Housing Complex

Oh Look: A Parking Enforcement Car Blocking a Bike Lane


A friend of mine, Holly Shulman, sent over this blog, MyBikeLane.com, mostly to comment on restaurants that clog up bike lanes with valet signs and cars waiting for valet service. And she was naming names–particularly Policy DC, which was caught in the act earlier this year.*

But I think the newest post, published on Dec. 3, really captures the most egregious violation here: an official D.C. parking enforcement vehicle is caught blocking the bike lane. Is that illegal? I don't know. But it sure doesn't look right. (And for the record, the Department of Public Works manages parking enforcement.)

*Bikers chime in: I'm curious what other restaurants frequently stick their valet signs in the middle of bike lanes?

Image originally from MyBikeLane.com


  1. #1

    This is like when I see DC police driving around, talking on their cell phones (sans hands free devices).

    Who will watch the watchers?

  2. #2

    Or the overweight cycle-riding policemen riding on the sidewalk downtown (on full-suspension mountain bikes...).

    Would love to get in a bike-chase against one of them...

  3. #3

    Um, check the laws...police are excepted from this particular law while on duty...

    Know the facts before you cast stones!

  4. #4

    Other restaurants who set up valet parking signs blocking the bike lane are IndeBleu on G St and Asia Nine on E St. DDOT just put in place some half-assed regulation pertaining to valet parking earlier this year, but just like bike lane violations - there's basically no enforcement so they laws really don't matter. You still get restaurants double parking cars for entire blocks on occasion. "The Park at 14th" club is particularly bad - even blocking rush hour lanes as early as 5pm, but since they appear to hire uniformed MPD to work the door/security they seem to get a free pass every Thursday and Friday at least.

  5. #5

    Yuppers: If you're referring to MPD driving around while talking on cellphones, you are incorrect. They are NOT exempted from that law while on duty. Chief Lanier made that quite clear during an interview on WTOP earlier this year.

  6. #6

    a car for a parking enforcement officer makes no sense at all, because it's impossible to use a car for parking enforcement without constantly parking in the same manner that you're ticketing everyone else for doing. Anyway it's clearly a job best done on foot or by bicycle. roller blades even. it's a walk-the-beat job. Cars for parking enforcement should be eliminated immediately. Can't we all agree on this???

  7. #7

    Here is another great example of Parking Enforcement.
    I sent this photo to the Mayor's office along with a letter explaining why I was upset about this situation. The Mayor's office forwarded it Parking Enforcement. I received a letter from that office saying that Parking Enforcement vehicles are required to park legally, and that disciplinary action was being taken. They also asked me to send any future photos along to their office. That made my day. When I first got the letter, I thought I had a ticket.

  8. #8

    This happens all the time. Here's a shot of a cop car blocking the 14th St bike lane, while waiting in line at Taco Bell:

  9. #9

    the 14th & U intersection is a particularly bad one when it comes to cars parked in the bike lane. I bike down that stretch every morning and 9 times out of 10 there is a car parked there. According to laws passed earlier this year, it is a $250 fine. By my estimate, if deputized, I could hand out at least $2,625,000 in bike lane violations annually. That's on the low side. There are usually at least 4 cars parked in the bike lane on G between 14th & 11th. New revenue generating idea for the city?

  10. #10

    @Lee Regarding cars and enforcement, most now have automated plate scanning equipment attached so they can quickly scan many plates, looking for ones w/ not just out of state, but past due offenses. While blocking the lane sucks, you can see the blinkers on and they were probably writing a ticket.

  11. #11

    RE: ms - a plate scanner and boot could just as easily be loaded onto a heavy-duty dutch style bicycle or cargo bike.

    Google had 360 degree cameras, scanners, and laptops on these type of bikes for a lot of their streetview projects in lots of American cities. Cargo bikes would be a lot cheaper to buy and maintain than CNG-powered domestic automobiles. The bikes would also cause a lot less problems and annoyance with the bike lanes and other traffic, and would do the same job just as effectively.

    Most other places besides the USA, parking enforcement is done by bicycle or on foot, and for good reason.

  12. #12

    this is yet another reason why all the bike tracks need to be physically separated. If even the parking enforcement officers regularly parking in the bike lanes, even when they are disciplined for doing so, then there really is no other way to enforce the bike lanes except to keep them physically separated. This is why physical separation has to be mandatory. Enforcement by parking officers clearly just isn't going to happen!

  13. #13

    Car parking space is a problem these days,even the parking enforcement officers regularly parking in the bike lanes, even when they are disciplined for doing so, then there really is no other way to enforce the bike lanes except to keep them physically separated.

    Car Parking

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