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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
....which was actually the second ticket I got, but whatever. This was the stop sign on my way to work at the end of a very long stretch of intersections (the infamous 34th Ave bike path- nearly 3 miles of lights.)

Showed up for the hearing, was asked at the last moment to check "Guilty" or "Not Guilty." Read the fine print, tempted to check "Guilty" and GTFO.

But that would mean paying a full fine, and I wanted to gamble that the cop(s) wouldn't show up. Checked "Not" and the clerk mumbled something that sounded like approval. Weird.

I was the third one up, cop recited the circumstances, including a strangely detailed description of the STOP sign. "Observed the cyclist from two car lengths away, did not stop at the sign. The sign is octagonal with a red background and white letters S-T-O-P along with markings on the ground indicating where to stop, there were no obstructions blahblahblah. Cyclist was on a black Murser bicycle....."

Considered arguing the brand of bicycle, since it's easy to mispronounce. Thought about the obstruction part- there was a tree nearby, with branches that may have blocked it.....but that would contradict the cop.

The judge asked if I saw the sign. "I think there were in fact branches blocking it. I checked for pedestrians and I checked for traffic, that's all I remember seeing."

"What about the markings on the ground?" he asked. I shrugged. "All I know is that it was clear." Cyclists aren't looking *at the ground* anyway!

He wrote the number "5" on a piece of paper and said something about being found guilty. He stamped it and said that the fine would be five dollars :) Then he looked at the computer and said "OH! You've already got TWO tickets! That'll be ten dollars." :blush2:

"You have to stop going through lights- that's two red lights you went through!" he said almost laughing. "I've been riding in the city for 16 years," I said, "even when I was a messenger I never had problems. This is all new."

"Yes but you can't go through red lights!" he reminded me.

"I'm not in a 2-ton vehicle going 60mph either!"

"But they're red lights, you have to stop!" He seemed to be enjoying this. :skep:

"Stopping on a bike is different......the same laws shouldn't apply....one time was in an industrial area at night, no traffic...." I didn't know where to begin with all the arguments, but knew I had to STFU or risk paying $20. :mad2:

"You know, the next ticket will be $700," he warned.

Big sigh. "I've already paid more than the bike is worth!" Should've asked if they could simply confiscate it next time.

Then I went to the cashier, who looked at HIS monitor and said "Ten dollars.......stop sign........bike........you know, every time I walk in the intersection down on the West Side, there are bikes that go through!" Wasn't sure what he was talking about, but knew where he was coming from.

"It's not a 2-ton vehicle! Bikes aren't the problem! I've never hit anybody in a crosswalk!" I was practically pleading with him, trying to appeal to his common sense. It feels like the mayor has managed to turn every single non-cyclist against us.

I paid and he said, "Is there anything else I can do for you?" I said, "I could do without the additional lecturing!" :rolleyes:

So this saga is over for now. Just have to decide if it's worth the additional risk to ride to work anymore. Jeeez louise. It's already been $535 worth of pointless drama. **** DiBlasio. :prrr:
 

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Schuylkill Trail Bum
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It's a diblasio "hidden" tax to pay for his programs.

Easy money, as somebody on another thread pointed out.

Single out a relatively "unloved" segment of the population -- bicycle riders -- who also happen to be very visible when they break laws, and very easy and safe for cops to apprehend.

I'm sure diblasio and his cronies are patting themselves on the back for their "genius" solution for raising lots of money without any squawking from taxpayers, and (they probably firmly believe) making NYC streets safer for everybody, cyclists included.

Face it, you and other cyclists are easy pickins for a greedy mayor.
 

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Well now you know who to vote out of office next year.
 

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Off the back
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Entertaining story. Thanks for posting. You get the ticket so we don't. :thumbsup:

RBR won't allow me to rep you, since I repped you for other amusing posts.
 

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Christine, if you have the time to organize an event, I suggest following suit with a "stop-in" done in San Francisco last year.

Wigg Party Protests Stops

If you can get a big group of cyclists to ride single file and stop for every single stop sign during rush hour, it will royally fvck up traffic and be a real eye opener for the NYPD and Deblasio.
 

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Your THIRD ticket and you STILL haven't learned?!

"Just have to decide if it's worth the additional risk to ride to work anymore." What's the risk; that you won't be able to control your own behavior?

I'm sorry but you own this and continue to refuse to accept responsibility.
 

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I was the third one up, cop recited the circumstances, including a strangely detailed description of the STOP sign. "Observed the cyclist from two car lengths away, did not stop at the sign. The sign is octagonal with a red background and white letters S-T-O-P along with markings on the ground indicating where to stop, there were no obstructions blahblahblah. Cyclist was on a black Murser bicycle....."
He needs to describe the sign as it is described in the statute. In NJ, the lettering on "School Bus" needs to be a certain size and you could conceivably argue that if the officer didn't measure it then how could he or she testify about it?

Sorry about your tickets. An ongoing theme in both this forum and NY/NJ is NYC raising revenue from cyclists under the guise of $afety.
 

