bikelaneblocking“The cops were just here. They were parked in the bike lane and they didn’t tell us to move.”

Those were the words a reporter with a local TV news station spoke when we were having a conversation about her and several other stations being parked in the bike lane on Mountain Avenue on Friday morning.

The stations were covering a murder at a house along the bike route.

I tried to explain that the bike lane on Mountain was one of the most popular routes in the city and by parking in them, they were creating a dangerous situation requiring cyclists to leave the lane on an uphill during morning rush hour.

The response I kept getting was that the police were also doing it and didn’t tell them to move.

I asked, “Can you park in the middle of a car lane in order to get your story?”

Of course the answer was “No.” At that point it started to sink in a little, but it still wasn’t motivating them to leave.

I  said I was going to call the police to make them move since their vehicles were creating a road hazard.

By the time I returned 20 minutes later they were gone. My hope was the police made them move, but it’s more likely they moved because they were on to the next story.

While the police have the legal right to park in the bike lane to respond to a call, I wish they kept other people out of them.

We’ve posted about police officers blocking the bike lane and if you haven’t seen it, this is a great blog devoted to the subject.




9 thoughts on “Photo: Blocking the bike lanes to get the story”
  1. While I don’t know the vehicle laws specific for your area, the bike lane appears to be about 7-8 feet wide and the curb is not marked red.  Are there posted signs along the curb stating no parking?  We don’t have many sections of road that allow that much road for a bike lane.

  2. ARS 28.815 D. A person shall not operate, stop, park or leave standing a vehicle in a path or lane designated as a bicycle path or lane by a state or local authority except in the case of emergency or for crossing the path or lane to gain access to a public or private road or driveway.
    These laws are easily searchable online.

  3. You mean bike lanes aren’t right turn lanes for motor vehicles???
    I am shocked.

  4. StrawHousePig  I hope and prefer cars use the bike lane for right turns.  This is the safest use and it is better than a right turn in front of a cyclist going straight through an intersection.  That use is dangerous.

  5. I see what you’re saying, and although I’m sure it has merit, I don’t believe in poaching the right of way or handing it off. That only creates unpredictability. I’d rather drivers slow down, open their eyes, and use their turn signals.
    What of bike lanes that can accommodate a motor vehicle fully? These are typically on roads with 45mph speed limits. Add 5-10mph to that (even subtract 5-10) and I would hate to have someone barreling at me at that speed thinking I’m in their space. Which kind of is the case already.
    Can’t we just train and remind drivers of the laws and safe driving practices?

  6. Perry Biker  signs up and down the path saying no motorised vehicles in bike lane.  so yes it is signed.  

    So Alan, is it ok for cars to turn using the sidewalk?  Ride the Mountain path and notice the places where the white line is obscured by the blacking from the car tyres.  That jog just south of Salpointe for instance.  Cars do not belong in the bike lane period.  It’s not their space. I do agree regarding the right turning cars being a threat to inside bike lanes.  If cars squared their turns instead of cheating through the bike lane it would be a lot safer for everyone, other cars, pedestrians and cyclists.

  7. Perry Biker  “While I don’t know the vehicle laws specific for your area…” Let me stop you right there. Admitting ignorance to the situation then going on to give advice is patronizing. Doubly so if done on a blog about bike rights in an area you know nothing about.

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