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May 5th, 2010 MARTY SMITH | Dr. Know
 

Dr. Know

     
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Just sent you a photo of four passenger vehicles driving in what is supposed to be a buffered bike lane that opened on Southwest Stark Street in September. Does the city not ticket people for motoring in the bike lane? Is it actually legal to drive in the bike lane? I’m confused.

—Bikey Likes It

Last week, I drove the wrong way down a one-way street for two blocks and didn’t get a ticket. That doesn’t mean it was legal, though; it just shows the uniquely American combination of stupidity and luck that has so endeared our nation to the rest of the world.

That said, a recent trip to Southwest Stark Street certainly did uncover a bumper crop of good old-fashioned Yankee don’t-know-how. The buffered bike lanes are a pilot project to demonstrate a new way for cars and bikes to share the road, and it’s obvious that some folks have been a little slow to catch on.

Transportation bureau spokesman Dan Anderson says improved pavement striping in a few weeks may help some of the slower kids catch up with the rest of the class. He also, touchingly, suggested that columns like this one might help educate the public about the lanes. (I didn’t have the heart to tell him that none of my four readers drive, since three of you are in prison—hi, Mom!—and the fourth is actually a dog.)

Still, hope springs eternal. In the meantime, the police bureau assures me that driving in the new buffered bike lanes (there are more on Southwest Oak Street and Southeast Holgate Boulevard) is just as illegal as driving in any other bike lane.

When I asked if the cops were going easy on motorists who haven’t figured them out yet, police spokeswoman Mary Wheat actually laughed at me, so I suggest wising up pronto.

 
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