Egregious, Entitled or Just Consistently Bad at Parking?


“Dear PoPville,

Attached are pictures of the bike lane on New Hampshire avenue south of V street NW. The dark Audi pictured below comes almost every Sunday and seems to believe the bike lane is his own personal parking spot. Given previous discussions I thought I’d pass along.”


58 Comment

  • Can the car be towed by the City?

    Stuff like that makes me want to smear dog crap all over that person’s windshield.

    • Or under the driver’s side door handle. I know someone who actually did this once.

    • “Accidentally” brush the side with a bikeshare handlebar, problem solved.

      • Problem Solved. You mean problem escalated.

        • I think this individual would be much less likely to park here if they anticipated damage to their car. This would solve the problem.

          • I think purposely damaging a car could get you locked up or knocked out. Call the 311 and go on about your day.

          • Of course it could get you locked up or knocked out. But if nobody noticed, the problem might be solved. Calling 311 about an illegal parking job on a Sunday within a mile of a church? You would be lucky if they didn’t laugh you off the line.

          • It was parked in the bike lane. Who’s to say you weren’t cruising along, watching for traffic outside the bike lane, when you suddenly saw a car parked smack in the middle of the bike lane and only at the last minute avoided serious injury, just barely scraping the side with your handle bar?
            I’m not saying that will happen, just that it totally might when a difficult to see black car is illegally parked in the middle of the lane. And if it did the owner might be less likely to park there in the future.

          • When I was moving many a year ago, when I came back with my car to pick up the last few items that didn’t fit in my truck, I found that someone with an OOS license plate had found my “emergency no parking” space (only two parking spots, and only for half a day) as a convenient place to park a RATHER fancy truck (:cough:compensating:cough:). I just couldn’t avoid bumping my antique black lacquer rocking chair leg into his pretty white truck while I got it into my car. That ish will never wash off. Hope it was worth the parking spot!

      • That you would suggest something so illegal as to damage someone’s personal property is far worse than this person parking their vehicle this way. The fact that so many other people went along with it is exactly what is wrong with our society. So the car is parked in the street like that — what if they are visiting their 90+ year old grandmother every weekend and she can’t walk far — what if they are rushing in and out every weekend — I do not understand how this Audi’s parking spot led some people to think damaging someone’s personal property was a plausible option. Smearing poop or placing poop under their handle achieves the same goal without damaging anything. What did this vehicle do to cause you damage? Nothing. So make the situation much worse by keying the car. Stupid.

        • Drop granny off and park in a legal spot.
          What if someone’s 90+ year old grandmother wanted to go for a bike ride, had to swerve around the Audi into traffic, and was killed? Where would your sanctimonious rant be then?

          • In your hypo: “Had to swerve” would imply that “granny” didn’t see the Audi because the Audi didn’t just come out of no where — is her vision poor? – so maybe “granny” from your hypo shouldn’t be riding her bike because her vision is poor. Someone parking their vehicle this way is wrong — but illegal behavior in response to someone parking their car this way is considerably more unethical and wrong.

            You’re condoning someone keying someone else’s car because of how they parked — what is wrong with you? An eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind – so go ahead and key the car. Next time you do something even remotely stupid, you’re condoning that society take extreme measures to correct that behavior.

            Where will your foolish camaraderie with the people who take extreme measures be after it happens to you? (I’ll give you a hint – it’s rhetorical.)

        • ““Had to swerve” would imply that “granny” didn’t see the Audi because the Audi didn’t just come out of no where — is her vision poor? –”

          Asking a cyclist to go around the Audi is asking the biker to merge into oncoming traffic with vehicles the weight over a ton on a well traveled road. There is a reason bikers stick to roads with bike lanes. It is a lot safer. As a biker if my two choices were to hug the audi as i passed it with the potential of my pedal or handle bar scratching their car or, two to slip between to cars moving at 25 miles an hour who may or may not be paying attention to me , i am sorry the audi is getting scratches.

          The car is parked illegally. I don’t car if he is bringing groceries to a granny dropping off kids, or just parking there because he feels like it its unsafe/ If we all went around thinking we were above laws and traffic rules this city would be a nightmare.

          • HaileUnlikely

            There are virtually infinitely many ways for a cyclist to maneuver around some obstacle that shouldn’t be there, which all involve different balances between safety and inconvenience. I have no sympathy for the owner of the parked car here – what he is doing is unequivocally wrong – but I also don’t have much patience for false choices such as these. There are lots of other options besides risking your life swerving heedlessly into the middle of the lane without regard to traffic or else passing by so close to the car that you scratch it. Is it reasonable for drivers of cars to get around other illegally parked cars by either heedlessly swerving around it without regard to other traffic or else sideswiping the car, or do drivers have a few other more sensible options to choose from?

    • Crisco, butter etc. is better. Does no damage but is a total pain to clean off.

    • I would imagine if a cyclist in an old, heavy, rusty bike were to, say, slam into it and land on the hood – they wouldn’t be at fault (at least entirely). And their damages would be considerably less expensive, besides.

      So, we mustn’t let that happen.

      • Sadly DC’s contributory negligence law means that the cyclist would be considered 100% liable as long as the cyclist’s actions contributed even a tiny amount to the incident. Even if it was 99% the car’s fault, the cyclist would not be able to get any damages from the car’s owner. Hopefully the council will change this law soon but so far they haven’t been able to.

  • *A passing CaBi rider takes out his keys*


  • Let me guess: local church attendee with MD plates.

  • “Every Sunday” sounds like one of those church members that like to park in the street down there.

  • I’m with the others, likely a church parking folk given a few churches nearby.

  • First off, yes, this person is a jerk for parking this way. I’m a little more concerned about the encouragement of vandalism from a few of our (I’m assuming) biker friends. Is this your answer to every inconvenience – do something illegal? Why so much anger?

