Ask a cyclist: Is it okay to park in a bike lane?

Can I park in a bike lane?

No, you can’t. In Minneapolis, “it is illegal for motorists to drive or park in bike lanes, except in instances where you need to turn, enter or leave the roadway, or park in a lane adjacent to the bike lane.” Either you’re crossing over the bike lane (while paying close attention to make sure there’s no one biking in it) or you’re not in it. You can’t just hang out in there.

I’m just picking up my friend, can I leave my car in this bike lane for just a minute?

No, no you can’t. The bike lane is here for a reason. People use it. People who don’t feel comfortable biking in traffic use it. Even if no one is using it right now, they may come up behind you while you’re waiting there. It’s stressful to be on a bicycle and have to merge and navigate into traffic to get around a car that’s parked where it shouldn’t be. There’s plenty of street parking, drive up a couple blocks or pull into a nearby driveway if you need to wait for just a minute. Do not ever, for any reason, park in a bike lane.

What if I have my hazard lights on, then can I park in the bike lane?

No, you can’t. Having your hazard lights on doesn’t make any difference. Someone who’s biking still would have to navigate around you and it sucks. It really, really sucks.

This bike lane wasn’t here yesterday. I always parked in this spot. Can I still park there even though it’s a bike lane?

No. It’s a bike lane now. I know change can be hard, but the face of this city is changing for the better. Bike lanes encourage people to ride bikes, and that’s good for individuals and good for society. Yes, you’ll have to alter your routine a little, but there’s plenty of parking. Now get outta there.

What will happen to me if I park in a bike lane?

Parking in a bike lane is a petty misdemeanor and a ticketable offense in Minnesota. You might not get a ticket every time, but you’ll probably ruin someone’s day. Just don’t do it, alright?

I parked in a bike lane and someone yelled at me. Why?

You deserved it. Don’t park in a bike lane and you won’t get yelled at.

These made up questions were answered by a real human who rides bicycles, and has to ride around cars that are parked in bike lanes all the flipping time.

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