Police are educating parents on parking in bike lanes

Can you please get some answers from the Medford Police Department on why officers do not enforce the "no parking" in the bike lanes at Hedrick Middle School on East Jackson Street? Cars are parked there in the morning for drop-off, after school for pickup, for school events and on weekends. Both sides of the bike lanes are blocked. Sometimes as many as 10 cars are parked on each side. I thought it was illegal to block a bike lane.

— D., Medford,

a bike rider

In the interest of full disclosure, D., we must tell you that we were guilty of this particular transgression once, long ago, during a seventh-grade choral concert. Do you know how hard it is to find a parking spot when there's a concert at Hedrick? Or a basketball game, or a football game, or a volleyball game .... but we digress. (Just so you know, we moved our car when a kind gentleman ran into the auditorium and told parents the police were on their way to give citations. We never verified whether that was true. We just hightailed it out of there.)

Medford Deputy Police Chief Tim Doney confirmed that it is illegal to park in the bicycle lanes on East Jackson Street near Hedrick Middle School.

"We have taken several complaints recently from the public on this topic," he wrote in an email. "There are a number of exceptions to the law which allow for momentarily stopping, standing or parking in order to pick up or discharge a passenger or property.

"The Department is working with school staff and the school resource officer to educate parents prior to taking enforcement action. We hope to see some improvements soon."

So there you have it, D. And Hedrick parents, take note: Even though that nice, long, empty, straight stretch with bike lanes on East Jackson seems to be practically begging you to park there, and you're just sure no right-minded bicyclist will be using those bike lanes this time of night, resist the temptation. It's against the law.

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