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Toilet Plungers Used to Create a Protected Guerrilla Bike Lane

By Monica Buck

Groups of activists have been taking matters into their own hands lately, building guerrilla bike lanes in places of frequent accidents. A particularly creative one was installed at an intersection in Omaha, Nebraska, where a group of bicycling advocates used toilet plungers wrapped in a reflective tape to separate the bike lane from the traffic.

“The plan was to leave them out for 36 hours so people could see what a protected bike lane could do,” one of the advocates, Stuart Nottingham, said to the Omaha World-Herald.

A sign at the site of several car-on-car collisions read, “Plungers for a Safer Aksarben”. The victory was short-lived though because the city workers removed the plungers just four hours after they had been installed. The officials stated later that the city had no plans to add protected bike lanes. The plan didn’t work out quite well in the end, but creating of guerrilla bike lanes is becoming more and more successful.

For example in Wichita, Kansas, local cyclists deployed toilet plungers along one of the intersections in the Old Town, and the officials took the hint. They removed the plungers and replaced them with professionally installed vertical barriers.

Wichita, Kansas

“What we were really trying to do was just highlight the issue. We just wanted to get some recognition that there is a problem here, and there’s a pretty simple solution,” Alex Pemberton, the group’s organizer, said back in February.

Is this the way? What do you think about this kind of activism? Let us know in the comments.