Some Nashville residents fed up with people parking illegally in bike lanes are taking matters into their own hands.
Spray painted toilet plungers were glued to the ground along the bike lane on Porter Road in East Nashville. Additional “no parking” reminders are also painted on the street.
It’s the work of the group “Nashville Bike Lane Patrol.” The group of cycling advocates formed about four years ago, and recently have noticed more people parking in the bike lanes.
“Sometimes there will be 8, 10 or 12 cars parked illegally in the bike lane,” said Carey Rogers, a local cycling advocate and member of the group. “We saw this had been done in other cities, so we decided to try it here.”
Rogers said when a car is parked in the bike lane it forces a bike rider to swerve into the street which can be dangerous. He said the group has reported multiple violators to Metro Police and believe drivers should ticketed if they park illegally. He has also posted photos of violators on the group's Facebook page in an effort to bring additional attention to the problem.
“Nashville has become more bike friendly than it used to be,” said Rogers, “but we still are far behind cities like Austin, Minneapolis and Portland.”
Nora Kern, the Executive Director for Walk Bike Nashville agreed the problem has become more common as the city continues to grow.
Kern said ultimately, cycling advocates would like to see permanent poles separating bike lanes from traffic.
“That really makes it safer for the bike riders and lets drivers know they shouldn’t be driving there,” said Kern.
There are permanent poles along Davidson Street in East Nashville, but local riders want to see more.
A spokesperson for Metro Public Works said violators should be reported through the Hub Nashville website at https://hub.nashville.gov/ or by dialing 311.