Thursday, June 13, 2013

Scofflaw Professional Drivers

It's a rare occassion that I need to ride my bicycle on one of Providence's primary traffic corridors during peak hours, but on June 13, I needed to visit DPW during business hours.  At approximately 7:30AM, I rode down one of the few bike lanes in the city, on a street that at high traffic times, is useful to have, since traffic moves well above the 35 mph speed limit of the roadway in both lanes.

These lanes are a perennial source of complaints to RIDOT for the condition of the lanes.  They're generally very debris strewn, with sand, rocks, and larger debris that has escaped from the heavy trucks that frequent this corridor along the working waterfront of the city.  The lanes, as usual were generally full of sand, rendering most of their width challenging to ride in and leaving the preferred position very close to the lane marking line.

A second common complaint is that trucks waiting to enter the yards of the nearby industries park and idle in the bike lane, forcing riders out into the fast moving traffic.  The only redeeming condition is that traffic is regulated by lights, so moves in high speed platoons, leaving gaps that can be exploited, but still endangering every rider on this lane.

And lest anyone think that I'm the only rider, given that there A) complaints, B) self-identified riders who indicate this as their daily commuting route to work and C) I saw 3 other people on bikes on the south bound side during my trip.

Each of the Drivers of these trucks is a Certified Professional, required to got through additional examination and held to a higher standard of operation, due to the nature of their work, however, apparently, getting breakfast is more important than parking legally and creating a situation that can endanger another person's safety.  Below are some pictures of 4 trucks, 2 parked northbound, 2 parked southbound.  Based on the lack of drivers in 3 of the trucks, and their adjacency to the Seaplane Diner, they were patronizing the restaurant.  The 4th truck was not present when I returned north and the presence of the driver indicates to me that he was idling waiting for instructions to deliver his load to a construction site.

Apologies for the sepia tone photos below, I tried to make sure to get operating numbers for all of the trucks and operating company names.  From what I can see, all of the trucks are operating under an USDOT authorization granted to J.P. Noonan, USDOT #111448.  Only 2 of the trucks had identifying markings to indicate the operating company, those are Medas Trucking of Brockton, MA and Cape Code Cartage of West Bridgewater, MA.  I'll be looking into how to send in complaints for parking in a no-parking zone and parking on a sidewalk.  Both of which carry $85 fines if a police officer or parking enforcement officer can be found to write the citation.

I've filed a complaint with USDOT against JP Noonan.  Complaint Number: 100069396

On my way south, I saw:
Northbound side of Allens Ave
precast road base waiting for delivery, Driver was
in this vehicle, apparently waiting for call up
Northbound Allens Ave, Precast concrete structure

As I continued further south:

Never mind the bike lane, just create a hazard, put a sign in it.

Back of the norhernost of 2 trucks,
 Southbound side of Allens Ave

Generous, wide bike lane, wide enough for a trailer-truck
South Bound Allens Ave @ Seaplane Diner,
 Medas Truck parked on northbound side.  Cars parked
in the parking lane, which is apparently also a bus stop
(usually also a no parking zone).

Parking in the bike lane and on the sidewalk in a No Parking Zone

On my way north, taking the time to get
ID information from the trucks that

The truck parked on Allens Northbound ID

And the US DOT Information for Medas Trucking #3
Furthest South truck, southbound side of Allens Ave.

Both Trucks, Southbound side of Allens Ave

Northernmost Truck on Southbound Allens Ave.
No trucking company, but USDOT information