Infamous for their lack of vehicular finesse (and numbers), taxicabs will now be allowed to legally use bike lanes to pick up and drop off passengers. Taxi drivers who used to use the bike lanes used to face a $105 parking ticket. Not anymore, says Muni. The Examiner reports: "The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, which regulates both taxis and bicyclists, recently began issuing bumper stickers to cabs giving them access to bike lanes without fear of being ticketed by parking control officers."
Cyclists, an unusually sensitive group, many of whom tend to base their personality on a chosen mode of transportation, are not pleased. And rightfully so. "If you give cabs an inch, they’ll take a mile,” Josh McDonald, a bike courier, told the Examiner. “They’re going to be parked in the bike lanes, and I’m going to have to move around them into regular traffic. Anytime I have to do that, my job becomes a whole lot more dangerous."
Leah Shahum, executive director of the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, called the plan "confusing" and said the new plan will "invite conflict." Which is true. Already we've seen an unforgivable spike in the amount of bike riders using sidewalks, much to the detriment of pedestrians. SF MTA's new sharing-the-road leniency could could translate into even more cyclist hitting the sidewalk, as well as riders getting pegged by cabs while hitting the streets.