By Monica Jimenez
Wicked Local Somerville
October 18, 2013
Are you one of those drivers who’ll park in the bike lane while picking up a coffee from Dunkin Donuts or waiting for a friend to come downstairs?
Starting next month, you’ll be fined $50 and possibly towed.
A new amendment to city traffic laws, adding bike lanes to the list of places where drivers may not leave their vehicles, goes into effect Oct. 31. Other amendments to the General Towing Prohibitions and the Penalties sections allow for a vehicle to be towed or a driver to be fined $50 in the event that someone does park on a bike lane. Police say they’ll have no problem enforcing the law, but are concerned with cyclists disobeying traffic requirements as well.
Cyclist Lauren Clayton said the requirement was “vague” and asked to include the clause, “subject to complaint by bicyclists,” which the Traffic Commission approved, said Somerville Police traffic commander James Polito.
“We supported it. I hope it’s effective….we’ll see,” said Somerville Bicycle Advisory Committee member Enid Kumin at a city Bicycle Committee meeting this week. “I recognize that it’s rough in narrow streets to find somewhere to park – hopefully the automobiles will uphold [the regulations] in good faith.”