When someone does something that you don’t approve of, how do you handle it? Do you say something to them, or just keep quiet? Do you prefer to lead by example, or correct through violence? Each situation carries its own proper reaction, and one can only determine what works best through experience. I’m speaking, of course, about people parking in bike lanes, and I’m here to tell you that it is illegal to keep a burlap sack of snakes on your person so that you may throw them at people who displease you.
That was a costly lesson.
As I’ve said before, it annoys me when I see a car in the bike lane, but I don’t know if I’m right to be annoyed or not. The matter requires further consideration, but in the absence of a cure, I’m left with the symptoms. Those being an annoyed feeling an an urge to say something snide to the driver should he or she present himself and I find myself without a handy serpent.
Now, let me say first that I think a lot of bike lane parking is just a byproduct of people being concerned with their own lives and not necessarily paying attention. I don’t think that they are maliciously hogging up the bike lane, they’re just, say, running into the pizza place to grab a slice. I use pizza place as an example because there is a particular pizza place at Edgewood and Boulevard that never seems to fail to have at least one car in the lane.
Perhaps that place just makes pizza so delicious that people about to eat there enter a trace state where the lines on the road mean absolutely nothing to them, although that doesn’t appear to be the story told by their Yelp reviews. In fact, the webular site that I found last week which lists the drivers parking in bike lanes seems to have a great many Edgewood entries, although it hasn’t been updated for most of 2010. Perhaps it is the street itself which is the culprit.
When I was riding by last weekend with my esteemed colleague Bubba T, I spied an SUV parked in that very bike lane, and, as luck would have it, a fratty-looking dude exiting the establishment and heading for its cockpit.
“Nice bike…” I said to the driver, as Bubba T and I very obviously circumnavigated his vehicle.
“…right here in the bike lane.” I concluded, not wanting him to miss the point.
That was the end of that particular exchange, although when we stopped at the next red light, Bubba T informed me “That guy thinks you’re an asshole.”
That Guy might even be right.
Of course, they handle things much differently in New York. Instead of making snide remarks or lobbing adders at people, New Yorkers merely send a brigade of clowns into the streets to patrol their bike lanes and then engage in loud buffoonery should they spot an offender.
I have to say, I think the Clown Brigade might be the best way to remind drivers that bike lanes are not for parking, and I hope we get a similar brigade here in Atlanta. In the mean time I’m just putting white powdery makeup and little colorful hats on my snakes.