As I biked down Henry Street this morning, the bike lane in front of “Our Lady of Lebanon” was blocked with the cars of people attending services there. No news there; every Sunday the church-goers illegally park half in-the lane, half on the sidewalk,for about a block near the church.
But today, the lane was filled all the way from Montague to past State Street . As I went by, a white SUV caught my eye. It was a city car, and on its rear window, said, “Official Use Only”.
I came around to the front of the vehicle, expecting to see some kind of explanation as to what business Parks & Recreation is doing on a Sunday morning. Ah, the Lord’s work.
AI stopped to take a picture, an 84th Precinct patrol car happened by. I knew better than to ask whether they were going to ticket any of the 60 or so cars, but to my surprise, the police car stopped.
“What are you doing?”, said the officer in the driver’s seat of patrol car 2806.
“Is taking photos illegal now ?”, I asked.
“No. But if you scratch the car..” (which I was nowhere near touching).
“Great. If I scratch it, you can come arrest me.”
“I don’t have to arrest you. We’re just talking.”
“Yes, we’re just talking.”
“Be safe”, driver-officer said.,
“You too”, I replied.
He pulled way, driving past a bike lane full of cars, as far as the eye could see.
A homeowner came outside to play street hockey with his kids. He said he had asked a cop about all the cars. He’s a cyclist and saw the danger of bikes having to come into traffic. The officer explained that the church was having a “special service”, and that he wasn’t there every Sunday, so couldn’t speak to it (what every person in the neighborhood knows).
Before he left with his kids, the Henry Street resident also told me that that having the the cars on the sidewalk every Sunday, causes the pavement to crack and it’s the homeowners who are responsible for the cost of repairing it.