I watched this video last night. I don't know how I feel. On one hand, it is pretty clear that she is not parked correctly, and the fact that it is pretty clear where she is supposed to park given the sign that she parked right by and the other parked car. He did come across as fairly authoritative, but in certain situations you have to be or people will just walk all over you. I am not crazy about the language that the cyclist used, although in his defense, she started with the f-bomb.
I went through this situation already and posted about it. The bike lane was blocked by a pizza delivery vehicle. I confronted the driver but I did not use language like that guy. Had this guy remained calm and not sworn like a sailor, I think that his encounter with this driver might have been more positive.
Neither were on their best behavior, but I doubt she will be parking in the bike lane again anytime soon, despite the displayed entitled attitude.
Avoiding argument/escalation can be challenging, especially in the heat of the moment. It went downhill pretty quickly from the initial ma'am approach. It would be interesting to see what would happen if all the cyclists going by just silently lined up in a pack behind her car waiting for her to clear the lane. Another option would be to try to be "helpful" by pointing out "oh wow, did you hear they are ticketing people $200 for parking there?" Other ideas?
The way he handled it at first doesn't bother me, but the escalation does. I do like pointing out that parking there is a $200 fine (or whatever). I WOULD have called the police, reported the plate number, and assuming my video was good, submitted it as evidence.
It's hard to avoid escalating a situation like that yourself. But I suppose if you say your piece, and then call in the report, refusing to engage in the extra profanity and escalation, you can avoid the worst of it.
I think, after confirming it is her car, that it is more polite to point out that she is on camera and then suggest that maybe she did not understand and mistakenly parked in the bike lane. Then ask that she please not do so again as it puts cyclist in danger passing her car. The camera witness may have helped keep her on better behavior if he had been more helpful and yes, good idea, pointed out the ticket cost, if caught. Even then, many drivers take offense, especially if they are in the wrong. It feels like he is trying to show drivers in the worst light rather than make the world a beter place for all.
I guess this just shows that all of us who use road ways need to follow the rules. We need to show respect for each other. I hate to say this but its just as easy for a motorist to post a video of a cyclist breaking the rules. I am saying as cyclist numbers increase we are going to learn to co-exist with our motorists, vice versa.
I've encountered this situation from time to time, and you guys are right, it's incredibly difficult to remain diplomatic and "in control" in some of these situations. Had one this morning where the guy threatened to run me over after he cut me off in the bike lane.
The cyclist stood his ground. The motorist responded with something like "It was only for a moment." Cyclist proceeded to record the situation, and posted the motorist's license plate to youtube.
"I blocked it, knowingly, but just for a second." Is not an excuse for blocking a bike lane, the passing lane of I- 94, or a Handicapped accessible van parking spot. In the video, I feel that the cyclist was right (and within his rights) and behaved well, the inappropriate language came from the driver.
In posting the video, unedited, I am concerned that other laws and norms may have been broken, which will continue to cast cyclists in a bad light.
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