This Month in Bike Lane Blockages: Delivery Trucks, Armored Trucks, and Bollards

Comments

1
A $191 fine is bupkis to an armored car company. They'll just pay the fine and continue blocking the lane.
2
Doesn't the City have a responsibility to install truck loading zones in areas where they are needed, like in front of banks where armored cars need to park?

Yes, it's awful for the bike lane to be blocked for 5 minutes, but I've also noticed regular traffic lanes blocked by those trucks. I just drive around.
3
these delivery/pickup drivers know that even if you phone the non-emergency number the cops don't take it seriously (I know, because I've called this in many times), and even if they do send someone - they won't get there until after the truck is gone. The drivers don't care, and their companies don't care because they'd rather pay a rare ticket than have the driver take the time to park legally.

4
The bollard should be filled with hundreds of lbs of sand. I think it's more likely that drunk Cap Hill fools are trying to drag them home and not getting very far.
5
Welcome to the big city, kids. Especially you, little Ansel. Deal with it - Seattle isn't small and traffic rules get broken. Think it's shitty here? Try cycling in Manhattan.



Grow up Ansel, your are just a bomb-throwing little kid.
6
"As I've noted before, cycletracks (protected bike lanes) are designed so that this kind of stuff doesn't occur."

You must not travel the Broadway cycle track very often. I see folks stopped or even parked there all the time. These folks get very offended if I point out to them that they are illegally stopping/parking in the bikeway. I even had someone lie to me that a "parking enforcement" person told them it was OK for them to sit in the bikeway with their car.

As far as trucks I guess you've never noticed that trucks park anywhere they damned well want to whether that's in the middle of Broadway in the center turn lane or just parking their trucks anywhere they like even if it's a bus stop. Have you ever seen a commercial truck being issued a ticket from SPD? I never have.

As far as calling 625-5011 if you want to hang around for 10 minutes while any and every option is read to you to navigate their infuriating phone tree go for it. SPD is not going to be very happy if you use 911 to report non-emergency situations.
7
Where are delivery trucks supposed to park then? Do you just sit in your car with your arms crossed huffing and waiting if a truck with its blinkers on is in your lane in front of you?

No, you check your surroundings and go around when you can. Same thing if someone's attempting to parallel park and doing a horrible job at it. Wait, go around when it's safe. (Yeah that's not illegal but same basic problem)

The fuck's so hard about that on a bike?
8
Share the fucking road.
9
A tube of liquid nails costs 1.77 at home depot. The art bollards wont move after being glued to the asphalt.

If the fall and winter weather takes out the glue you can replace it for 1.77.

SDOT can send me a consulting fee of 5000.
10
Strike









No groceries, freight, alcohol, beverages, packages and letters, food service, sanitation, movers, newspapers, grocery vendors, building materials, sewer maintenance, utility work.









When your cupboards are empty, the stores and restaurants are closed, your toilets backed up, your power is off, streets are flooded, and your roof leaks give us a call.
11
It's cabs and people in their personal vehicles as well, which is the worst because often times they're picking up fares or trying to find a parking spot and are paying ZERO attention to whether or not there are cyclists currently in the lane next to them or close behind them. And while I don't mind moving into a lane and going around vehicles blocking the bike lane most of the time, during high traffic hours that can be pretty dangerous, especially with the number of people road raging due to long delays in traffic these days.
12
@9: perfect. The armored car with the hardened tires will roll right over the nails, but they'll be puncturing bike tires for months to come.

How about if Sawant lies down in the road in front of the AC until the police arrive to issue a ticket? From the sound of it that may well be the most useful and effective thing she'd have done thus far in her term.

Ansel - you're resembling Raku more by the day.
13
Liquid Nails is an adhesive, not actual, physical nails.
14
@12 - dude, "liquid nails" is a type of glue. Not actual nails.
15
@14 for such an amazing scientist Dr. Z always claims he is you'd think he would know something like that.
16
I'm so touched by your sensitivity to this. However, you can rest in the comfort in knowing that the few nanoseconds you spent having to negotiate around the truck actually bought you those nanoseconds back and then some additional nanoseconds at the very busy intersection that you would have endure longer up the street had you not been interrupted by the truck.



I also suggest sipping camomile tea quietly in the garden when you get home from a ride to further unwind after all your peddling.


17
911 is for emergencies only. This is an inconvenience, not an emergency.
18
Okay folks, you can waste time bitching here or copy this note and send it to the mayor and transportation chair of the council.



