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Vilnius Mayor Crushes Car in Bike Lane: Cyclists’ Revenge (video)

Vilnius Mayor Crushes Car in Bike Lane: Cyclists’ Revenge (video)

 

Last weekend, Arturas Zuokas, the Mayor of Vilnius in Lithuania, had himself filmed behind the controls of a tank crushing a Mercedes illegally parked in a bike lane. With the not very happy car owner standing by, Zuokas then swept up some of the debris, got onto his bicycle and pedaled off. Zuokas is, says the BBC, an “avid cyclist” and has made urging city residents to cycle more a priority while he has been in office.

Here’s the mayor doing what a number of cyclists have perhaps wished someone could do, rather than having to weave out into traffic:

The BBC Russian Service reporter in Vilnius, Aushra Radzeviciute, noted that “illegal parking is not a big problem in the city, but in its central streets it is strictly prohibited.” Zuokas was filmed in the tank last weekend for a Swedish TV series, 99 Things You Should Do Before You Die.”

My husband and our 14-year-old son Charlie are serious bike riders. One of their favorite places to ride is a tree-shaded bike trail out in New Jersey’s horse country where there’s lovely farms and rolling grassy hills. Most of the time, they ride in the neighborhoods around our town which is in an older suburb. This inevitably brings them into contact with vehicles whose owners presume that roads are for cars, trucks, etc. Granted, Charlie (who’s autistic) does sometimes ride too close towards the center of the street but sometimes that’s because he has to swing out around, you guessed it, a car. Charlie definitely understands about stopping at intersections, stop signs and red lights (not that drivers around here always do).

Cycling to work and for pleasure has so many benefits: You get somewhere (and on your old power) and you get a workout; you do the environment a favor; a bike is far more affordable than a car. Let’s hope Vilnius residents don’t just see the mayor’s action as a stunt but as a serious call to keep bike lanes opens so cyclists can actually use them.

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48 comments

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8:34AM PDT on Oct 2, 2011

Sorry, "of the road" should have read "off the road"

8:32AM PDT on Oct 2, 2011

Fining the wealthy has no point, they'll just pay it and somehow right if off as a business expense. Demerit points could work better. Start with a bank of let us say 16, and if you reach
the limit, your license is suspended and you, your arrogant attitude and your luxury car is of
the road at least for a while. But the traffic police must do its' job and be out on the road a lot more than pushing papers at the station. In Montreal they only come out in great numbers at the end of each month to meet their budget quotas of penalties, money for the City that is.

8:31AM PDT on Oct 2, 2011

Fining the wealthy has no point, they'll just pay it and somehow right if off as a business expense. Demerit points could work better. Start with a bank of let us say 16, and if you reach
the limit, your license is suspended and you, your arrogant attitude and your luxury car is of
the road at least for a while. But the traffic police must do its' job and be out on the road a lot more than pushing papers at the station. In Montreal they only come out in great numbers at the end of each month to meet their budget quotas of penalties, money for the City that is.

6:44AM PDT on Oct 1, 2011

We need to get this guy to run for President, that's right, you have to be born here. Then how did Obummer, our black Bush become President?

Someone said, that he should have run for the Presidency of Kenya.

6:43AM PDT on Oct 1, 2011

We need to get this guy to run for President, that's right, you have to be born here. Then how did Obummer, our black Bush become President?

Someone said, that he should have run for the Presidency of Kenya.

12:53AM PDT on Aug 9, 2011

Ha, this guy rules!
Could have used a bigger tank though.

7:58AM PDT on Aug 8, 2011

I'm all for biking and agree that a bike lane is for bikes. And yes, cars & other vehicles need to share the road with bicyclists (and walkers). However, bicyclists need to play nice too! Don't ride in a group and block traffic during rush hour and not expect to get some horn blowing and other gestures from irritated drivers. Just like drivers need to remember to be sensitive to bicyclists, so should bicyclists remember to be sensitive to vehicle traffic. If you're on a country road with no dedicated bike lane, where the ability to pass is limited, and you have a line of cars forming behind you, pull over and let them pass rather than forcing them to follow you for miles. Especially on an incline!

8:41AM PDT on Aug 5, 2011

Good job!!

5:45AM PDT on Aug 5, 2011

Have you seen the movie 'Judge Dredd'?

5:44AM PDT on Aug 5, 2011

But the car owner may have spent his lifetime's income on the car...

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