A good use for tanks?

For various reasons, I had a pretty terrible day yesterday. So a friend sent me this video to cheer me up!

According to Yahoo News, Arturas Zuokas, the mayor of Vilnius, Lithuania, promised to expand public transportation and bike use in the city. As part of that effort, he installed bike lanes, that many drivers insisted on using as parking lanes. So, as a warning, he filmed himself driving a tank over a car parked in a bike lane. It’s pretty amusing, and gratifying if you’ve ever been biking and had to avoid cars parked in the bike lane. Before people fret over the property damage, the car was purchased specifically for the video. My Granny would be so proud. She moved to Chicago from Lithuania when she was 6 and never learned how to drive. She was a huge supporter of public transit and biking.

If people are interested, here’s the video with Lithuanian titles.

Transcript: Two men in a tank-like vehicle drive over a small car. There are sounds of crushing metal and glass. The tank is driving down a quiet city street lined in smooth brick and pretty buildings. They’re both smiling. The man in front is wearing a suit and is Mayor Zuokas. He turns around to survey the damage while continuing down the street, and looks quite pleased. Some bouncy and cheerful music plays. There’s a shot of the town center, a young woman cycling down the side of the street, then the Mayor cycling. A caption scrolls across the screen, reading: Vilnius Mayor Fights Illegally Parked Cars. Some quick shots of trees and signs from a quickly moving camera, possibly shot from a bicycle. Mayor Arturas Zuokas walks towards the camera. He speaks and English captions say, “In the past few days, expensive cars have been illegally parked in almost this exact same place- A Rolls Royce and a Ferrari.” The video shows a car parked in a bike lane, then a no parking sign. There are pictures of the Rolls Royce and the Ferrari parked in the bike lane, then a picture of a police car approaching the Ferrari. The caption continues, “What should the city do about drivers who think they are above the law?” Back to the mayor walking towards the camera and speaking. The caption says, “It seems that a tank is the best solution.” The mayor walks purposefully down the street and climbs into a tank. He and two other men are in the tank as it rolls down the street, straight towards a car that is parked in the bike lane. With a fantastic crunch, the tank drives straight over the car, tilting a bit under the car’s height. Someone yells in excitement, and all three men look pretty happy. The mayor looks directly at the camera and says, pointing at the car carnage, “That’s what will happen if you park your car illegally!” The camera explores the damage. The trunk is completely mangled and caved in. The hood is crushed, with only the window frame staying up. There’s broken glass everywhere. A middle-aged white man in a white blazer and black shirt, with a large, gold chain and sunglasses on his forehead walks out of a nearby store. He appears shocked and angry. The mayor approaches him and shakes his hand. “Next time,” he says, “park your car legally.” The man nods and says something back, but there is no caption to translate. The mangled car is lifted onto a tow truck. The mayor sweeps away the broken glass. A cyclist now travels freely down the unobstructed bike lane. The cyclist is wearing a suit jacket, so it may be the mayor himself. At the end of the street is a police car. A caption says, “City of Vilnius- July 30, 2011.”

About Guest: Shoshie

Shoshie is one of the 2012 roster of Guest Bloggers.
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14 Responses to A good use for tanks?

  1. Andie says:

    Hahah… that’s awesome. Funnily enough I’m working on a blog post about lack of available parking (or more specifically, lack of access to so-called ‘public’ bodies of water due to lack of parking.. in the context of an area with no public transit)

    But yeah.. if I were a cyclist that kind of stuff would piss me off. Tanks are so much more awesome when they’re not killing people.

  2. preying mantis says:

    APCs to the rescue. This makes me happier than that video of the cyclist crashing into things obstructing the bike lane in NYC set to jaunty music. Maybe we can have a video of bunnies running over illegally parked cars in real tanks set to jaunty music eventually.

  3. scrumby says:

    I read this the first time as “villainous mayor fights illegally parked cars.”

  4. preying mantis says:

    (Though the cyclist who filmed himself crashing into things in NYC did not, to the best of my knowledge, buy any of the things prior to running into them.)

  5. scrumby says:

    I read this the first time as “villainous mayor fights illegally parked cars.” Now I can’t help but think Kingpin is kind of falling down on the job…

  6. Shoshie says:

    scrumby: I read this the first time as “villainous mayor fights illegally parked cars.”

    Hah! I read it that way too.

  7. Bitter Scribe says:

    From what I know of Lithuanians, it’s lucky he didn’t go after some actual illegally parked cars with that tank. Those people don’t mess around.

  8. Erica says:

    I’m disappointed it wasn’t real. :(

  9. Josephine.e says:

    preying mantis:
    APCs to the rescue.This makes me happier than that video of the cyclist crashing into things obstructing the bike lane in NYC set to jaunty music.Maybe we can have a video of bunnies running over illegally parked cars in real tanks set to jaunty music eventually.

    Need link!

    Pretty please?

  10. preying mantis says:

    http://consumerist.com/2011/06/test.html

    He stops arguing with the policeman over his ticket at 0:50. First crash is at 1:20.

  11. Glauke says:

    I’m really happy that he cleaned up the mess himself, too! That’s unfortunately uncommon in politicians…

    My friend suffered a severe concussion cycling into an illegally parked car once, so I have rather strong feelings n this subject :s

  12. Sheelzebub says:

    As a pedestrian, people parking in the bike lane make me go ballistic. It’s unsafe and really rude. I don’t think these motorists would be thrilled if I was to park my car in the middle of a driving lane.

    Ohhhh. . .

  13. Laima says:

    I just wanted to say that these titles aren’t Russian, but Lithuanian.. :D

  14. Shoshie says:

    GAH! I was worried about that, but stupidly believed the youtube description. Thanks, Laima. I fixed it in the post.

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