Paola Ferrer snaps a photo of cabbies idling in the new bike lane on Comm. Ave at Kenmore Square.
Every bike lane and bus stop in the city is 10 minute parking for picking up your:
2)Convenience store items
3)Significant Other / Family Member / Friend who is in a nearby store
All you have to do is flip on your flashers and you're A-OK.
Bike lanes are also perfectly acceptable locations to plant your construction dumpster; there's been a dumpster blocking part of the bike lane on Columbus Ave headed eastbound for months. At one point there was a traffic cone; now there's nothing.
Probably the worst corner is Columbus and Mass Ave in front of New York Pizza. There are a slew of no-parking signs and a bike lane there, but you wouldn't know it. Boston Police HQ is ~10 blocks away, and they can't be pissed to drive over and ticket&tow people. Then again, why are we surprised, given that the Globe had repeatedly presented BPD command staff with evidence of BPD employees parking personal vehicles in front of fire hydrants, crosswalks, handicapped parking, and fire lane spots around HQ.
Other bad spots include the pizza joint at the corner of Huntington and South Huntington (which is about the most obvious drug front in the world) where the bus stop on BOTH sides of the road is basically their Take Out Customer parking...and the stretch of Huntington Ave near Gainsborough, right in front of Boston House of Pizza.
Then there's Centre Street between Green and Burroughs, which in the morning is free reign for double-parking, blocking fire hydrants, and parking in bus stops and handicapped spaces. It's a giant clusterfuck every morning that clogs up traffic for blocks...and again, BPD can't be bothered to ticket and order the drivers to leave. So, delivery companies have learned that it's A-OK to double park an eighteen wheeler, drop the ramp, and spend half an hour offloading supplies into the store.
Everyone was cheering about the Harvard Ave bike lane, but every time I've used it, I've had to play Merge Because Masshole Is Using It For Parking.
Oh, and things aren't much better in Cambridge. The bike lanes on Mass Ave in Central, and in Harvard Square between Out of Town News and the Coop, are perpetually blocked by some cabbie who is half into the cab stand.
If I recall correctly, there is a very small (2 cab) cab stand outside the hotel.
Ouch! Say it ain't so. Oh well, I think J's right, there is a stand- it just doesn't look like they're on it. I'll do what I can to tell guys they're being photographed, in the mean time, while you're cycling by, you might politely mention it yourselves- you'd be surprised how many cabbies also use bikes. The one time you do want to see us in a bike lane is when we're discharging passengers. I would never drop a fare to the left of one-- if you think drivers don't look when opening doors... "Don't open the door!" "What?" they ask with a smile as they fling it open.
Yes, cabs should pull over into the bike lane to discharge. If it's not a law, it should be, similar to merging into the bike lane for a right turn.
So you prefer we merge into the bike line prior to taking a right turn? I've long wondered. I've done it some times, but I got scolded by a rider on the Mass Ave bridge (northbound, turning onto Memorial Drive) as he went around my left, so now I've stopped. To anticipate your question: I merged in with tons of space between us, and then slowed to the speed I needed in order to make the turn. Maybe he has a different opinion about this tactic.
I can't speak for other cyclists, but I definitely prefer a merge to a car turning in front of me. And thank you for thinking about it, and being good about leaving space when you do merge. If everybody drove that way, cycling would be far safer.
Absolutely. The most dangerous car/bike interaction is a right hook. If the car is fully in the bike lane to make the right turn, then a cyclist will not attempt to pass on the right and get hit. Yes, you'll get some idiot cyclist complaining that the bike lane is being blocked for 5 seconds, but theyre in the wrong. The cyclist should either pass on the left or be patient and slow down for the 5 seconds.
In California, the DMV drivers guide makes it very explicit that you must merge into the bike lane for a turn, further, all bike lanes become broken lines near intersections, to further show where to merge. Massachusetts should educate their drivers in the same way.
I don't prefer one way or the other that drivers merge into the bike lane for a right turn, but they should make their intentions to turn obvious in some way. Using the standard flasher method (as required by law) should be sufficient, but unfortunately most city drivers wait until they are turning the wheel before they put on their flasher, if at all.
Molly was telling me how she was on the bus recently and some people were about to get off, then the driver slammed the door in their faces and made them topple onto one another, just as a bike went zooming by a couple inches from the bus. Yeah, biker shouldn't have been on the right of a bus at full speed, but smart that the driver reacted immediately and chose to have a couple of sore passengers instead of a couple of seriously injured passengers and one fucked-up biker. The driver was like, "sorry about that, but I know that shouting at people to look out doesn't actually work."
Absolutely! I much prefer to go around a temporarily pulled over car than squeeze between it and the parked cars, for that very reason. Most bike lanes are wide enough to avoid dooring if you can be the far edge from where the door is, but there is no safety zone when you are between two cars. And your right about the passengers -- the last thing on their mind is any thought about the safety conditions on the road they are about to step on to.
I have no problem with cabs dropping off fares, police/Transportation Department cars writing tickets to double parkers or responding to an emergency or turning cars waiting for the green blocking the bike lane. Doing that usually allows the cyclist to pass in a safe manner, in most circumstances and they're rarely there for a long enough time to be a problem. It's the three or four cars or delivery vehicles double parked and just sitting there for a long time that are the problem.
Saw a first the other day: 2 tourists parked their car (with flashers on) in the bike lane along the Comm. Ave. mall. They got out of their car to take photos of the statues with folded tourist brochure/map in hand. For those who don't know, the bike lane along this stretch of Comm. Ave. runs along the mall side as opposed to the sidewalk side of the street. Furthermore, there was an available meter space on that block that they could have easily pulled into. LAZY.
Not enough cabstands or loading zones for cabs in the city. Since a lot of elderly use cabs, it makes it even tougher for cabs to find a place to legally park and pick up the elderly in front of where they live or shop.
Some places are worse than others, and hackney drivers can be their own worst enemy, but I agree this is not an easy city for cabs to pick up and drop off people.
All I can say is to take a picture of the cab/car & medallion/plate if they are cabs/livery/delivery/regular car and forward it to the city/authorities. If everyone did this for all bus stops/bike lanes/other no stopping zones either people would knock it off or the city would have enough new revenue in fines to overcome the budget situation. Hell, if the city started seriously ticketing jay-walking, which is every other bit as dangerous in many cases, they'd be awash in cash.
As with everything in this city enforcement of fines, inspections, basic traffic laws, dumping, etc. aren't a priority even when it's a revenue generator. It's always the same, we don't have enough money to pay the people to enforce the fines, but if the city enforced the fines they'd have more than enough revenue to hire an army of people.
And wouldn't be even if it were enforced. It is a $1 fine and would probably cost the city since so many people would appeal them and take up even more of the courts and police time in court.
And the Boston Hackney Division probaly makes the city more money in fining cab violations than any other enforcement divistion besides the BTD's parking ticket enforcement ($70 million a year is tough to beat). They will follow more about hackney complaints than other divisions as well.
In my experience that's true, they did follow up on a complaint about scofflaw driving. Frankly, I was surprised.