Hello,



I've noticed while riding around town that trucks and cars are parking in bike lanes. This behavior makes the bike lanes useless. Most are only there for a short time so I feel like calling the cops would be a waste because by the time they got there the truck or car would be gone. Also I usually don't have time to wait. Please see what you can do to make this problem a higher priority for parking enforcement.



Thank you for your attention to this important issue.


19
Any luck with using the City's "Find It Fix It" app to report these guys? Maybe I'm thinking naively, but if multiple people are reporting the same driver/license plate (with photo) over several incidents, the city might take some notice?
20
Even if parking enforcement gets there in time, the driver of the armored truck (who is always waiting inside) will just give him or her a nod and move along. They can still cite a vehicle that moves away, but they rarely do.



Another issue which is hard to illustrate is the unwritten rule that commercial trucks basically have immunity from parking enforcement. They park wherever they want, so making this a line in the sand might be difficult, but not impossible. It will take more than pointing out that it's illegal and dangerous.
21
In Safari, two hard returns between paragraphs makes for a lot of space. Let's test it out.

Is there a lot of space between "out." and "Is"?
22
The other day a car drove in the bike lane on 34th in Fremont to skip some traffic. When he pulled back into it, I carefully pulled up next to him and shouted

"DO NOT DRIVE IN THE BIKE LANE"

Through the passenger window as loud as I could.
23
SDOT can bleat all they want about keeping bike lanes open. SPD doesn't give a shit. Cops say bike lanes are for parking; end of story. What are we going to do? Fire the cops?

If we could fire the 3/4 of the police force that doesn't want to enforce our laws, we'd have done that a long time ago. We can't.
24
@18

Hey Smarty Pants,

What if we Sloggers like to accomplish nothing by bitching. Go be useful someplace else, or get with the program, the pathetic Slog program.
25
The trouble is I'm either riding fast to get to work or riding fast to pick up my daughter from daycare on the way home--I don't have time to wait for parking enforcement the same as I don't have time to wait for the police when I'm getting menaced by cars in Georgetown/Sodo--which happens not infrequently. And it's dangerous to be constantly pulling in and out of the bike lane.



Dexter's been particularly bad lately with all the construction, in particular the few blocks between Thomas and Mercer. Cars are regularly parked in the bike lane and I have to pull into traffic that's already chaotic due to lane closures at Mercer. It's a mess.
26
Well boo fucking hoo. Welcome to reality. Delivery vehicles park illegally and put on their flashers. You go around them. So why don't you put your big boy pants on (Doug) and deal with it. You not liking it and whining about it and getting Ansel to whine more about it ain't gonna change one damn thing. That's reality.
28
Dear The Stranger,
Never underestimate the importance of deliveries to businesses that are about to pay $15 minimum wage. Blame city planners NOT Capitol(hill)ism!
29
Bike lanes are stupid and dangerous and quickly re-purposed. Grow up and use the travel lanes like the traffic you are.
30
To the people saying, basically, "suck it up, it's a big city, just go around," I'd like to point out that the Dunbar trucks in these photos had plenty of room to park out of the bike lane if they'd taken just a few seconds to do so.

In the first Dunbar photo, there is plenty of room curbside next to where they've parked, and in the second Dunbar photo there is room a few feet forward to park out of the bike lane.

These are not emergency vehicles. They were not even going to a bank (as if that matters). These are lazy people who don't give a shit about safety, the law, or common courtesy.
31
@30

"These are people who don't give a shit about safety...."

So. They're bicyclists?

Once again, children's toys are NOT viable transport for nearly enough people to justify one dime of public money. And the kinds of people who ride these toys on public streets are exactly the kind of overgrown children you'd expect them to be.
32
Huge new block-size buildings are going up all over the city without alleyways or loading docks for their ground-floor commercial units. I'm a cyclist and hate it when drivers don't respect the lane, but when the nearest safe loading zone is sometimes a block away, what do you really expect them to do?







When the City lets developers run wild building their oversized toolsheds all over of town, this is another one of the shoddy results.
33
@30. Great point. Children's toys are not a viable form of transpiration. Neither are lawn chairs. Luckily, bicycles are neither children's toys nor lawn chairs and are an excellent form of transportations, especially in a city that can not feasibly support every resident commuting by car. Do you enjoy sitting in traffic? Then go ahead and continue discouraging funding alternative forms of transportation.
34
@33: SB lives on the Eastside. He could give a shit about Seattle traffic except to make obnoxious comments.
His new "bicycles are toys" shtick is an amusing new low for him.
Just when ya think he couldn't get any more stupid!
35
Ah yes, Sloggers bringing their suburban sense of entitlement to the city.
36
I would imagine that it is an inconvenience to slow down your bike, look over your shoulder and then proceed around the truck when it is safe to do so. I would imagine that would add an extra 30-45 seconds to your commute.



