Submitted by Marcy LaViollette as seen on Bicycling.com:
Paint Your Lane
by By Dan Koeppel
Do-it-yourself bike lanes are illegal, perhaps dangerous, potentially damaging to the cause of legitimate bike advocates everywhere—and really, really effective.
The bridge is calm as Sunday morning dawns. At either end of the span, the freeway ramps are idle. Below, a few shorebirds peck at the marshy floor of the river. This is an out-of-character moment: During the week, thousands of cars pass through here, coming from the north, south and east, pinching into four lanes as they make their way toward the commercial centers of downtown Los Angeles, Hollywood and the city beyond.
But at first light on this July 19th, the only vehicles here on Fletcher Drive are three bikes, and those have been stashed in the brush. The cyclists who left them there are setting out traffic cones on the road. When the right-hand lane has been blocked off, the cyclists walk back to the shoulder to retrieve the object that, over the past few weeks, they have come to refer to as The Machine.
The $99 Rust-Oleum 2395000 looks like a tiny, four-wheeled wagon with low ground clearance and a handle that angles backward and up from the bed. The cargo area, so low it sits between the wheels rather than above them, is equipped with a mount for spray-paint cans; in the unused space, you can store five or six extra cans upright, ready to swap in when one runs dry. The 2395000 is most commonly used to create parking-lot stripes. (more…)