'Are you an idiot?' Drivers swear at pedestrian as he blocks traffic to protest cars in bike lanes
Published Thursday, November 7, 2019 5:40PM EST
Last Updated Friday, November 8, 2019 7:18PM EST
Ottawa cyclist Kevin O’Donnell has clearly had enough of blocked bike lanes and drivers randomly stopping and parking illegally.
On Wednesday afternoon on Laurier though, instead of confronting an offending driver, O’Donnell tried something different. He simply walked into traffic and stood in a car lane, explaining to frustrated motorists he was stopping “just for a minute”.
He captured the sometimes tense exchanges on video and posted it online.
“I’m just going to stop here and see what happens”, he says.
The driver who parked illegally in the bike lane can be heard telling O’Donnell he shouldn’t be standing in the middle of the road.
“I’m not allowed to stand in the middle of the road is that what you’re saying? Well you’re not allowed to stop in that bike lane. I guess that’s one each right?”
In less than two minutes, drivers become frustrated, and start swearing at O’Donnell and honking their horns.
“This guy’s honking at me now because I guess he’s sad that I’m in his way…but I’m just stopped here for a minute it’s not a big deal”, O’Donnell says.
Within about two minutes, O’Donnell creates a small traffic jam on Laurier, and more drivers start swearing at him and passing him very closely.
“Are you an idiot?” someone can be heard yelling.
“This is kind of awkward” O’Donnell says.
“I’ll be gone in a couple of minutes”, he says.
“So you see what happens, as soon as anything impacts car traffic, people get angry really fast” O’Donnell says during the recording. “When people block bike traffic, nothing really happens, we just put up with it.”
Reached Thursday afternoon, O'Donnell said he sees bike lanes being blocked all the time, in every part of the city.
“My little protest was an illustration of how lackadaisical enforcement is. A pedestrian started heckling me, but nobody said anything about the driver.”
By late Thursday O’Donnell’s video had more than 40,000 views.