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Is it Wyoming where cyclists, by law, can treat a stop sign like a yield? Wish it was like that everywhere.
 

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Your THIRD ticket and you STILL haven't learned?!

"Just have to decide if it's worth the additional risk to ride to work anymore." What's the risk; that you won't be able to control your own behavior?

I'm sorry but you own this and continue to refuse to accept responsibility.
There's another thread on this where we have discussed painfully the reasons for the tickets, the frustrations of how and why the tickets were issued, Christine's lament about the reasons for wanting to fight the tickets, which as BTW and if you had read the posts, wasn't because she felt she wasn't wrong, but that there were extenuating circumstances.

Many NYC commuters feel her pain. Many who don't live or bike commute here do not and seemingly feel the need to take a moral high ground and lecture about how wrong she was. Nothing is that cut and dry, there were/are valid reasons for skipping stop signs and red lights in NYC. Go read some of my posts about the absurdity of the numbers, locations etc.., of the lights and signage. And of course the inability of the NYPD to deal with all these issues in a way that keeps the residents safe yet also encourages usage of what is otherwise a decent cycling infrastructure.

So please, take the lecturing elsewhere.
 

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I love to climb!
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I got beeped at by a cop for blowing through a stop sign in my subdivision a couple weeks ago. As I rolled by his car, he just said, stop signs apply to you, too. I said sorry, and that was the end of it.
 

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Is it Wyoming where cyclists, by law, can treat a stop sign like a yield? Wish it was like that everywhere.
I could have sworn a DC cop told me around '82 that he would NOT ticket a cyclist for slowing way down and looking both ways before crossing the intersection. He gave me the impression "yield" was ok in DC. They should do that in NYC. I bet they used to. Now that cycling is cool and hip, the city is cashing in. Sucks.

Will a cop arrest you for jerking to a complete stop as you glance side to side, but with feet still on the pedals, and then go if the coast is clear? We know you're not going to stop riding to work, Christine! :nono: Five bucks? We'll start a fund. :thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Why not just stop at every intersection? Maybe I can summarize.

The 34th Ave. bike path is nearly 3 miles long, which comes to about 60 intersections on that stretch alone (15% or so of the commute.) This ticket was for the very last stop sign along that stretch (going west.) When I stop at each light, that's a full stop every minute. Takes about 13 seconds per block, so I end up stopping about every 5 blocks (have counted.) Don't know how many total stops along the 16 miles.

First ticket was for a red light, at night (was getting dark early), up a hill (seriously) in an industrial area, literally a couple of blocks from where a woman had lye thrown in her face the week before. I was pedaling uphill slowly, no traffic whatsoever, and just wanted to keep moving!

Third ticket was while riding with John in Brooklyn. We did stop at the light, but just before it changed, figured it was clear, no traffic/peds/cops. Turns out the cop was in an unmarked vehicle. These were the cops that tried to give us the Vision Zero lecture.

Yes, I technically broke the law, but bikes are not heavy, fast machines that kill the way cars do. The laws should be changed, and if not, leniency is deserved.

I've been riding for nearly two decades in/around the city w/o a problem. I'm not reckless or inconsiderate. Never even got a ticket until this year, where suddenly I've got three and John has one. Cars are literally getting away with murder, yet bikers are being punished.

Now I have to alter my riding style, which has served me very well all these years. Intersections are dangerous places- a pedestrian is more likely to get killed in the crosswalk, for example, than by crossing mid-street. It won't help Vision Zero's supposed safety goal if more people are standing around in the intersection.

Anyway. I'm ranting again. As for doing a protest, it only seems to make drivers hate cyclists that much more (see Critical Mass.)

As I type, John is crunching the numbers. Traveling @ 10mph, there's an intersection every 15 seconds, 220 feet apart. Not sure how long it takes for the light to change. So a rider has to start building momentum from scratch.

The support here is greatly appreciated. Glad I can provide some entertainment with this mini soap-opera!

Edit: Last night, a police helicopter was circling our house for half an hour. I was going to make a separate post about it, but now I'm thinking it's related to this :p
 

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The sad thing about this entire crackdown is that it originally started as a way to keep "messengers" in midtown from running over pedestrians in crosswalks. Unfortunately, jerks like that are hard to catch, so instead the cops go for the 'low-hanging fruit', and a woman alone on a road with zero traffic, riding uphill, is about as easy a person to cite. I wouldn't be surprised if they would give a ticket to an 80 year old woman in a wheelchair if they thought the charge could stick. Now that the cops cant just stop-and-frisk every brown-skinned person and write them up for whatever might be on their person, I suspect that the laziest of officers are suddenly finding it difficult to meet their quotas.
 

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a real member's member
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slow way down.
turn right.
make a u-turn.
turn right again.
problem solved.
 

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It sounds like you are talking about making a right on red turn, which are illegal in NYC.
holy crap. that is ridic.

just looked it up. it's usually legal in the u.s. unless posted otherwise.

but in nyc, it's illegal unless posted otherwise.

i guess this rules out nyc for me.
 
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