Following on from our idea back in a blog post here: #IParkedInABikeLane Campaign  In that post i took inspiration from a Canadian sticker campaign and made a more business case for wanting to use the stickers alongside highlighting the danger. I’ve been re-inspired to get the project moving but more in a call to arms way, as now we personally have firm experience it’s a danger, not just day to day close calls we shrug off as a normal work hazard.

The comes from a very near serious accident this week. One of our riders was turning onto Iffley road from Stockmore road, going left, there was an oxford city tour bus coming but it was 30’ish meters away, clearly saw our rider so he pulled out and down the cycle lane, however he had to go round a car up ahead. The bus caught up, beeped, swore and cut off our rider as he was going round the parked car that was parked in the bike lane. He squished our rider so far in he hit the parked cars wing mirror.

If the car hadn’t of been there, i don’t think the bus or bike would of been near each other and been any cause for concern to each other (although we have reported the bus driver for intentionally cutting off our rider in this case). This is why i intend to move this project forward. I have a responsibility to my staff to keep them safe on the roads and if this project helps to raise a discussion around this danger then i’d applaud it as a success, as right now the status quo is not working.

There is a great guardian article you can read here on the I parked in a bike lane sticker project from the Canadian guys and it picks up on a lot of points

The infuriating thing is, for endangering the life of our rider, although the bus was involved (at least he’s been reported) the cause was the parked car, which will see no penalties and no repercussions, we didn’t even damage his wing mirror.

I think of numerous times I’ve spoken to drivers polity through there windows and been met with nothing but abuse, times I’ve reported drivers and nothing has come of it. I think stickering is a pretty good passive aggressive and proportional response. The stickers aren’t planned to be very sticky and are easily removed and the intention isn’t to vandalise or cause damage. It’s a way of saying your actions aren’t acceptable and it’s significantly less aggressive than keying a door or smashing a wing mirror off with a D lock (we don’t condone these things but they do happen)

I’ve had the stickers designed and printed this weekend, they should arrive next week and I’ve posted up the first look onto our Facebook page. You can view it here, it’s had over 4000 views so far and a number of photos to back up why we wish to bring this campaign to oxford.

The post has caused an interesting debate if nothing else,

I will say this, it’s clearly stated in the highway code “You MUST NOT drive or park in a cycle lane marked by a solid white line during times of operation. Do not drive or park in a cycle lane marked by a broken white line unless it i unavoidable. You MUST NOT park in any cycle lane whilst waiting restrictions apply.” I don’t see how in any of those photos we include in the FB post, anything else but a violation of the highway code, please explain to me if you think otherwise but it seems pretty objective. Tradesman, LGV’s and cars have no excuses to not find a side road or parking place elsewhere and walk. However construction vehicles and removals vehicles its a good time to say they usually have permits and are manning there vehicles.

Having said that, our featured photo on this post, can anyone tell us where cyclists are supposed to go? if we go to the left, pedestrians are up in arms and if we go right we have to merge with grid lock traffic.

Moving forward, I want to clarify the goals i’d like to see come out of this, mainly

  • To highlight the danger parking in a bike lane causes to cyclists
  • To further highlight poor cycling infrastructure
  • See the local authority and traffic police enforce the law and keep cyclists safe

One of the main goals of the Oxford transport plan is to make walking, cycling and public transport more attractive, this would be a good and easy soft measure to just enforce the law? and a good start wouldn’t it? Until they step up, which with the car lobby i doubt will be anytime soon, i’d like to at least feel like we are making a difference in Oxford