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Vehicle blocks the bike lane on Broadway, cyclist says
Dear Street Smarts, Q: For the past two weeks, a commercial mechanical/plumbing truck has been parked in a red zone -- faded red, but there is still red paint there -- in front of their business on Broadway. This truck completely blocks the bike lane in an extremely dangerous and congested area. I bicycle commute from eastside Santa Cruz to UCSC every day and this stretch between Riverside and Ocean on Broadway is the single most dangerous stretch of my commute. A young woman riding in front of me was almost hit from behind as she veered around this obstacle as traffic was moving for a green light at Ocean Street. There are bike lane "no parking signs," a red curb and a completely blocked bike lake. I have been riding seriously since the early 1970s and my neighbor -- way back when -- was instrumental in Palo Alto's bicycle programs in the 1970s and 1980s. I would estimate as many as 30-40 percent of cars I see cross the big white stripe and I am pushed to the curb several times a day), I ask for some stepped up awareness and enforcement of existing bike lane laws before the 3 foot law goes into effect later this year. While I would love it if drivers would and/or could give me 3 feet, I would be happy if they simply stayed to the left of the big white line. Don't get me wrong, I drive too, I am a car nut that served as a board officer for a large national car club and own several cars. I choose to bicycle commute to be green, save money and get exercise daily without going to the gym. All the right reasons. I ride about as legally as reasonably possible and I have had no moving violations in a car or on my bike for 22 years now. Please look into this and thank you for your time. Regards, Mike Veglia, via email A: This was a matter for the city's parking office, which last week replaced the missing sign and gave the curb a fresh coat of red paint. Now, the reader reports that vehicles don't parking blocking the bike lane any more. Now, knowing which agency to contact to report problems with bike lanes and sidewalks, as well as other infrastructure for cyclists and pedestrians can be confusing. Mr. Veglia said he reported the issue to the police department. There is an easy way to report problems with cycling and pedestrian facilities countywide with the click of a mouse. Log onto http://www.sccrtc.org/services/hazard-reports/, the Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission's "Hazard Report." "This is a great way to document bicycle and pedestrian barriers, whether they are vehicles or objects blocking the sidewalk, rough pavement, plant over growth, signal problems or a gap in facilities," said Karena Pushnik, senior planner and spokesperson for the commission. The online form takes a few moments to complete and also allows problem reporters to upload photos. The commission staff will then refer the complaint to the correct jurisdiction for follow up. People with such concerns can bookmark the above link or write to Street Smarts.