Bike law change #5: Prohibit unnecessary blocking of bike lanes

Here’s one of my pet peeves: You’re riding in the bike lane along a busy street, when suddenly up ahead there’s a film crew with their trucks parked on the side of the road (this is L.A., after all). And even though none of the trucks extend into it, they put up safety cones to block the bike lane, forcing riders to take a lane — and risk their own safety — for no reason other than their own convenience.

Or maybe it’s a delivery truck double-parked in the bike lane. Or some utility workers — like the ones I encountered in Santa Monica this morning — that for some inexplicable reason needed to pile the dirt from the hole they were digging in the bike lane, rather than the parking space in front of their truck. But at least they put up a “Share the Road” sign before forcing me out into the traffic lane.

So stop it, already. Make it a clear violation of the law to block any bike lane or designated bike route unless absolutely necessary, and then only as long as necessary. Because those few feet of asphalt between the two painted lines exist for our safety, not their convenience.

 

Bike Girl gets stood up by her councilperson — perhaps he has a jealous spouse/significant other. Santa Clarita was awarded a grant to create new bike lanes and routes; nice to know someone around here is getting them. A writer in the Burbank Leader complains about speeding bicycles when she’s trying to walk in the bikeway, and about the riders’ “sense of ownership” regarding the bike lanes. She’s got a point; I have the same complaint about all those damn cars on the freeway.

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