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Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Gibson Apologizes for Parking in Bike Lane

PhotobucketYesterday, a BoogieDowner reader took photos of Assemblywoman Vanessa Gibson's car, which was parked in a bike lane on the Grand Concourse near her district office.  In the window was a police placard, designed to keep the vehicle ticket-free.

We reached out to Gibson's office for comment and they gave us the following statement: 

The bike lane on the Grand Concourse has been a positive addition for a lot of Bronx residents. As you know, there is a serious lack of parking on the Grand Concourse, but I have always respected the bike lane and apologize for blocking it. In this instance, my car was left in the bike lane for a few moments while I was unloading supplies for my district office. I realize that caused some inconvenience and will make every effort to avoid blocking the bike lane in the future.
Gibson (pictured) didn't say why she was using a police placard, but Wiley Norvell, the communications director of Transportation Alternatives, a bicycle advocacy group, told me it was a clear example of "misuse."

For starters, these police permits aren't intended for elected officials, Norvell said.  And even it they were, "there's no permit in the world that lets you park in a bike lane."

By the way, Transportation Alternatives runs a Web site - Uncivil Servants - which allows people to submit photographs of illegally parked cars they've seen and snapped.


  1. Kudos for apologizing, I guess.

    We really need to hear more about the placard. Maybe the police would comment? Is it legally issued? By whom? NYC police? NYS police?

    Double parking is a way of life in the Bronx and, on one level, it is reasonable to unload stuff in front of her office if it really only took a few minutes. Here's the thing, though -- she did not have to block and should not have blocked the bike lane. The freaking lines are there for a reason. They should not be crossed by a car. Double park to unload out in the street, on the street side of the lines. Don't make a biker swerve around the car have to go out into the street. I have tried to make this point with double-parkers as I ride my bike. They look at me like I'm insane. I've even had a few cops tell me I'm crazy (they were double parked to get lunch, by the way, not on "police business.")

  2. It's clear from the photo that it isn't an NYPD placard. It doesn't seem to identify any police agency specifically as far as I can make out, but appears to have the New York State Seal.

    As for the "unloading" excuse, no one was unloading anything when the picture was taken. Under NYC parking rules, therefore, the car was "parked," not "standing" or "unloading". Not that it really matters; you're not supposed to be blocking the bike lane under any circumstances.

    Basically what her apology seems to be saying is that while she'll try ("make every effort," whatever that's supposed to mean) to avoid blocking the bike lane (at least, that particular one in front of her office) she'll still park illegally when she feels like it and will continue her illegal use of a police placard.


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