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"I don't care that I'm in the bike lane, just go around me!": Note on car parked in a cycle lane leaves cyclists dumbfounded and angry

A note stuck on the windscreen wiper of a car parked in the middle of a bike lane in Boston has gone viral — and cyclists can’t make sense of the sheer audacity

A picture of a handwritten note stuck on the windscreen of a car parked in the middle of a bike lane telling cyclists to go around and that the driver doesn't care about where they're parking has captured the attention of Boston residents.

The photo, shared on the r/boston subreddit, is a screenshot of a submission to the BOS:311 app, used to report non-emergency municipal issues, such as illegal parking. From the photo, it can be seen that the car was parked in Roxbury, a neighbourhood in Boston with the words: "I don’t care that I’m in the bike lane. Just go around me!!"

While road.cc has covered countless parking incidents in the bike lane, this one probably stands out because of the unique nature of both the intentional placing of the vehicle as well as the response led by citizen reporting, plus the fact it has gone viral since.

The BOS:311 app is flooded with people reporting illegally parked cars, often many in bus and bike lanes.

> Boston bike lane removal the latest sign of US resistance to growth of cycle culture?

User Jack_Jacques wrote: "Hop off your bike, grease up the wheels and roll it up the back, over the roof and right down the windshield and hood. Leave a note saying you went over instead of around."

One person said: "Steal the wheels from the passenger side and add a note that says 'No worries, you're a bike now, welcome to the lane'," reminding everyone of the sketch by Tim Robinson's 'Biker from Another Planet' (two motorbikes with a little house in the middle?!). Another person noted: "Bet they’d care if a bike just so happened to break off their mirror while trying to go around them."

In fact, the official reddit account of the Boston citizen reporting website/app was forced to give a much-need reminder to everyone: "Please don't park in the bike lane everyone".

Comment
byu/TheLamestUsername from discussion
inboston

While almost everyone was in unanimous agreement of the driver being a myriad of offensive words, one person remarked: "As much as I hate c***y drivers, I hate a society in which we rat each other out even more."

However, there was a thoughtful reply right below it: "I mean, just a temporary bit of the latter can help a lot with the former. We certainly don't rely so much on 'rats' to address most crimes, because by now, those crimes are taken seriously and actually enforced against -- unlike this one. Solution? That we take this crime seriously and actually enforce against it."

> Huge cartoon cut-outs used to highlight safety message by US cycling campaigners

Despite the alleged poor state of cycling infrastructure in the United States, Boston is one of the cities in the country which has recently taken to implementing active travel policies and installing segregated bike lanes.

The usage of cycles has also seen a bump in the city since the Covid lockdown. According to data from Axios, the number of average daily bike trips per 1,000 in the Boston area rose from 26 to 35 between 2019 and 2022.

However, as is the case here in the UK, the access to bike lanes didn't come without friction. road.cc reported back in 2010 that cycle paths in the city were removed by city authorites just weeks after they had been put in place, raising questions about the entrenched car use and people's acceptance to understanding that increased bike usage helps the community as a whole.

By the looks of it, things seemed to have improved in Boston since then. However, as cycling campaigners would tell you, it's a long road.

In 2017, Boston residents in the city turned a new leaf in creative campaigning, putting up eight huge cartoon cut-outs to send a message to the then-mayor to improve infrastructure and to highlight to drivers the role they can play in keeping cyclists safe.

> Doctors in Boston 'prescribe' very low cost bike hire for patients

A little over two years ago, in a press conference in Roxbury no less, Mayor Michelle Wu announced that the city would undertake a major expansion in the city's network of separated bike lanes, with a goal to put 50 per cent of the city's population within a three-minute walk of a protected bike lane within the next three years.

"We are adding 9.4 miles of new bike lanes by the end of next year, to mend key gaps and expand our network," she said Mayor Wu, adding that the plan also promised to add 100 new stations to the Bluebikes network — a city-wide bike sharing system, similar to the Manchester's Bee Network, and also new speed humps and raised crosswalks to calm traffic around the city.

