1083 Vigilante Bike Lanes
This is in Dallas, not known as the Berkeley of the south. That said, the city is painting bike lanes for the three known eco-friendly Texans and some others who neither drive cars or trucks nor ride horses. And it’s not doing it fast enough for some.
So someone among that “some” is painting his own. That’s right... taking the law into his own hands. Carrying a concealed weapon is okay in Dallas. But what about carrying a concealed paint can and brush. (That probably gets a bit messy after the first 100 yards or so.)
It’s a cute protest against the slowness and maybe it will put some bike lanes in places where none were planned. And it’s a great idea for all of us. Even if you don’t have a bike, there are things you can do as a vigilante to make your life easier.
How about a “No Parking” sign for the curb in front of your house? Or a “Stop” sign at the corner where the town won’t install one without three years of hearings, a budget addendum and well directed political contributions?
You don’t even have to paint the signs yourself. You can purchase real ones -- or realish ones on an internet auction site the name of which we will not disclose, but it starts with the letter “e” and ends with the letter “y.”
And unlike those primitives in Texas, your handiwork won’t be sloppy and uneven. It’ll look downright official because chances are it was uprooted from corner somewhere by some kid who stored it in his garage ten years ago, has fled the nest and what are mom and dad going to do with the thing.
They did something like this in New York some years ago. People would go out to their cars and before pulling out of the parking space, place a fake fire hydrant on the sidewalk. That space was usually still vacant when the motorist returned. So he’d re-park, put the fake hydrant in the trunk and repeat as needed.
One problem: when there’s an actual fire, and the hydrant is fake and the firemen try to use it and it doesn’t work, that can annoy them. And it can cost lives and cause property damage. No biggie. And fire hydrants are available on that same website, though most of the real ones are too heavy to ship and you have to go to backwaters in places like New Jersey and Massachusetts or back dustbowls in places like Oklahoma to get one.
Need a little extra money? You can put your own coin telephone up on your outside wall. Collect the quarters people put in and don’t get back when the phone doesn’t work. Of course, pay phones are pretty close to obsolete. But under the right circumstances, this can at least generate enough quarters for the parking meters in town.
Hey! How about fake parking meters? Oldies are also available at the auction site.
You could install them on your whole block. Cash in, bigtime.
Meantime, the bike lanes of Dallas are growing every day, making the city safe for those three people who use them.
I’m Wes Richards. My opinions are my own but you’re welcome to them. ®
Please address comments to firstname.lastname@example.org
© WJR 2012
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