Photo by Seth Anderson.
This is an embarrassment. This protected bike lane was developed to provide people bicycling to and from downtown a safe passage, in which no vehicle should ever enter. The physical separation is apparently of no concern to postal workers, who don’t believe that the public will mind them putting cyclists in danger by forcing them to unnecessarily merge in and out of moving vehicular traffic.
Grid Chicago readers have observed postal vans on more than one occasion.
Grid Chicago will mail this open letter to the Postmaster General and others on Wednesday, July 20.
United States Postal Service
Office of the Postmaster General
475 L’Enfant Plaza SW
Washington, DC 20260
Office of the District Manager
433 W Harison Street
Chicago, IL 60607
Dear Postmasters General Patrick R. Donahoe and Gloria Tyson,
Some of your employees park their mail delivery vans in bike lanes in Chicago (see enclosed photographs). It is illegal to park, idle, or drive a vehicle in bike lanes in the City of Chicago; see Municipal Code 9-40-060.
When people park motor vehicles in park bike lanes, they endanger bicyclists by forcing them to merge unexpectedly with faster moving motor vehicle traffic.
Please instruct your employees to park their vehicles legally and to stop parking, idling, or driving in bike lanes, and let us know when and how you did so.
Grid Chicago writers John Greenfield and Steven Vance
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel
Chicago Department of Transportation Commissioner Gabe Klein
Chicago Superintendent of Police Garry McCarthy
Chicago Ward 42 Alderman Brendan Reilly
Updated July 18, 2011, to revise letter text, and add new letter recipients, and to reflect the fact that letter will be mailed later in the week (to account for revisions).
Postal Service responds
The Chicago District Postal Operations manager, D.N., responded August 5, 2011, saying that the USPS does not “condone illegal activity by our employees, nor endangering the citizens of Chicago. We will provide ‘Safety/Service/ talks to our employees to bring awareness to this matter.”