    • Minor vandalism is a pretty reasonable response when the city refuses to enforce parking laws in an equitable manner, and certain drivers take advantage of this in a way that inconveniences, and occasionally endangers, others.

    • I wouldn’t assume it’s bikers. In my experience the people with the most borderline-irrational hate for church parking habits are other drivers who live in the areas of the churches. Traffic is usually light enough on Sundays that the double parking doesn’t really phase me (speaking as a cyclist).

      • I noted this below, but the borderline rage-inducing aspect of this is primarily due to the fact that it forces bikers into oncoming traffic to avoid the car. It’s both obviously wrong and extremely dangerous for bikers.

        • HaileUnlikely

          What the guy is doing is wrong. But in all seriousness, if you can’t figure out how to mitigate the danger, albeit at some degree of inconvenience to yourself, by slowing down and watching for oncoming traffic and not just swerving wildly around his car, you sound like you might not be a very good biker. Perhaps the cognitive processes that lead one to swerve wildly around an illegally-parked car at great danger to yourself share some common origin with those that lead you to think vandalizing other people’s property is a good idea.

    • +1 how ridiculous can people be? I cannot even believe people got on board with the idea of damaging someone’s personal property in response to how this person parked. Unbelievable.

  • ah

    Not excusing what even without a bike lane would be a horrible parking job, but the bike lane markings look close to non-existent.

    BTW, how about a passive-aggressive note next time the car is there?

    • ah

      And by “note” I mean an actual piece of paper with words on it informing the driver it’s not close to a legal space, not a curse scrawled in dog crap on the windshield

      • Whoever parked there knows it is not a legal parking space and gives absolutely no shits. A note is not going to transform an asshole into a decent person, but vandalize might force them to comply.

      • Ha, this made me laugh, because it makes too much sense. Not sure why it takes 30 “smear crap”, “scrape the car”, or “fake an accident” suggestions to get to one “leave a note” suggestion.

  • Do assholes buy German cars, or do German cars make people assholes?

  • Bikers can use the lanes 6 1/2 days a week. Why can’t churchgoers, often elderly, use the space for a couple of hours on Sundays?

    • Cars can use the lanes 6 1/2 days a week, why can’t churchgoers use the space a couple of hours on Sundays?
      Even better…Emergency vehicles can use the lanes 6 1/2 days a week, why can’t churchgoers park in them on Sundays? Oh, yes, I have witnessed people park illegally/sit in traffic while ignoring an emergency vehicle that needs to get by. It’s SUNDAY? Why are you having an emergency when someone needs to go to CHURCH?

    • Often times they can do just that…but they need to get authorization to do that otherwise they’re just parking illegaly.

    • As in all cases of cars in bike lanes, just imagine this car was illegally parked in the middle of the street and imagine how drivers would feel. Would it make you feel any better if you knew you could “just go around it” ? Would it make you less angry if you realized that moving cars use that lane the rest of the week, so it’s ok for it to be a parking lot one morning?

      Remember, this isn’t someone with the car on and the lights flashing, only there for a minute (though that would still be illegal in a bike lane). This is a person who parked the car and left it there.

  • Now realizing I should point out what’s not obvious in this picture: First, the bike lane markings are very obvious and each diagonal parking space is clearly marked. There is NO way to confuse this with a legit space. Second, this is a contra flow bike lane. That means this obviously evil person is forcing bikers into oncoming traffic to avoid their car.

  • Call 911 and the illegally (and dangerously) parked car. If the service lasts a while 3D might get around to it. Unfortunately you can’t call the police stations and get action – they will tell you to call 911.

    The poop solution is great fantasy material but bad karma.

    • +1
      Report as a lane of traffic being blocked (true) that creates a dangerous situation, and the car needs to be moved. You do not need to provide a name/number or wait around for police response. Be brief and polite so as not to gum up the switchboard with a non-emergency. Dispatch and responders will be able to prioritize if other more pressing matters are ongoing. If the 911 operator insists that it isn’t illegal (it is illegal), tell him/her that you still want an officer to respond (this happens more often than it should).

  • I’m a fan of good old fashioned shame. Watch for it one morning and follow the person and see what church they go into. Snap a photo of the illegally parked car and (discretely) of the driver. Then go back to the church, with photos, after the service, and ask to speak to the minister (ministers are, generally, a friendly bunch who will talk to anybody). Explain to the minister that this member of the congregation is creating a hazard and ask them to have a word with them. If they’re there every Sunday, they’re devout enough the minister knows them. This is a person who comes to the church every Sunday for spiritual guidance from this minister. They’ll listen when he tells them to knock it off and park properly.

    • I don’t know if this would necessarily pan out the way you imagine it — there’s been a recent history of tension between District churches with out-of-state, car-driving parishioners and people advocating for bicycle lanes, etc.

  • In my experience, when you see a car blocking a bike lane, the driver feels absolutely 0 guilt over it, and has absolutely no interest at all in moving their car, despite the fact that their behavior is illegal, endangers cyclists, and pisses off other drivers (since bikes have to move into car lanes, and also since often a car blocking a bike lane is also blocking part of a car lane as well. Not in this case, but usually on 11th street that’s how it happens).

    So, talking to the driver won’t help. Leaving a note sure won’t help. While I understand the primal rage that makes people want to damage the car, that obviously won’t help either. Sometimes I take a photo of the car, which can be cathartic, though if the driver isn’t there it doesn’t help too much. Sometimes I wait around a couple minutes to see if a police car or parking enforcement drives by, but that’s pretty rare. Calling 311 means at least a 45 minute wait (usually on the phone they tell me 45 minutes to 2 hours to get someone out there).

    So, what else is there to do?

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