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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Rode around Brooklyn today, lovely stay-cation with the spousal unit, who got to see 3/4ths of my work commute.

On the way home, I paused at a red light and did my usual check: No traffic, check. No cops, check. Light was about to turn green, okay let's go............BwooopBWOOP. :eek: :mad: So the cops got 2-for-1 today.

I was calm until the young cop handed me the ticket, along with a Vision Zero booklet. "Have you heard about Vision Zero?" He flipped through the booklet as if I had just arrived from outer space. "This booklet explains all about traffic safety and how bikes need to follow the same laws as cars......." :mad5:

"Oh I know about Vision Zero, but WE are not the problem! It's CARS that are killing people, not cyclists! Are you handing these booklets out to drivers who are mowing down people while they're walking on the sidewalks?!"

Reminded the cop that I know it's not his fault, that I understand bike safety, but there's hundreds of intersections along the way, and I ride the route all the time. Why isn't the mayor going after the drivers??

Decades of riding, including all of Bloomberg's extra-long administration- nary a summons. Now that DeBlasio's in office- three tickets. :mad2:

I swear that "Vision Zero's" actual goal is to keep on killing and ticketing cyclists until there are zero. They'll all be either dead or so fed up they'll get into their cars and drive to work like fattened sheep to slaughter.

The cop that got my husband told him that a little girl was killed by a cyclist in the past two weeks. When we got home, we Googled around for that story, but only found this video (same area as where we got pulled over.)

 

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I got a ticket once for rolling through a stop sign on my bike. It seemed unfair to me at the time. However I learned my lesson and now I stop, put my foot down and then go. Mostly it's not a problem for me as my usual rides only have one signal and one stop sign. . Car's get inpatient as starting from a dead stop and requiring clipping in is not fast enough for them. Luckily the Saturday shop rides just have one signal and everyone seems to be fine with obeying traffic laws. If they did not then I would quit going.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
There's a 3-mile or so stretch of the route that's got a traffic light at each block. Since 1 mile = 20 blocks, we're talking 60 lights (with a couple of stop signs.)

Round trip = 120 potential stops, and this stretch represents only 20% of the entire ride. The rest of the route isn't quite as dense, though there are intersections aplenty.

On the way home tonight, husband and I stopped as needed on that stretch, but it's demoralizing when you're going up a hill, have some nice momentum, and have to stop despite lack of traffic. We had to stop every couple of minutes.

At one point, we had to do a complete detour- the block was taped off due to a smashed car in the opposite lane. It looked like an accordion pushed in. Probably one of those rogue cyclists :rolleyes:
 

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I understand your frustration but you did break the law. Then you complained to the cop for not going after drivers that break the law. What you really want is selective enforcement of the laws. You state that there are sixty traffic lights on your commute each way, would it be ok for cars to run them also. Rules are rules follow them and you won't get tickets. Don't like them work to change them. Yes I have run lights but if I get stopped, my fault.
 

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I suppose if I had to regularly maneuver through 60 traffic signals I would use flat pedals and an enclosed gear in back so I could shift after stopping. However it's not my life and I live in a small town and cycle in the hills out of traffic.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I'm not contesting that the law was broken; I was irritated by the fact that cops are focusing on bikers lately, while implying that we are somehow a problem.

Vision Zero is supposed to be about increasing safety for pedestrians and bikers. Yet every day, there's another story about how cars are mowing people down while the victims are riding and walking perfectly legally- on the sidewalks, in a bike lane, in a crosswalk and so on.

It's just very odd that, after all these years of riding, it's only the past year I'm getting tickets. My riding style hasn't changed. Cyclists aren't the problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I wish the constabulary would disregard the cyclists. Sure, maybe tickets for blatant recklessness, but this is nuts.
 

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Maybe you could meet with the mayor. Chat with him about what you are seeing. Maybe invite him on a ride to see first hand what you are seeing.
 

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I wish the constabulary would disregard the cyclists. Sure, maybe tickets for blatant recklessness, but this is nuts.
At least you New Yorkers can now legally drink alcohol publicly wherever you please, and go to the bathroom right on the sidewalk whenever the urge strikes. That's progress! So kinder, gentler bike laws can't be far behind.
 

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Stop and live ticket free or keep running the stop signs and get more tickets from time to time and blame it on the Police. It's your choice to make. Good luck.
 

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The last 2 road riders I observed rolling a stop sign was a couple months ago. I was on the freeway headed to the trail with my mtb in tow and had a front row seat to what I thought was about to be utter carnage. Looking down on the scene from an elevated portion of the highway, they rolled a stop that abutted what is both a roadway as well as an acceleration lane for a rather short onramp to the freeway I was on. They rolled without regard right in front of an accelerating 500 class BMW that was probably rolling at 60+ by that point. The driver went full brake and skilfully threaded the narrow needle between the 2 riders forcing him to go off the edge of the embankment. If it wasn't for his driving skills, ABS braking, and his unselfish willingness to essentially sacrifice his own life, I have no doubt I would have witnessed the brutal and gory death of two riders. Had he attempted to stay on the road, at least one would have been killed.

