If you’re a driver who frequently parks in bike lanes (tsk tsk), take note: The Philadelphia Parking Authority has taken to Twitter to stop bike-lane-blocking drivers everywhere. According to the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia, in an effort to stop drivers from parking in bike lanes, the PPA is now monitoring the Twitter hashtag #unblockbikelanes to find and ticket offenders.
Here’s how it works: If you see a car parked in a bike lane, just tweet the location of the car to @PhilaParking along with #unblockbikelanes. If a PPA officer happens to be in the area, they’ll teach that driver a lesson by slapping a ticket on their windshield. As the PPA stated on their blog, “While we can’t promise that enforcement can be dispatched to every single tweet we receive…we are committed to working closely with the cycling community on this issue.”
So, drivers, how do you know if you are illegally biking a block lane? Well, the rules are a bit tricky: If the bike lane is adjacent to parked cars (like on Fairmount Avenue), blocking the bike lane is considered double parking and is always illegal. However, if the bike lane is adjacent to the curb (for example, on Spruce Street), the law is a bit more lenient, allowing drivers to "stop" and "stand" in bike lanes to load or unload stuff, or to let people out of the vehicle.
But as every driver in Philadelphia knows, the PPA is not to be messed with. I mean, have you seen Parking Wars? And blocking the bike lane is kind of a jerk move, anyway. So my advice? Just avoid the bike lanes all together.