A self-described “bike lane vigilante” released a video showing him placing tow-away stickers on vehicles that he says were illegally parked in bike lanes in Philadelphia. Throughout the 3-minute, 20-second long video, the cyclist places the stickers on the vehicles and tells drivers who are illegally parked to move.
“What I’ve noticed is that once one vehicle is blocking the bike lane, other drivers seem to think it is more acceptable to also block the bike lane in front or behind the first vehicle,” he said. “I often see clusters of two to four vehicles blocking the bike lanes.”
The man, who wanted to remain anonymous, told NBC10 he was motivated by several incidents.
“Seeing many of the same vehicles constantly blocking the bike lanes, lack of enforcement, seeing a cyclist fall after getting their wheel stuck in trolley tracks when they were avoiding a stopped vehicle in the bike lane, and a hypocritical driver both blocking the bike lane and then aggressively driving and honking at me when I had to avoid a second vehicle in the bike lane,” the man said.
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It is illegal for a vehicle to stop or park in a bike lane with a "No Stopping" sign. Vehicles may load or unload in a bike lane with a "No Parking" sign but can't stay for more than 20 minutes.
The man said all the vehicles he placed the stickers on were either blocking a bike lane while double parking other vehicles in or parked in “No Stopping” zones. He also told NBC10 drivers have at times reacted to him aggressively or violently.
“I’ve been threatened, swerved into and hit by a vehicle’s mirror,” he said. “I filed a police report. The police recommended aggravated assault and lesser charges but the DA refused to press the case. The message the DA is sending to cyclists is that they are on their own.”
The man told NBC10 he’s not just trying to help cyclists but drivers as well.
“I both drive and bike in Philly and it is to both drivers' and cyclists’ advantage to keep the bike lanes clear,” he said. “When cyclists are forced into traffic, it is not only dangerous to cyclists but it also often upsets any drivers that are now stuck behind that cyclist. I try my best to stay out of the way of other drivers but blocked bike lanes prevent me from doing that. All for the convenience of a single driver.”