The trucks were parking there before the bike lane. That doesn't make it right. It's what they're used to doing. I doubt the trucks park with the thought of "FUCK CYCLISTS!" in their minds.



Is it really a big deal these trucks parking in the bike lane? No. It's a minor inconvenience. Ironically it took the person longer to stop his bicycle, get out his camera and take a picture of the truck than it would have to just safely gone around him.


37
Freight loading in the city is a tough issue. In most places you're not going to be widening streets to add loading zones, and even if you did you'd end up with wider, faster, less ped- and bike-friendly streets. So those trucks are going to be blocking something. As much as I hate to say it I can't blame them for picking the bike lane over a more active general purpose lane.
38
@31: There are loads of taxpaying citizens who depend on bicycles to get around in the cities. I'm one of them. You complain an awful lot about what YOUR tax dollars go towards, but I for one would prefer that mine not go towards infrastructure that isn't friendly to pedestrians and cyclists.



If you think it's cyclists who don't care about safety, you're out of your fucking mind. In a collision between bicycle and automobile, automobile wins. That simple fact alone says a lot. Saying that cyclists care less about safety than motorists is like accusing unarmed protestors of instigating violence against riot cops; it just doesn't add up.

I've been struck TWICE by a car, and my girlfriend has been struck once. In her case, she was going through a green light in a bike lane and was hit by a driver who didn't properly stop before making a right turn on red. (The driver then took the classy route of refusing to pay for the ambulance ride and forced her family to go to court to get reimbursed.) In my cases, I was struck while in a crosswalk by a similarly inattentive driver rolling through a right turn on red, and in the other incident, by a driver coming out of a driveway at relatively high speed without checking for cross traffic.
39
so the delivery drivers don't care, and the cops won't enforce the law. I see this all the time downtown, where a armored car driver ignores the loading dock, and just parks where ever the hell they want. It is a lack of respect for society in general, and that lack of respect will never be corrected without a little pain.





Ever wonder how much it costs to change a tire on a truck? I changed 100's as a mechanic years ago. a few flats and watch the drivers start taking the extra 5 minutes to use the correct commercial parking areas.





http://www.globalindustrial.com/p/foodse…
40
those armored cars have to park as close as possible to the place they're picking up/dropping off cash. if they don't, they'll get hijacked.

apparently this happens frequently; I seen it on the teevee.
41
@37: All three of the trucks in those photos had non-travel-lane spots in which to park just a few feet away.
42
So, Raindrip is in favor of automobiles flagrantly violating the law - why am I not in the least bit surprised?
43
@31:

LOOK, THERE! EVIL PURE AND SIMPLE!
44
Also, send emails to Dunbar & UPS to complain using these links:

http://www.dunbararmored.com/contact-us.…

https://www.ups.com/upsemail/input?loc=e…



The more squeaky wheels will get the oils.
45
And fellow cyclists: carry a decent lock blade knife. Slash tires of offenders. It is very effective in changing driver behavior. I've seen it work.
46
@39 & 45
I'd love to see you try that with an armored car.
47
@41 - certainly parking out of a travel lane would be better where that's an option (and truck companies should be expected to do so), but there are plenty of places where it isn't. My main point here is that if we want an urban, human-scaled street environment we have to put up with stuff like this from time to time. Just visit any European city center. It's controlled chaos.
48
@46 - It's been done before.
49
We need those "YT" stickers from snow crash that have writing on the adhesive side so you can stick them on people's windshield and they can read them from the inside.
50
I cycle-commute every day and the occasional blocked lane is not something to fight for. This is a city. We are crammed in here together and have to make concessions all the time. That's just part of living in a community. Trucks block bike lanes (and car lanes) for a few minutes, sometimes for just seconds (like UPS trucks). Cyclists can brake and wait, for god's sake, and go around when it is safe, just like cars have to do all the time.

I'm grateful for bike lanes—but they are part of public streets and are subject to disruptions and inconveniences just like ALL lanes. It's true there is a lack of respect for cyclists from noncyclists. But, come on. Demanding that no delivery trucks ever block bike lanes just sounds seriously entitled.
51
@50 So we can just come over to your house and block the driveway and/or sidewalk anytime we want because it's part of being a community! You can't take that argument anywhere and buy a cup of coffee.
52
Thanks for posting Ansel! I've entered The number into my phone and will definitely use it!
53
@51

Nah. But you can take the time to commit a felony? To save time?

I bet your parents are SO proud of what they inflicted on the world.

