The Chainlink

Some of you likely noticed that mybikelane.com has shut down*, stating "This has always been a side project, and unfortunately I do not have time to properly maintain the site or the service."  There's a TCL thread about it here.

But I still regularly hear need for such functionality.  People are muddling through using Facebook or Twitter or Tumblr.  But I could easily render it with massup.us** so I want to explore the issue.

This is probably contentious, so let's stay focused:

  1. Is it legal?  LAWYERS please: No public expectation of privacy versus publishing license plate numbers?  You tell me.

  2. Is there already a good place/way to post such photos?

* You can still see what MyBikeLane.com looked like in the internet archives here.

** MassUp.us can automatically post emailed photos with geolocation.  It'd work exactly like the abandoned bikes reporting here: http://massup.us/llbb/c
If it's legal and not already well done, I'd add an address like douche@massup.us - just need a better name, and to be sure it's not a terrible idea.

And CONGRATS JULIE!!!!!!

Tags: bad, bike, camera, drivers, lane, parking

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I'm not a lawyer so what is my opinion worth?

But... plenty of street photographs are made and published all the time.  Think of all the crowd shots you see on Facebook, the newspaper, youtube, regular TV etc.  If person is out in public I think they are fair game to be photographed.

License plates are even less identifying than a face as well.

I think the point of MyBikeLane was to publicly shame anyhow.  How lame would it be if we had to publicly shame yet have to blur out faces and license plates?

What has this functionality* ever achieved?

*To post photos in a very public way of drivers, or their cars, parked in bike lanes.  

If you can be seen by someone in a public location, there's no expectation of privacy. One such example that's taken for granted by paparazzi is: if you're at home with a see through window, any photographers on the street/sidewalk may take your photograph. When someone on the outside can see you inside your house, you have no expectation of privacy. Let alone on public street.
Be that as it may, Chicago is a little different in handling public photography of LEOs. They may at anytime arrest you for wire taping law. That is the biggest issue currently being fought by ACLU and PPA, right now.

Nothing.

Steven Vance said:

What has this functionality* ever achieved?

*To post photos in a very public way of drivers, or their cars, parked in bike lanes.  

I posted many photos to the MyBikeLane website, probably 25 or more. For a while I encouraged others to do the same. When I was asked at CDOT to suggest locations at which police or Revenue staffers could enforce the "no parking in bike lane" law, I recommended that the person look on MyBikeLane for the most reported locations. The most reported locations tended to be those on the commute route of the few people who used the website. 

I used to call 911 often, to report drivers parking their cars in bike lanes. I still take photographs of people, to this day, who've parked their cars in bike lanes. None of this has gotten anywhere. The only time my photographing of drivers parked in bike lanes made any positive impact was when I raised a stink at a CAPS meeting in Pilsen in 2006 and the police started ticketing those drivers. The drivers raised their own stink to the alderman and eventually the bike lane was modified so that it couldn't be parked in (it was against the curb and then moved from the curb although parking there remained illegal). I should tell that story in more detail at some point...

As for privacy, it's well-established, by the U.S. Supreme Court, that a person visible from the public way has no reasonable expectation of privacy. 

I agree. There's something fundamentally feeble-minded IMO about thinking that photographing badly behaving drivers and putting their pictures on the internet is going to have any real-world effect. At best it lets the 'victimized' cyclist quasi-vent, which can be beneficial for some, but personally I'd rather vent by pursuing action as Steven laid out.

notoriousDUG said:

Nothing.

Steven Vance said:

What has this functionality* ever achieved?

*To post photos in a very public way of drivers, or their cars, parked in bike lanes.  



Steven Vance said:

 

...I used to call 911 often, to report drivers parking their cars in bike lanes.

 

-SERIOUSLY??! 911?? Like that's some kind of life-threatening emergency?

 

"...None of this has gotten anywhere."

 

-And this surprises you?

 

"As for privacy, it's well-established, by the U.S. Supreme Court, that a person visible from the public way has no reasonable expectation of privacy."

 

-This much is sad but true. 

D,H, negative and ad-hominem as always.  Please stay off my threads.

Camera as among the best of cyclist defense tools is well established.

If legal, why then does Google street view blur them?  I'll wait for a lawyer to chime in.

Apparently Andrew you are not aware of that fact that the internet, and this forum, are venues of free expression.  You do not have the right to tell either Howard or myself where we can, or cannot, post on a public forum such as this. 

I think a better plan of action than he and I not posting to things you say would be for you to stop posting things to a public forum if you cannot handle the fact that not everyone agrees with you.  If you put ideas out there in public there is always a chance people will disagree with them.

I cannot speak for Howard but my feelings on this are not negative or based on you personally but the opinion that I have that posting pictures of people driving poorly to the internet does NOTHING to quell the problem of bad drivers or the whole adversarial relationship between drivers and cyclists.  In fact I think it does the opposite; it helps to fuel the fires of the conflict.  

I will agree that having a camera is a great defense for some things for cyclists.  I have used my own to snap pictures of plates and vehicle numbers of poor drivers so I could make a complaint.  I have taken pictures of the scene of an accident to preserve the scene and I think that video cameras can be a great source of evidence both for and against a cyclist in the event of an accident.  However, in the case of cars parked in the bike line I think taking pictures does very little to solve the problem and I also feel that the 'offense' is very minor; cars double park all the time, it is a part of life in the city.  If you were a driver would you take pictures of every double parked car and delivery vehicle that made you have to encroach on the oncoming lane?  I work in Wicker Park and where do you suggest all of the trucks delivering to local business there park to deliver their wares if they cannot double park?

Also, if Howard and I are so 'negative' and wrong can you please express your opinion or thoughts on why you think posting pictures, that the driver will probably NEVER see, (why would a driver be on a website for cyclists?) does to help the situation?  Both of us have raised valid and rational points about this and your only response has been to call us negative and accuse us of picking on you; how about you actually come up with a defense?


Andrew Bedno said:

D,H, negative and ad-hominem as always.  Please stay off my threads.

Camera as among the best of cyclist defense tools is well established.

If legal, why then does Google street view blur them?  I'll wait for a lawyer to chime in.

Meh, this is probably more trouble than it's worth anyway.

Just needs a good Twitter hashtag.
#chidouche
#mybikelane
...?

How ridiculous. I had this opinion long before you asked-- it was not meant to be critical of your question. I could care less what Doug thinks about it.  Was happy for what seemed to finally be an appropriate opportunity to express my feelings about it though.

BTW I tried to use massup before last week's mass, unsuccessfully... is it offline?

Andrew Bedno said:

D,H, negative and ad-hominem as always.  Please stay off my threads.

Camera as among the best of cyclist defense tools is well established.

If legal, why then does Google street view blur them?  I'll wait for a lawyer to chime in.

I am not a lawyer. They are driving on public roads, so it should be legal to take a photograph of them. That being said, it's unlikely that the offending motorists care in the least that their photo is being uploaded to the internet for all to see. Posting photos of illegally parked cars really only benefits the photographer, as it make him/her feel better about him/herself.

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