Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Report Bike Lane "Scofflaws"

One of my favorite episodes of Seinfeld is "The Scofflaw," where Newman was the "great white whale," a traffic ticket scofflaw who parked wherever he wanted. Any Chicago bicyclist would have to wonder if thousands of Newmans have invaded the city's streets with the sole purpose of parking in bike lanes.

A clever site called MyBikeLane-Chicago allows bicyclists the opportunity to report scofflaws that treat bike lanes as extra parking or a personal loading zone. My neighborhood on the near West Side is featured as a "hot spot." I've posted a link in the "Useful Bicycle Links" section to the right of this post for the website. The "Pedestrian Hell" website also includes a "Bike Lane Hall of Shame." With the convenience of a cell phone I'm going to start making regular additions to this website with all the scofflaws I see parking in bike lanes.

Considering that we are in a revenue crunch in Chicago, I'd also like Da Mayor to start generating some extra revenue for the City by regularly and systematically issuing tickets to all the drivers (especially those who park and leave) who park in bike lanes. The Chicago Municipal Code is clear: you can't park or stand in a bike lane. Here's how the code reads:

9-40-060- Driving, standing or parking on bicycle paths or lanes prohibited -

The driver of a vehicle shall not drive, unless entering or exiting a legal parking space, or stand, or park the vehicle upon any on street path or lane designated by official signs or markings for the use of bicycles, or otherwise drive or place the vehicle in such a manner as to impede bicycle traffic on such path or lane. The driver of a vehicle shall not stand or park the vehicle upon any lane designated by pavement markings for the shared use of motor vehicles and bicycles, or place the vehicle in such a manner as to impede bicycle traffic on such lane. In addition to the fine provided in Section 9-4-025 of this Code, any vehicle parked in violation of this section shall be subject to an immediate tow and removal to a city vehicle pound or authorized garage.

Added Coun. J. 7-12-90, p. 18634; Amend Coun. J. 9-1-99, p. 10503, § 1; Amended Coun. J. 3-12-08, p. 22783.

If you have any questions regarding this post, Illinois Bicycle Law, or have been injured in a bike accident, please contact Mike Keating at