphalt. Letting these nitwits off gives the impression that cyclists don't really give a sh*t about our infrastructure, or our safety.
The infrastructure is what reinforces the concept that we don't belong on the 99% of the roads without bike lanes...
I understand what you're saying there, DUG, but there's also something to consider: the cry-babies in motor vehicles who want cyclists out of their way. Anybody who's ever been yelled at to stay in the bike lane (especially when it's physically impossible to be in the bike lane because something is blocking it) knows that to be all too true.
Somebody did just that to me.
Passed me with inches in a construction zone and yelled at me.
I discussed traffic laws with them at the light; they were not receptive and had a terrible evening because of that.
Since you obviously don't consider advocating for improved safety as "real" bike advocacy, what do you consider "real" advocacy?
I've written my alderman several times. I've spoken with numerous police officers. I've attended the Mayor's Bicycle Council and given them my thoughts. I've spoken with the head of the Chicago Finance Department. "Bike" lanes is a misnomer if it isn't reserved for cyclists. The law is very clear on this point. I don't see the point of spending money on "bike" lanes if they're just another piece of pavement that can be used by delivery trucks, taxis, Ubers, post office vehicles, police vehicles, municipal vehicles, landscaping vehicles, etc. whenever they feel it's inconvenient to find a legal spot to park. If you look at the photos carefully, you'll often see legal parking just feet away.
Argonne, what you are doing is absolutely advocacy. I'm thankful for your efforts.
You can take it from someone who was riding in Chicago long before we had any bike lanes that even the thermoplastic and green paint has made a lot of difference. It sends a crystal clear, high visibility message to drivers (and people on the fence about cycling) that bicyclists officially are welcome users of the roadways.
So to that end, you are correct, when these highly-visible bike lanes are not respected as such, it sends the opposite message. Hence the need for all of us to help out and call attention to the problem.
To the people questioning how effective this is, I would say two things. One, you have subscribed to a discussion called "what's this doing in the bike lane?" It's not a rhetorical question IMO.
Second, with less effort than is currently being spent complaining about Argonne's vigilance, one can submit a FOIA requesting complaints and enforcement of the ordinance. I would imagine this is a CPD issue:
But here's a link to CDOT's FOIA portal as well:
The relevant wisdom here is "don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good."
The number of drivers who attempt to kill me is pretty much the same now as it was then; there's just a special, clearly marked, lane for them to do it in.
Not much of a improvement IMHO
On the Jackson Blvd bike lane, the lane has been moved closer to the curb as it passes over the expressway. Cars can't seem to recognize that they're parking in the lane.
I consider actions that encourage people to put butts on saddles and bikes in traffic advocacy.
You complain and make trasportive cycling sound more dangerous than it is.