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Ballard High’s senior prank is something Seattleites face daily

(Matt Pitman)

Ballard High School staff arrived to work Friday morning to learn they were the victims of a senior prank.

As first reported by, bikes from Lime and ofo — two of the city’s bikeshare companies — filled the majority of parking spaces at the school.

The principal of the school reportedly called the prank “outstanding.”

Unfortunately, this prank has already been pulled. It’s done every day. The joke is on the city that has allowed thousands of these free-floating bikes to exist without stringent rules.

As we reported earlier this week, bikes being mis-parked are one of the top complaints the public has, according to a recent survey. The bikes are blocking pedestrian access and cluttering Seattle’s sidewalks. They also block curb ramps, transit access, and business access.

The study published by the Seattle Department of Transportation found 70 percent of bikes owned by the bikeshare companies are parked correctly. Only 4 percent are ever found to be fully blocking someone or something. Which means the other 26 percent of the time the bikes are at least partially in our way.

Thankfully, the department is experimenting with bike-specific parking spaces in five locations in Ballard. The spots are being used, according to SDOT.

SDOT is also working on an update to its current permitting system. The department is expected to analyze data before making recommendations for a permanent program, which will hopefully improve the way the bikes are parked.

Until that happens, why not thank a senior at Ballard High School. Because for once, these bikes were actually out of our way.

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