Adwitiya joined road.cc in 2023 as a news writer after graduating with a masters in journalism from Cardiff University. His dissertation focused on active travel, which soon threw him into the deep end of covering everything related to the two-wheeled tool, and now cycling is as big a part of his life as guitars and football. He has previously covered local and national politics for Voice Wales, and also likes to writes about science, tech and the environment, if he can find the time. Living right next to the Taff trail in the Welsh capital, you can find him trying to tackle the brutal climbs in the valleys.

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34 comments

Avatar
Spscho | 2 months ago
0 likes

"I don't care that I let your tyres down. You can just pump them up again! 🙂 Have a lovely day!"

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BigDoodyBoy | 2 months ago
2 likes

Dear Road.cc,
What steps did you take to verify that the note was left by the driver and not an irate cyclist after the fact?

I can't stand the way everything is sensationalised and designed to create animosity between drivers and cyclists. Please grow up and be better journalists.

Regards,
DMc

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bigwheeler88 replied to BigDoodyBoy | 2 months ago
2 likes

Why would a cyclist waste their time doing that? We have better things to do and places to be than wasting our lives on irresponsible and inconsiderate drivers.

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chrisonabike replied to bigwheeler88 | 2 months ago
4 likes

Yet here we are...

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bigwheeler88 | 2 months ago
4 likes

Nothing a scratch to the door won't rectify. Or a lock through the windwscreen.

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WashoutWheeler replied to bigwheeler88 | 2 months ago
2 likes

I am astonished people have not woken up to paint stripper in a nasel spray bottle small but VERY effective.

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chrisonabike replied to WashoutWheeler | 2 months ago
1 like
WashoutWheeler wrote:

I am astonished people have not woken up to paint stripper in a nasel spray bottle small but VERY effective.

Vicks works for me, each to their own though.

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Cavey65 | 2 months ago
2 likes

Surely no damage could possibly happen to his mirror... Unless cyclists close pass!

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Wheelywheelygood | 2 months ago
1 like

When cyclists ride with such disregard for the safety of others on the road they will ailenate all other road users and then they cease to care about bikes , I've just watched a video made by a biker there's a bike lane but does he use it, no just barges through eventually causing an accident then blames the car . So many times I have witnessed cyclists riding in a suicidal manner even putting their own children in danger 

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hutchdaddy replied to Wheelywheelygood | 2 months ago
12 likes

Whataboutery. Go away.

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Hirsute replied to Wheelywheelygood | 2 months ago
8 likes

Collective punushment then.

Does it work the other way where drivers disregard the safety of others?

Many times I have witnessed drivers driving in a suicidal manner even putting their own children in danger.

 

Do you anything useful at all to contribute?

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Clem Fandango replied to Wheelywheelygood | 2 months ago
9 likes

What have Hells Angels got to do with it?

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polainm replied to Wheelywheelygood | 2 months ago
1 like

Ah, the local Troll, with brains leaking out its nose wearing a soiled loin cloth.

I'd rather the brainless 5% and the mobile phone addicted 25% cycle, than drive a two tonne SUV or bigger at the same time. 

In your cave you may find a rotting carcass to snack on. This is UK highway culture.  

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Geordiepeddeler replied to Wheelywheelygood | 2 months ago
0 likes

Your theory is perfectly correct in an ideal world. Most of the cycle lanes I have encountered are not fit for purpose, full of debris or dangerous. Bear this in mind, now apply that to your post. I have ridden in the Netherlands, which as cyclists we know is on of the Meccas of cycling with excellent infrastructure which is also safe. In this country I have been knocked off by a driving instructor of all people whilst she was teaching a student. To label all cyclists as riding with no regards to any safety is out of order!

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Smoggysteve | 2 months ago
11 likes

Reply: 

 

im very sorry , i kicked off your wing mirror, you seemed to think its ok to park in a cycle lane so i feel its ok to remove your mirror with my foot. Have a nice day 

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Bungle_52 replied to Smoggysteve | 2 months ago
7 likes

A better reply would be.

"Sorry. Tried going round but there wasn't as much room between your car and the one which was passing at the time as I had thought."

