This situation escalated quickly.


In a video posted on Reddit (see below), a car driver appears to be parked directly in front of an official sign (like the one at right) telling drivers to "please" not park in the cycle track.

Reached via Reddit, the cyclist says he commutes from Ballard to downtown via the Fremont Bridge and Dexter Avenue. Dexter is where the incident this morning took place. He's a software engineer who asked not to be named.

"I admitted in the thread," he says, "that I wasn't as polite as I could have been, but I was frustrated at the time, and I did try to be diplomatic at the beginning." You'll notice that early on, the woman unnecessarily ratchets up the tension several notches by telling him she doesn't give a fuck about literally anything he has to say.

In three helmet-cam videos posted on his YouTube channel over the past few months, where he repeatedly encounters delivery trucks blocking the bike lane, the cyclist is clearly annoyed, but consistently patient and polite. "FedEx is a habitual offender on Dexter Ave N," he tells me, "but offenders include delivery trucks, moving trucks, private passenger vehicles, etc." I've written about these and other bicycle lane blockages (smurf turds!) before.

I've asked the Seattle Department of Transportation whether it will make these warning signs bigger and make clear what the penalties are for ignoring them. I'll update if I hear back. Remember:

Seattle Police Department spokesperson Patrick Michaud says that as a patrol officer, he used to regularly cite drivers for parking in the bike lane on 12th Avenue on Capitol Hill—minimum $124 fine, $191 if the blockage causes a collision. (Earlier this summer, in that same bike lane, I found the path blocked by a delivery truck.)

To solve the problem, all people need to do is find a parking spot, like the rest of us, without blocking traffic. But everyone can help. See a bike lane blocked? Call the police non-emergency line (206-625-5011), Michaud says, and they'll send a parking enforcement or patrol officer out. Or if you can't remember that number, call 911.

UPDATE: SDOT spokesperson Rick Sheridan responds: The department "will request additional enforcement from SPD along this street to address any illegal parking in a bike lane," will include the penalty for parking illegally in bike lanes on public signs "going forward," and consider creating larger signs.