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Valets at Lush Block Bike Lane w/Sign

November 2, 2007 Midtown, Valet Parking 18 Comments

A new place opens so that means yet another place with valet parking. Never mind those cyclists.


As you can see above, the bike lane becomes a partial holding lane for bike traffic.


Approaching on Westbound Olive at this point there are no cars but there is a sign in the bike lane.

See, there it is in the above. These images were sent to me from a reader but I’ve heard about it from others as well.


So why must these valets be so insensitive to others? Is is the club owner telling them what to do? Perhaps the valet owners set the mood? Whatever it is, we’ve got to control this. We don’t need cyclists having to avoid signs in the blike lanes.


Currently there are "18 comments" on this Article:

  1. Nick Kasoff says:

    Seems like the first cop to drive by should have dealt with this immediately. If the sign was in a car lane, they would have. But this is much more dangerous. Perhaps our resident ordinance expert could tell us whether there is any law against this.

  2. john says:

    Yes Steve, we all know and realize that the rights of bicyclists is at the bottom of the list in municipalities, .. just look at the dismal state of cycling in St. Louis. A PD headline is “Throng of Cyclists Terrifies Motorists”. E-mails to PD has got me the promise that it will be changed.

  3. northside neighbor says:

    Just two days ago I saw a throng of bicyclists crossing a bridge in a big group. They were elderly and riding 10-speed styled racing bikes, with the down-low, ram-horn looking handle bars. They all had helmets on with those tiny round rearview mirrors attached. To an average Joe, they looked nerdy. Cute. But nerdy.

    Nick, why don’t you see what you can do to get the cops to enforce an ordinance about a temporary sign in a bike lane. Let’s see how that works out for you….I’m sure that’s at the top of their priority list, and they’re just waiting for your call!

  4. Why don’t we simply ban valet? People that don’t want to park their own cars and need an airport runway should go somewhere else. The public street shouldn’t be overtaken because of their lazy extravagance.

  5. Ben H says:

    Fellow bike lane users: The most effective way to deal with this challenging situation is to evade the object and eliminate the hazard for other riders. Slow your rate of speed and glance over your left shoulder, pulling up to the left side of the hazard. Firmly grasp the hazard’s convenient carrying handle with your right hand. Quickly accelerate away from the scene, dragging the object a sufficient distance to a location where it no longer poses a hazard. Depositing the object in a dumpster several blocks away will ensure the object will not easily pose a hazard again.

  6. john says:

    Are we in control or is the car culture in control of us? The design of the pictured bike lane shows that the engineers there do not think of the needs of all road users, particulalry cyclists.
    As accurately explained by G. Hudson: “Our cars force us to sacrifice walkable downtown areas and weaken our sense of community. They cause us to leave our neighborhoods to commute dozens of miles each day to work. They undercut local businesses by giving people an incentive to drive for miles to shopping malls and box stores. They consume our time, our open spaces, and our good will toward others.”
    Auto users certainly control the StL area and this control is growing with the New I64. The nightmares are yet to be realized and leadership-public continue to hide their heads on the beach of collective ignorance.

  7. Jim Zavist says:

    They get away with it because they can . . . if a police/parking management/streets/solid waste person wanted to deal with it, they could find an appropriate rule against it (littering, dumping, illegal traffic control device, blocking a traffic lane, etc., etc.) – for whatever reason, the guys and gals in the trenches / out on the street either have more important things to do, have been instructed by their superiors to ignore this or simply don’t care/need to do anything about this to keep their jobs. Alternately, the valets have been cited before / were cited later this evening and paid whatever fine was imposed and chalked it up to just “a cost of doing business” (FedEx in Denver had a standing account with the city to pay the parking tickets they receive on a daily basis). And while Ben H probably has the best solution, I’d probably just ride around it and treat it like any other road hazard we have to deal with on a daily basis (at least this one ain’t drunk or texting and driving a 2-ton vehicle) . . .

  8. northside neighbor says:

    ^ Amen, brother. Question: Is this site dominated by bicycling enthusiasts? It seems like it.

  9. william kruse says:

    I don’t think this site is dominated by cyclists, so much as a coralation between people who care about the community also enjoying a bike ride to get somewhere vice driving in a car.

  10. Nick Kasoff says:

    I’m strictly a recreational cyclist, not sure I’d call myself an enthusiast. But when I do ride, it’s road riding all the way, and I am more aware than I’d like to be of the fact that motorists, and most public officials, treat cyclist like we don’t exist. I’ve even had cars honk at me for having the nerve to ride on the road when the sidewalk (which I wouldn’t use anyway) was torn out for construction. Dumb effing jerks.

    It may well be true that the SLPD has higher priorities than this. Indeed, given the amount of serious crime that goes on there, it is completely understandable. Only thing is, they always seem to have enough manpower to write speeding tickets. Seems like obstructing a vehicle lane by placing a sign in the middle of it would be a more serious offense.

    I agree with Ben H in spirit. Only thing is, if you did that, they’d probably put YOU in jail. But hey, perhaps you could just move the sign from the narrow vehicle lane it was occupying, into the wider vehicle lane to the left. I’ll bet it would get some appropriate official attention then.

  11. The Vest says:

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but bicycles are considered vehicles, therefore it is illegal to ride on the sidewalk.

    I ride all over the city and I know a lot motorist look at me like I am insane, and considering the speed and proximity of cars buzzing past the bike lanes, the sign in the lane is indeed a major safety issue.

  12. Adam says:

    could also just kick the sign into the street and let some cars run over it. if they catch you just say it was an accident. they can’t do jack about it because it’s not supposed to be there in the first place.

  13. Adam says:

    “A PD headline is “Throng of Cyclists Terrifies Motorists”. E-mails to PD has got me the promise that it will be changed.”
    do these motorcycle jackasses expect that nobody is going to go apeshit and start running them down? i can’t promise i would’t take a few of them out if they were to throw a brick through my window. especially if they’re getting close enough to kick my car. it would just take a quick flick of the wrist or gentle nudge on the brakes … i have no sympathy for these people.

  14. Nick Kasoff says:

    You’re right about that, Adam. I’m a former motorcyclist, and the #1 rule of riding is, stay the hell away from the cars unless you want to die.

  15. Scott O. says:

    Valet parking sign problem solved!

  16. Mark B says:

    “Throng of Cyclists Terrifies Motorists”

    Wow, that sounds like the Critical Mass from hell. Speaking of which, are there or have there ever been Critical Mass rides in St. Louis?

  17. Ben H says:

    word is critical mass has happened again, as it will every year or two…
    and if you like a little more mayhem with your throng cyclist ride, you could try the FBC…

  18. STLBikePOLO says:

    That sign is always in the way there. I would suggest avoiding that area entirely during peak “clubin” hours. The valets and the people walking around in the middle of the street are going to cause someone to get hurt there. I think next time I ride that area, I’ll just go a block north or south to get around it.

    [SLP — Well, the block south would be Market or Chouteau — quite a bit out of the way to avoid a conflict.   The block north, however, is a good idea.  Still, it seems silly to have bike lanes on Olive yet advocating to avoid using them.]


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