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Cavey65 replied to Smoggysteve | 2 months ago
1 like
Smoggysteve wrote:

Reply: 

 

im very sorry , i kicked off your wing mirror, you seemed to think its ok to park in a cycle lane so i feel its ok to remove your mirror with my foot. Have a nice day 

because criminal damage is exactly the same...of course.

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AidanR replied to Cavey65 | 2 months ago
9 likes

I agree, property damage is of a different order to endangering people's lives by deliberately blocking safety infrastructure.

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DoomeFrog | 2 months ago
10 likes

My immediate thought was this is some wag mocking the driver with the note to make a point. A good level of sarcasm.

If I was going to park illegally why would I bother with a note on the outside. Tape it in the back window where it couldn't be removed. Job done.

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pockstone | 2 months ago
3 likes

Where's Andy MacAskill when you need him?...Edit...(sorry Andy, my mistake, but almost an anagram of Danny.)

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SaveTheWail replied to pockstone | 2 months ago
7 likes

Attacking midfield, apparently.

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pockstone replied to SaveTheWail | 2 months ago
1 like

He'll do for some of the suggestions above...is he right or left footed?

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hawkinspeter | 2 months ago
8 likes

I think we need some kind of protocol for dealing with cars abandoned in bike lanes. Maybe they should not be treated as private property when left like that and so any damage caused to them when "parked" like that would be legal, as long as it's obvious and does not cause a safety hazard. Letting down tyres should be allowable, but cutting of brake hoses wouldn't.

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chrisonabike replied to hawkinspeter | 2 months ago
8 likes

Just lock a wrecked old bike to them - for the car's security. Ideally ones front and rear also - if cyclists are like drivers they'll only be looking out for the vehicles they expect to see in "their" lane so that will help the car to be seen.

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Car Delenda Est replied to hawkinspeter | 2 months ago
8 likes

In the US, at least in some cities, the private property of the homeless is seized and destroyed for being on public land.

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Secret_squirrel replied to Car Delenda Est | 2 months ago
6 likes

Happened in London last month.  Homeless tent city on UCH (yes the hospital) land had all the their tents thrown into a rubbish truck & crushed - possessions still inside the tent.

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essexian replied to Secret_squirrel | 2 months ago
15 likes

Which ever scumbag ordered that should have their property seized and be forced to live on the streets for a year with little or no support from official sources. Then, they might learn some decency. 

A scummy thing to do. 

https://www.crisis.org.uk/get-involved/donate/
Something actually good to do at Christmas rather than buying tat for people who have an easy life. 
 

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chrisonabike replied to Secret_squirrel | 2 months ago
8 likes

I mean, apparently it's a lifestyle choice - that is from the perspective of someone who's never going to be out there themselves and is trolling to get attention and promote themselves.

Full quote in the article.  I'll give the whole first paragraph as I wouldn't want to take things like this out of context e.g. miss that xenophobic hook:

Suella Braverman, on "X, formerly Twitter" wrote:

The British people are compassionate. We will always support those who are genuinely homeless. But we cannot allow our streets to be taken over by rows of tents occupied by people, many of them from abroad, living on the streets as a lifestyle choice.

Of course, she did then go on to complete the "nice" part of the shit sandwich but that was at the top of it.  Of course this is a standard ploy now - say something right out there, then qualify and apparently retreat from it - but you've got everyone's attention and your cheerleaders will only remember the explosive part.

I hope never to be homeless but in reality many of us could find we're just a couple of nights away from it.  Loss of job / fall out with family and you can quickly be thinking "I can't keep sleeping on my mate's couch..."

Bit off-topic for bikes - but I could see folks with this kind of mindset declaring a clean-up and catching one of my bikes!  Perhaps if I'd parked it at the station while away for a couple of weeks...

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hawkinspeter replied to Car Delenda Est | 2 months ago
11 likes
Car Delenda Est wrote:

In the US, at least in some cities, the private property of the homeless is seized and destroyed for being on public land.

That's like the pinnacle of cruelty and stupidity.

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Secret_squirrel replied to hawkinspeter | 2 months ago
3 likes

Torch them.  Seriously.  Then the wreckage will get towed away.

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