Officials cracking down on drivers parking, driving in bike lanes

Published: May. 21, 2019 at 6:00 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Charlotte-Mecklenburg School Board member and frequent bicyclist, Carol Sawyer has come across the issue several times - people parking or driving in designated bike lanes in uptown.

“As I regularly bike to work and around town, there are very few protected bike lanes and I was very pleased to see the new cycle track open down town but one of the first times I tried to bike down it, I found a car parked in it,” Sawyer said.

She’s snapped photos of different cars on two occasions, parked in the uptown Cycle Track, the newest addition of bike lanes in the city. She says it’s a safety issue when people park their cars in bike lanes.

“That kind of defeats the purpose of having a protected bike lane if the cyclist is forced out of the bike lane into the lanes of traffic to go around a parked car," says Sawyer.

Carol isn’t the only one who’s seen it happen, others shared photos with WBTV as well.

“In other parts of the town there are frequently people who are parked just on the streets where there are areas of just the shoulder bike lanes,” says Sawyer.

“Were asking motorists not to park in these lanes, they are designated for cyclists and scooters," explained CMPD Captain Julie Barry.

Some people say the reason they’re confused with the new Uptown cycle track lanes on 5th and 6th streets, is because where the bike lanes are now, used to be street parking spots.

“We have issued a few citations probably less than a handful, we don’t have a city ordinance right now that designates what you can and cant do in a bike lane outside of the city ordinance,” said Barry.

The city may not have an ordinance right now, but with phase 2 of that uptown cycle track and this growing issue, CMPD is working with city leaders to create a city ordinance that would provide further language on what you can and cannot do inside of a bike lane, which could mean more citations.

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