Yep, we got some lawn chairs, we’re gonna sit out in the middle of the street tomorrow night and enjoy some fireworks. Gotta remember though, this handy mnemonic I heard for the first time the other day: Get your fifth for the Fourth, on the 3rd. The liquor stores are closed here in Washington state tomorrow folks. Have a great Fourth of July!
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:
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.
For all you Seattle bikers. There’s a good happy hour that you specifically should know about. From 4:00 or so to 6:00 in the evening, Roxy’s has some good appetizers that are half price. But….
if you ride your bike there, they’ll give you a free appetizer! Fried pickles last night went well with my whiskey.
Their menu is pretty interesting. I don’t eat meat any more, but considering their webpage (pastramisandwich.com) they’ve got some good sandwiches. I know they’ve got salt bagels in the mornings and I like to stop in there for those before I get to work some days.
So check it out, eat and drink up!
I don’t want to come off too negative about these new street features, but I am curious and suspicious at the same time. It does appear the DOT is attempting to accommodate cyclists, and honestly, that’s a good thing!
What features am I talking about? There are several throughout the city now. The one I noticed was just after crossing the Fremont Bridge on my way up to Queen Anne. Like it’s supposed to, it immediately caught my eye as I came off the bridge, a column of what looked like astro-turf crossing the street directly next to the crosswalk.
I saw this green bike lane appear this Friday past and took some photos of it Saturday morning. Already the gravel material they’ve used is separating from the lane; as would be suspected I think. Maybe this is part of the process and I’m just squawking early, but I’ve seen plenty of lane striping and other markings on the streets here in Seattle. Why isn’t that type of paint being used for these new bike symbols and other bike improvements? Those old bike lanes on 34th going into Fremont still have their bike paint holding strong; when were they painted? Probably when that street was paved (and that was a long time ago by the feel of it).
It’s often said that the grass is always greener, perhaps so are the bike lanes. Portland has some awesome bike lanes, as well as bike boxes, and dedicated bike routes.
It’s cool that Portland recognizes our attempts at improving cycling infrastructure. Seattle needs to take some more cues from our neighbor down there I think. Maybe at least get the name of their paint supplier.
Portland green bike lane. Photo compliments of peng1