18 November 2005

23. Cars Parked in the Bike Lane

Dear cars parked in the bike lane,

Because of you, I used to wish for stickers that said, "I park in bike lanes! It's illegal, dangerous, and rude!" On good days, I'd imagine such stickers made with some kind of easily removable glue, and I'd promise myself that I'd only put them on glass. On bad days, I'd wish they were made with marine epoxy, for extra permanence and property damage. Sometimes I'd leave angry little notes on your windshields, when I had the time to stop, and little bits of paper to write on. But recently, I've had a change of heart.

Clearly, if you're parked in the bike lane, it must mean that your driver is involved in some kind of emergency. (In fact, some of your drivers are wise in the ways of using your emergency lights at these times, and I'm thankful for that, if not the fact that I still have to swerve precariously out into traffic to pass an illegally placed vehicle.) Still, from now on, whenever I encounter someone in a car parked in the bike lane, I'm going to stop and solicitously offer my assistance. I know a little first aid, and I'd be more than happy to call for help, even if it means ringing doorbells in a residential neighborhood until I find somebody who's willing to lend me a phone. I've almost been hit by police cars while trying to avoid bike lane parking jobs like you, so I'm pretty sure our local cops don't care about this problem, but we can always hope for a better response to an emergency call, right? There's really only one way to find out!

I will miss the petty satisfaction of kicking your car doors from the street as I pass, risking life and limb because your drivers were too inconsiderate to find a safe and legal place to stop. Those drivers always gave me the best shocked looks, like deer in headlights, only more offended. But no more. Now they will give me shocked looks when I try to be helpful. And I guess I still want those stickers.


started 7 November 2004, first posted 20 January 2005, updated 11 March 2009, after reading this lovely comic here. Title abridged 1 December 2011.