I was reading some of the online newspapers like Gothamist and BikePortland, and the same old anger that made me quit writing about wrecks a few years back came bubbling up, mostly about people in cars making life dangerous for cyclists just to save a few seconds or a few steps. Gothamist was talking about towing cars from bus lanes (but not from bike lanes), and BikePortland was talking about right hooks in general and an injury wreck that appeared to be a right hook in specifics. Basically it was all about cars in bicycle infrastructure and not getting penalized for it. I don’t want to go down that road again, because the eventual destination is not good for me, but I do want to make a statement: If you see a car parked in a bike lane you should put down road flares to direct bike travel around the car and car travel around the car, and the tow truck, and bikes that will have to move into the general travel lane to get around the car. And if the flares happen to get too close to the car and maybe cause a tire to blow up or the gas tank to catch fire, well that’s just one of those things that “happens”, you know? Kinda how cars hitting cyclists “just happens”. Because putting down flares to direct traffic around an illegally parked car is all for safety, not to “accidentally” give the entitled driver an extra-judicial “traffic ticket” and fine. And if a bunch of illegally-parked cars catch on fire or blow up the left rear tire, they shouldn’t have been parked illegally, right?
Because traffic enforcement should never have to be a DIY project.