What is the best way to report drivers parking in the bike lane?

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Benzo
Participant
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What is the best way to report drivers parking in the bike lane?

Should this be done via 311?
Call non-emergency police number?
Tweet district council members?


Benzo
Participant
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This comes up because I’ve been putting in a great deal of 311 tickets with respect to the bike lane on Millvale by the west penn hospital ER entrance. There are frequently folks parking in the bike lane here on my commute to work. Sometimes there are up to 3 or 4 vehicles when I’m riding through. I’ve been sending in 311 tickets after the fact (since I’m trying to get to work) with pictures. A lot of them are repeat offenders.

I’ve received varying responses from 311. Recently I received this reply:

“Thank you for submitting to 311. The police have responded back to us to contact them when the vehicles are in the spots so that an officer may be dispatched immediately. It takes a couple days for things to process through our system so the vehicle may be gone by the time they respond to the request.”


andyc
Member
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Is it marked as no parking?


Benzo
Participant
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It’s marked no parking with many signs, curb is yellow, there is a bike lane, with little pictures of bikes on it.


Marko82
Participant
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I was once instructed by a 311 operator (after being on hold for half a day) to call 911 with illegal parking situations. I hate calling an emergency number to report cars being parked on a sidewalk, but I guess that’s the process they want. I’ve only done it a few times and I start my end of the conversation with “This isn’t an emergency but…” and the 911 operators have been pleasant and professional – so I guess they are ok calling them about parking issues.


J Z
Participant
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Marko82 wrote:I was once instructed by a 311 operator (after being on hold for half a day) to call 911 with illegal parking situations. I hate calling an emergency number to report cars being parked on a sidewalk, but I guess that’s the process they want. I’ve only done it a few times and I start my end of the conversation with “This isn’t an emergency but…” and the 911 operators have been pleasant and professional – so I guess they are ok calling them about parking issues.

@benzo this. I’ve been advised to do the same for abandoned cars, as well, and also preface it with “This isn’t an emergency but…” Vaguely seems reminiscent of the cases of people calling 911 about incorrect fast food orders, but hey, that’s the protocol I’ve been advised to use.


chemicaldave
Participant
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Marko82 wrote:I was once instructed by a 311 operator (after being on hold for half a day) to call 911 with illegal parking situations. I hate calling an emergency number to report cars being parked on a sidewalk, but I guess that’s the process they want. I’ve only done it a few times and I start my end of the conversation with “This isn’t an emergency but…” and the 911 operators have been pleasant and professional – so I guess they are ok calling them about parking issues.

I’ve called 911 many times to be connected to a local station or state trooper on the turnpike and never received flak from the operator. It must be nice for them to not deal with someone on the brink of death.


CPollack
Participant
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Had two women cops on 15th (Wholey sign corner) Tuesday the 18th on crossing guard duty, one was doing her job, one was laid back atop the motorcycle,in the bike lane..

May have had a heated exchange of words since she waited until i was 20ft. from the crosswalk to throw her hands up at me to stop, then yell and tell me i need to follow all the rules an automobile does. I told her i was trying to make a move around the vehicle parked IN the bike lane, but i guess since they are cops they don’t have to follow the laws.


buffalo buffalo
Participant
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Marko82 wrote:I was once instructed by a 311 operator (after being on hold for half a day) to call 911 with illegal parking situations. I hate calling an emergency number to report cars being parked on a sidewalk, but I guess that’s the process they want. I’ve only done it a few times and I start my end of the conversation with “This isn’t an emergency but…” and the 911 operators have been pleasant and professional – so I guess they are ok calling them about parking issues.

Pre-311, I once tried to call the Squirrel Hill station to report cars parked illegally in my alley, and was told to call 911. Guess some things never change.

(I had the same reaction of not wanting to call 911 for what was clearly not an emergency–always made me wonder if they did it on purpose to cut down on the number of reports….)


