crankedmag

{ ride a bike… everyday, everywhere }

No Parking Anytime

I think I’ve mentioned this subject before.

I ride through Fremont regularly, one route I take is along N 34th St in front on PCC. This block is essentially a west-bound one way road for cars with a east-bound bike lane. (There are sharrows included for west-bound cyclists). On the east-bound bike lane are signs that, very clearly read “No Parking Anytime”, you can see that here:

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I’ve posted similar pictures here in flickr. It’s a recurring problem, typically moving trucks, but I’ve seen delivery cars and trucks, even police cars (maybe there was an emergency in the neighborhood, I don’t know). Yesterday it happens yet again. So I decide to call the non-emergency parking violation number I was given by a Parking Enforcement officer I met a couple weeks ago. (Joby also mentioned his instructions and experience, found by clicking the above photo).

Before doing so I ask one of the movers to park the truck elsewhere, to which he replies he’s “just doing his job, the building management told us this is where we load in from, the building does not have a loading area.” He also asked that I not be a dick before he continues in the building with his load.

I dial the number and am wading through the phone tree when a lady from the apartment building approaches me and also informs me that this is where they load from, the building has no loading area. I tell her I’m on the phone with the police, to which she replies, “…that’s fine, we know the meter maids in the area.” I think to myself, that’s interesting, I wonder what that means?

When I finally reach the officer on the phone, he takes the information as to what block it is, doesn’t quite grasp the idea of what a bike lane is, and then when I mention it is a moving truck, he states that “sometimes those trucks don’t have anywhere else to park.” The police are making excuses for this I guess. Not only was the truck taking up the bike lane at 5:00pm, but was also taking up a parking space in front of the building which houses a grocery store and other businesses.

Again, all very interesting I’d say. Are there bigger issues in this city? Yes. But, I have to wonder what’s the point of putting in bike lanes, be they green, blue, or whatever, if they’re going to be shoddily done and wholly unenforced? Why is the city bothering to claim it’s Pro-bike if there’s no priority given to cyclists? Why are our taxes going to any bike projects if the city is incapable of implementing them efficiently or even correctly? How about simply paving the streets somewhat smoothly? I’ll manage the routing myself (I do have to mention I have noticed the new signs getting put up, this admittedly is a step in the right direction, especially if I didn’t know where I was going).

An hour or so later, on my way back by, the truck was there, but so were two fire engines, evidently an alarm of some kind errantly went off. No meter maid, or Parking Enforcement officer ever came to ticket, let alone investigate my reported parking violation—I’m not surprised. This isn’t to say I won’t call again the next time I witness it. I’m not making this a vendetta, I’ve got other important things to do, but so does the city; so for the next few weeks I’ll be calling that number non-emergency (206) 625 5011, I believe it is option 8, for reporting parking violations in this strip I’m sure I’ll see again. I know I’m not the only one this annoys, while on the phone yesterday I heard praise from passing cyclists assuming whom I was on the phone with.

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This bike route symbol is nearly disintegrated completely.

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7 Responses

  1. Rob Prouse says:

    Way to go. If the moving truck parked in the middle of the street blocking cars during rush hour the police would have been there quickly enough. Why should it be any different for bikes? I will have to look up the number for my city and start doing the same thing.

  2. Michael says:

    This is a continual problem spot, I have a few photos myself, and the legal situation is pretty clear to me:

    By illegally blocking a bike lane on a one-way street, the truck is forcing cyclists to travel the WRONG WAY on a ONE-WAY street…which is illegal.

    And that apartment complex doesn’t have a loading dock per-se, but the alley behind it has a dead end with lots of room for a truck to park out of the way.

  3. I am your Mother says:

    Yes, this problem is due to the City’s Planning Department being in la-la land when approving new buildings. How could anyone not see that a building that size with that many spaces/units for rent would not need to have a plan for loading/unloading? So of course this activity gets dumped willy-nilly on the street – just one more thing to clog up the streets with activity that does not “move people.” And the fact that police/parking enforcement are unwilling to enforce the law is something that the dailies or the TV news should be encouraged to do an article about.

  4. Kevin says:

    Hey Michael, you might consider coming to this month’s SBAB meeting. It’s this Wednesday in City Hall at 6pm. The portion for public comment is at the /start/ of the meeting so you don’t have to linger if the rest of the agenda seems boring.

    Why this month? Because Lt. Pierre Davis from the SPD will be present to discuss ‘enforcement issues’

    http://www.seattle.gov/sbab/

    The room is hard to find, and they start locking the doors to the building at 6pm so show up a little early.

  5. Michael says:

    I got some communication with the Fremont Chamber of Commerce. It turns out that there is a loading zone. It is in front of Peet’s Coffee. The problem seems to be that cars are parking in that truck loading zone. I need to look at it and verify that, and it makes sense from the DPD angle. It isn’t the most convenient, but it should be functional.

    If we see a truck in the bike lane when the loading zone is open, lets point out the loading zone and ask them nicely to park legally instead of illegally.

    If we see cars parking in the loading zone, we can point out that they are parking illegally and the problems that it causes.

    Ideally, the loading dock used by PCC would have an elevator or stairs into the apartments, but that doesn’t seem to be the case.

  6. Doug says:

    This ticks me off too! I was riding this route and decided to ride on the sidewalk instead of trying to ride around the truck parked in the bike lane and was yelled at by people on the sidewalk… “Get off the sidewalk – There’s a bike lane right there” – ‘YEAH! WITH A BIG F’ING TRUCK PARKED IN THE MIDDLE OF IT!’

    Fremont – center of their own universe.

  7. street trucks…

    Do you have a newsletter to sign up to?…

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