Here's one way to make a point. Arturas Zuokas, the peeved mayor of Lithuania's capital city Vilnius, was sick and tired of luxury vehicles parking in the city's bike lanes. So what did he do? The 43-year-old civil servant taped himself crushing a Mercedes-Benz S-Class in a Russian armored personnel carrier as a part of a publicity stunt. According to a report in the Irish Times this morning, Zuokas is an avid cyclist and he told reporters "I wanted to send a message... I want to point out that if you have a car and more money it doesn’t mean that you can park it everywhere. Recently there’s been an increase in this type of parking violations, and it shows a lack of respect for others.” Here's the PSA-style video that's circulating on the web today:
Morgan Clendaniel at Fast Company is impressed. "Mayor Zuorokas looks crazy enough that he may stay true to his pledge," Clendaniel writes. "For cities to create more liveable designs--designs which offer equal access to bikes and pedestrians--there is going to be a steep learning curve for people used to their car-centric culture in which your parking spot trumps a bike lane." Meanwhile, Sarah Goodyear at the environmental website Grist gave it a backhanded compliment. "Cheesy though the video may be, the mayor is making a real point about privileged drivers hogging the tiny sliver of real estate reserved for bikes. It's a problem that bike riders in New York, for instance, are all too familiar with."