Benzo
Participant
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I just wish drivers could be ticketed for parking in the bike lane with evidence, like a time stamped, geo-tagged photo like my phone takes every time, and is submitted with most of my 311 reports.


dmtroyer
Participant
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I’ve called 911 a couple of times to report parking in the bike lane on N Neville and Ellsworth. I’m really discouraged with how bad it can get there, especially on the weekends.


stefb
Participant
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Omfg we have to go to church or brunch. Oh look. A bike lane. We should park here because it is the weekend and nothing counts on the weekend. We have cars and we do what we want. we never get ticketed so we will keep doing it. We can’t possibly park somewhere else and walk or take public transit.


jonawebb
Participant
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OK, I’ll finally say it: the best way to report parking in a bike lane is to key “BIKE LANE” into the side of the car.


byogman
Member
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Little drastic, don’t ya think?

I haven’t contacted these folks, but as long as the cost per sticker is low enough, this looks like the way to go from my standpoint:

http://www.treehugger.com/bikes/stickers-for-those-jerks-who-park-in-bike-lanes.html


jonawebb
Participant
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The stickers are free, so there you go.


ShooFlyPie
Member
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This weekend I had an elderly couple driving close behind me in a bike lane………………..


Benzo
Participant
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Well, I don’t know if anyone is getting ticketed, but I’ve made a couple calls to report cars parked in the bike lane. Operators at 911 have been very pleasant and helpful.


dfiler
Member
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You could try calling the towing companies and ask what it takes to get someone towed. Towing would be even better (more expensive) than ticketing. They should be experts on the subject.

My guess is that you’d have the best luck calling the precinct for that area directly.


rice rocket
Participant
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dfiler wrote:You could try calling the towing companies and ask what it takes to get someone towed.

That’s not how it works, that’s called theft. There’s a whole mess of paperwork that the officer has to fill out to be a legal tow. Took about 2 hours total the last time I had someone towed for blocking my garage.


dfiler
Member
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rice rocket wrote:

dfiler wrote:You could try calling the towing companies and ask what it takes to get someone towed.

That’s not how it works, that’s called theft. There’s a whole mess of paperwork that the officer has to fill out to be a legal tow. Took about 2 hours total the last time I had someone towed for blocking my garage.

lol, that’s why I said to call and ask. It differs between cities. What’s this theft you’re talking about?


rice rocket
Participant
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Sorry, the way you worded it, I thought “what it takes to get someone towed” meant you’d slip him 20 bucks and have him tow somebody.

It’s best you call the cops…since they have to authorize the tow.


Benzo
Participant
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Yeah, I’m just going to call and report until it’s not a problem. It’s worth a few extra minutes on my commute if it stops the problem. Once word gets around that parking in those spots will get you a ticket, people will stop doing it.

My guess is that in the case of the millvale ave bike lane, it’s hospital staff and/or friends and family of the staff not wanting to find a parking spot while they wait to pick someone up (since I reported the same cars quite a few times) or are ‘just running in for a second’. Often times, the driver is sitting in the car while I ride by.


stefb
Participant
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I wish I had stopped to take a photo of the cop that was parked in the Neville bike lane at the intersection of Ellsworth this morning at 515am!


Marko82
Participant
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Something is working in Philly:
PPA Has Issued Over 260 Tickets for Cars Parked in Bike Lanes Since January


jonawebb
Participant
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Just saying: http://iparkedinabikelane.bigcartel.com/products
You can get 20 stickers for $5, allegedly. I couldn’t get the website to work.
Also:http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2014/09/23/sticker_campaign_shames_drivers_parked_in_cycling_lanes.html


Mick
Participant
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I want a roll of those “I parked in a bike lane” stickers.

Want. Want. WANT!

Question:
How hard would it be to remove one of those stickers if it were affixed to the middle of the driver’s side of a windshield?

I’m just asking for informational purposes, you understand.


rainbow dog
Member
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On a related topic, any suggestions on how to best deal with people putting their trash in the bike lane instead of on the curb (Liberty bike lane going towards Bloomfield)? Every time I have to swerve into traffic to avoid a roll of filthy carpeting I contemplate putting it back on their front porches.


Benzo
Participant
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I wonder how many citations pittsburgh police have issued?


Mick
Participant
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@ Benzo I wonder how many citations pittsburgh police have issued?

I don’t.

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