Bike Lane FAIL: Cowper Street in Palo Alto

09 Jul

If it’s a bike lane, then why are cars parked in it? If it’s legal to park (per the signs on the lamp posts) then why is it marked as a bike lane? Even the long-term bike folks in Palo Alto can’t fully explain the history of these decades-old bike lanes. Either the parked cars or the bike lane have to go. Sadly, I know which one will.

Location: Cowper Street near Loma Verde Avenue in Palo Alto, California, USA


6 responses to “Bike Lane FAIL: Cowper Street in Palo Alto

  1. Rachel Unger

    July 9, 2012 at 5:49 pm

    Middlefield is the same, isn’t it? Bike lane, but cars can park there? Share the road, I guess. Even when not moving.

    • ladyfleur

      July 9, 2012 at 6:07 pm

      The Middlefield ones are better. Cars can only park in the bike lanes at night and on weekends. The Cowper ones are ok for car parking 24/7.

  2. Ken

    July 10, 2012 at 2:04 am

    We have exactly the same problems in the UK. I’m a bit of a reactionary: I believe that when there is a problem like this the local mayor and all the officials involved in the planning process should be required to ride bicycles past the problem at rush hour, then explain why their decisions were made. Not much chance of it happening but it’s a nice thought!

    • ladyfleur

      July 10, 2012 at 8:42 am

      Having decision makers use the facilities they’re planning is so obvious, yet rarely done. For these bike lanes, I suspect they put them in without considering the impact of removing residential car parking and the residents fought back.

  3. djconnel

    July 12, 2012 at 6:28 am

    The public cost of parking is at least equal to the rental cost of the land occupied. And given the product of the size of cars in Palo Alto and the rental cost, I think it’s obvious that’s under-appreciated.

    • ladyfleur

      July 12, 2012 at 7:12 am

      God forbid they park their cars in their two car garages or two car driveways. I resent parked cars having precedence over moving bicycles the most.


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