More than 300 instances of vehicles blocking bike lanes were recorded during yesterday’s data collection project in Rosslyn, Ballston and Crystal City.
A map of the violations from the D.C.-based ‘How’s My Driving?’ app indicates volunteers spotted 307 bike lane violations on sections of N. Lynn Street in Rosslyn, Fairfax Drive in Ballston, and Crystal Drive in Crystal City yesterday (Thursday).
“We knew the bike lanes monitored yesterday were a problem anecdotally, but now we have data to back up those claims that will hopefully help drive changes to enforcement practices and improve built infrastructure,” app co-creator Mark Sussman told ARLnow.
Most of the violations appear to have occurred along Crystal Drive.
Bike lane blockage hotspots on Crystal Dr can be crazy-specific. From 23rd to the South ped crossing had like 2 or 3 brief blockages at lunch. Between the 2 ped signals was like this the whole hour: #datapbl pic.twitter.com/BtFiZpWeRl
— Chris Slatt (@alongthepike) October 17, 2019
— Mark Sussman (@MarkSussman_) October 17, 2019
Vehicles parked in bike lanes can force cyclists to swerve into traffic on the street, creating dangers for cyclists and drivers.
Arlington’s County Code prohibits people who “stop, stand or park a motor vehicle in a bicycle lane, nor shall any person drive a motor vehicle in a bicycle lane for a distance of more than one hundred (100) feet.”
Despite some targeted enforcement efforts, the county has long-struggled to consistently enforce the rule, and activists have increasingly pushed for more protected bike lanes to prevent the problem, while criticizing new transit plans for not prioritizing cyclists’ safety.
@hmdappio Check out this utterly unmitigated disaster and 23rd & Eads – easily the worst designed bike lane in human history. Reason #1 I will never feel it’s safe ride my bike down Eads. And Amazon hopes HQ2 employees will cycle to work?? #DataPBL pic.twitter.com/5Q2kJ240PF
— Tara Dactyl (@SurlySocialite) October 17, 2019
So this came up today. #datapbl The bus was six inches in the bike lane/ not fully against the curb. The uber was eight inches in the bike lane on the other side while pulling out. Result: blocked cyclist pic.twitter.com/t44LJ5GH1c
— il te faut un vélo (@veleau_monica) October 17, 2019
Sussman previously told ARLnow he’d like to expand his crowd reporting app to Arlington after the the D.C. service attracted thousands of submissions for cars blocking bike lanes.
A particularly popular part is a Twitter bot that fetches DMV data on how many fines the cars in question have racked up. But this feature won’t work for Arlington drivers until the county allows Sussman and his partner Daniel Schep access to the public databases.
Three years ago, Arlington Transportation Commission Chair Chris Slatt created a crowdsourced reporting tool — ParkingDirty.com — for bike lane blockages that relied on users monitoring traffic cameras. On one day, it found that a stretch of bike lane along Crystal Drive was blocked about 65% of the time.