Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Critical One

There are a few stretches of road on my commute to work which are shared bus / bike lanes between the hours of 07.30 and 09.30. For most of the route motorists stay out of them but as you reach a set of traffic lights in Finaghy cars start to move over to the bike lane and queue up there.
This has pissed me off for a while so last week I decided to stop my bike in the bike lane with a queue of cars behind me. It didn't take long for the traffic to back up a couple of hundred meters.
I explained to the woman at the front of the queue that she was in a bike lane and she started pushing her horn and telling me to move. I thought to myself I bet I can wait this out longer than she can so I decided to stay until she moved.
A few people further back realizing what was happening pulled in to the other lane (which was now completely empty - but most of them still sat in the bike lane?)
After a couple of minutes a workman from a site came over to see what was going on and the woman said "he's blocking the lane" and to my delight the workman said "Well, you shouldn't be in that lane should you"
she stayed there for another 2 minutes and eventually decided to move, and as soon as she pulled off I moved as well to cheers from some builders on scaffolding across the road. So with a shout of "power to the people" and a punch in the air (for the benefit of the builders) I was on my way.
Sometimes it can be a bit embarrassing taking direct action on your own, and I wonder whether it does anything to change peoples ideas, but at least on this occasion I got my point across. I think my next course of action will be to write to the Police and ask them how many motorists they have fined for driving in the bike lane on that stretch of road - I have a feeling that I already know the answer.

Picture from flee.com

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