Punk.
54
@38

For the vast majority your children's toy is not viable as a commuter option. Some of us have equipment we must carry. Some would prefer not arriving at work stinking and sweaty in clown clothing. And most of us just don't have the time for a slow speed commute.

Bike lanes are used by a tiny fraction of commuters, but take up a sizeable area of roadway. Area that should be moving cars along more quickly, not allowing a few entitled arrogant jerks to show off.
55
Although I picture what the folks at SPD and DOT have to deal with.

"It's that stupid kid Herz again. I had to listen to his whining last time. It's your turn.". "Umm. I'm umm off to lunch. Sorry!". "But it's only 9:30!". "Yeah. My, umm, mom is in town and I have to... Oh all right. I'll talk to the little bastard damn it!"
56
@54: "Some of us have equipment we must carry. Some would prefer not arriving at work stinking and sweaty in clown clothing. And most of us just don't have the time for a slow speed commute."
Oh my God, you need to grow a pair. I've carried everything from a gallon of milk and two bags of groceries to fifty pounds of textbooks while biking. It's the magic of having decent arm strength and using a backpack as needed! I bike in street clothes, and because I'm in decent shape, I don't get sweaty from the commute; the only noticeable effect on my appearance is stains on my medial right ankle from my cuff brushing the chain. I bike quickly and budget my time well.
Just because YOU don't have the conditioning and/or testicular fortitude to get places by bike doesn't mean it's not useful for people. Cry a little louder, you big baby.
57
Seattleblues, the obstruction of the orderly flow of traffic (blocking your driveway) is only a gross misdemeanor in this city. It is in point of fact the very misdemeanor these armored vehicles and delivery vehicles are guilty of.

If Achaiwoi is actually slashing tires, they sure as heck aren't saving time in doing so.
58
@51 I'd prefer you didn't, but it happens: People do parallel park in front of my place from time to time. Hell, I do it because I can't always carry shit from wherever I have to park my car to my front door. I try to live a life where I never, ever inconvenience others, but there are hundred of thousands of people cohabitating this city and life isn't perfect.

I've lived on the Hill and ridden my bike as a primary source of transportation in this city for 22 years now. I've had to stop and wait and bike around trucks parked in bike lanes a very, very, very small percentage of those 22 years of rides. Like, less than 1% of rides. There are more important issues for cyclists to fight.

@Seattleblues - don't fight my battles for me. Please.
59
Back in 2006 on the night after daylight savings time changed to standard time I biked right smack into a chainlink fence the SAM Sculpure Garden construction crew had placed on the Myrtle Edwards Park bike trail and broke a bone in my left hand, triggering a trip to the ER. The front light on my bike was flashing brightly, but because there was no sign or even a traffic cone in front of the fence I didn't see it until it was too late and crashed right into it. The next day, with my arm in a sling, I went down to the site and complained to a security guard about the need for a traffic cone or maybe a construction sawhorse with a flashing light in front of the fence. He said his job was to guard the art, not to work on the construction project. To this day, parts of the Myrtle Edwards trail are still dark as hell at night. SDOT simply doesn't care.
60
@58

Oh, don't worry about me fighting your battles. If I had my way it would be illegal to ride bikes on any but secondary residential roads.
61
@59,
You know what the police would do if I was driving my car around at night and ran into an immobile object in the road and said I couldn't see it ? They'd give me a ticket for driving too fast for conditions.

Oh, and keep your bike light on a downward-directed steady beam (might even have helped you see the bottom of the fence frame). The only flashing light you can legally have on your bike is the rear-facing red light.
62
@58 - The first voice of reason in this entire string. Balanced, non-bomb throwing, understanding, and a cyclist. We need more folks like you and less like Ansel Herz.
63
@45 instant karma's gonna get you. I hope your tire slashing "justice" doesn't get you or one of our fellow cyclists hurt. We are vulnerable. Your felonious suggestions help no one, bikers included. You are just a road raging ass on two wheels. I'd love to see what happens when you really pull a lock blade on someone or their car. I'll piss on your grave.
64
@56- While I'm mostly in agreement with you (and bike commute myself) some people in fine physical shape break out in sweat at the drop of a hat. They're sweaty people, and it's inconvenient.



But of course we megasweaters are a minority, just like everyone else the "cars are necessary" posters always bring up.
65
Is this article actually suggesting to call 911 because a bike lane is blocked?
That is f**king stupid and irresponsible.

Im a daily bike rider and this article comes off pretty lame.
Yes bike lanes get blocked. But the city is slowly working on its infrastructure to fix these things.
But the city will never be perfect. It will always be unpredictable. And Some time you have to just go around.


