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New Database To Help City Identify, Ticket Cars Parked In Bike Lanes

CHICAGO (CBS) -- The city has found a new way to fill its coffers with a new website, help from bike riders, and some shameful photos.

CBS 2's Dorothy Tucker reports bike lanes are designed for bikers, but if you stop or park in the bike lane, you could get a ticket – even if you aren't caught by a meter maid.

Bikers are watching and taking pictures.

As bikers head home during the evening rush, the last thing they want to see is a car blocking the lane designed for bikers.

"It's frustrating. It forces you out into traffic," said one Chicago biker.

"To have to swerve off because somebody's dropping somebody off, it's a minor inconvenience for some, but it can be life and death for others," another biker said.

The frustration fueled a debate on a website called "Biker Lane Uprising," where dozens of photos of unsuspecting drivers caught parked in the bike lane were posted online.

"I was dropping off a rider," said Mike Boyd after getting caught temporarily parking in a bike lane. "It's always been against the law to stop."

According to the city's data, the number of tickets issued to drivers blocking bike lanes has increased.

In 2016, the city issued 2,766 tickets charging around $333,400 in revenue.

Last year the number jumped to 3,461 tickets and $373,958 in revenue.

So far this year, it is 2,062 totaling $132,399 and the database could help the city hand out even more.

A spokesman for the Department of Finance says the database could be included in the "strategy for assigning enforcement resources to the areas where blocked bike lanes continue to be a problem for the cyclist," meaning they will check out the photos and immediately send out a meter-maid to ticket you.

The spokesperson said the city is very serious about ticketing cars stopped in bike lanes.

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