66
@61 - The only time you care about anything related to the illegality of things that cars do is when you're trying (and failing in this case) to make it fit a cycling scenario so you can scold cyclists for their perceived bad behavior.

I noticed you didn't have shit to say about the subject of this post and the illegality of parking in a bike line, but I bet if there was a pic of a bike blocking a driveway, you'd go apeshit over the horror of how horribly illegal and inconveniencing it is.
67
@61, if what you say is true you may want to let SFD know. They hand out circular blinking side facing lights that fit into the spokes of your tires. There's also an entire LED bike vest industry that might know a little more about this kind of law than you do.
68
@67, there's a lot of "industries" that sell illegal products.

How about the RCW citation and the guy running the Seattle bike blog saying they're illegal ?

http://www.seattlebikeblog.com/2014/09/2…
ChefJoe says:
September 28, 2014 at 1:24 pm

Benwood, flashing lights, except for specific exemptions and bike taillights, are illegal per RCW.

http://app.leg.wa.gov/rcw/default.aspx?c…
Flashing lights are prohibited except as required in RCW 46.37.190, 46.37.200, 46.37.210, 46.37.215, and 46.37.300, warning lamps authorized by the state patrol, and light-emitting diode flashing taillights on bicycles.

O Wise One Tom has even said so (although he said so with mealy-mouth justifications for breaking the law anyways, because ). Funny how the same sort of “don’t do it on a bike trail” obnoxious is OK for cars to be dazzled but on bike trails with other bikers that’s bad.
http://www.seattlebikeblog.com/2013/11/2…
Technically, it is probably not legal to have a flashing headlight on a bicycle.

@66, nah, you're not even worth a fuck to give.
69
Could we address what the rules of cyclists are on the road?

I've seen bikes going the wrong way (ie against the flow of traffic) both in the bike lane and in the normal car lane. Are they allowed to go in any direction they want?

I've seen bikes on the sidewalk, both when there is a bike lane and when there is not. Are they supposed to be on the sidewalk?

I've seen bikes not stop at traffic lights, but go right through them if it looks like the cross street is clear. Are they allowed to run red lights?

I've seen bikes riding in all lanes of traffic, left, right, and center. Where are they supposed to be?

I've seen bikes riding in the bus lanes and go around both sides of the bus. Who is supposed to be in the bus lanes?



Most of these happen every day during my commute, and this week alone I've seen 4 out of 5 of these things.



I'd have a lot more respect for the cyclists overall if they had rules of the road and adhered to them consistently. Where are the cops giving out tickets to cyclists?
70
@68, WHOOSH! I think the SFD knows the law a little better than "Tom" and your Google-Fu on the RCW. And you tell other people they aren't worth a fuck to give?
71
@68: The law you refer to is applicable ONLY ON HIGHWAYS. From RCW 46.37.010, "Scope and effect of regulations — General penalty":
"(1) It is a traffic infraction for any person to drive or move, or for a vehicle owner to cause or knowingly permit to be driven or moved, on any highway any vehicle or combination of vehicles that:
...
(b) Is not at all times equipped with such lamps and other equipment in proper working condition and adjustment as required by this chapter or by rules issued by the Washington state patrol;"
Bolding mine.
72
@71,
wow, you'd think the state would be smart enough to define highway so idiots didn't interpret their fancy word for road to be "interstate".

Oh wait, they did... also providing definition of roadway which re-enforces the highway=public roads understanding.
http://app.leg.wa.gov/rcw/default.aspx?c…
Highway.
Highway means the entire width between the boundary lines of every way publicly maintained when any part thereof is open to the use of the public for purposes of vehicular travel.

Roadway.
"Roadway" means that portion of a highway improved, designed, or ordinarily used for vehicular travel, exclusive of the sidewalk or shoulder even though such sidewalk or shoulder is used by persons riding bicycles. In the event a highway includes two or more separated roadways, the term "roadway" shall refer to any such roadway separately but shall not refer to all such roadways collectively.
73
@72: And does a trail through a park qualify under that definition?
74
@73, I think so. Bikes are considered vehicles by the RCW.
75
@73, but I guess that's why we need bike rider education and licensing, just like we do far motorcyclists and boaters with those "rules of the road". If we had a "bike rider laws" manual, it would probably cover what's allowed and not allowed on the bike-vehicle.
76
@68 - Of course not. Stay classy Joe.
77
@73 - LOL. Damn man, keep digging. It's hilarious.
78
Shit, that was meant for ChefHoe at @74, in response to VL @73. VL is a rockstar.