I ride road now. It's new to me but I have always been an very outspoken advocate for those that choose the riding lifestyle, even with all the stupid things I've seen road riders do. After that day, I refused to openly advocate and defend the group as a whole, even though I have joined rank so to speak. I ride alone. I ride like I'm invisible. I stop at every stop sign and signal and then get myself out on the open road. IMO, until riders unite as whole and take a hard stand against offending riders actions and clean up within the ranks, I'll not speak another word in defense of these situations. I'm certain everybody here has seen the dialogue of the general public commenting on social media every time a rider is killed or injured. It's brutal how non-riders feel and is generally unfounded but there's to many VISIBLE bad apples on bikes and that's going to take a lot of work...but something has to be done. My .02

So, sorry OP, I respectfully disagree with your traffic situation. You were in the wrong and like with any other traffic cite situation, you just got caught. Wrong place, wrong time. I would expect the same if it happened to me.
 

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Oh My Sack, while you are right in that we should clean up our own act (I have often been cussed out by cyclists whose traffic foibles I was contesting) I find it interesting that you mention how visible our scofflaws are. Yes, drivers remember seeing the bad apples on bicycles. But those same drivers see many more bad apple drivers every day and selectively ignore them. Now that you are one of us, please don't make the same mistake those other drivers are making. We can recognize that there are bad apple cyclists but know that the percentage of them is actually lower than the bad apple drivers, so we do not need to feed the flame wars by accepting their rants as gospel.
 

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Oh My Sack, while you are right in that we should clean up our own act (I have often been cussed out by cyclists whose traffic foibles I was contesting) I find it interesting that you mention how visible our scofflaws are. Yes, drivers remember seeing the bad apples on bicycles. But those same drivers see many more bad apple drivers every day and selectively ignore them. Now that you are one of us, please don't make the same mistake those other drivers are making. We can recognize that there are bad apple cyclists but know that the percentage of them is actually lower than the bad apple drivers, so we do not need to feed the flame wars by accepting their rants as gospel.
I wholeheartedly agree! As a very high mileage motorcycle rider, I see atrocious stuff on the road from fellow drivers, not to mention while I'm in my car but hyperawareness is how I ride. There are far more infractions being caused by drivers but when the public sees 2 boneheaded moves out of the 8 or 10 kitted out riders they might have seen that day, I think the day to day vehicular nonsense gets filtered out. The public rants are ALWAYS so far off base and mostly just some of the most stupid, uninformed comments ever, I just don't bother to try and explain as I used to. I'm never combative and I usually try and educate and explain what the law is and what rider's responsibilities are but then I go out and see it for myself regularly (Central Coast CA = Riders mecca), after that near miss incident, I just shut my pie hole and watch the hate a vitriol spew forth because a rider was killed by a drunk driver. Somehow it was his fault.

I get what you're saying.
 

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Christine's got a great point: cyclists aren't going fast enough to threaten pedestrians but fast enough to be tolerated in the flow of traffic. They should be able to cheat stop signs, slowing to check the way, and if clear, go. Cops respect me when I come to a complete stop, do a half second track stand as I'm looking to right and left, and then go.

DC is small blocks in a square grid, overlaid with L'Enfant's boulevards and circles. One way streets on the grid are lousy for driving but perfect at cycling speeds. There's a stop sign at every intersection, some busy, others not. Cyclists blow through them all the time, but mostly cautiously, sensibly respectful of auto traffic and who has the right of way.

So watch your back! Ya didn't see that one, did ya? :D See what happens if a track stand works or if he'll whine at you for not putting your foot down. Vigilance. Identify the enemy. Cops are hard to spot often, because they're not moving. Then all of a sudden, bam, one appears out of nowhere.
 

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I got one on Friday the 27-th. Must be the time of year when the cops decide to do something about the damn cyclists. If anyone has seen my post on the commuting section, it shows that I'm lucky enough to be able to ride in on a dedicated bike path. It crosses several roads and we're supposed to stop at each one. Usually what happens is that the cyclists slow down, but don't come to a complete stop. If a car is coming, it usually stops and the driver motions the cyclists across. The motorists don't have to do this, and some actually speed up. So anyone who blows through these intersections is gunning for a Darwin Award IMO. I'm with Fredrico and Christine on this -- we should get some leniency.

Every Spring, the city of Falls Church gets some cop in training (a kid) to hide behind a bush and catch cyclists who run the stop section at the intersection. No tolerance for even slowing down. He's out there for a couple days and then disappears for the year and everything returns to normal. He got my wife a couple of years ago. An Arlington County cop got me on the path where it briefly merges into the street after crossing Route 29. She's writing me a ticket and I'm standing there watching the cars coast through the intersection. Saw a cop in his unmarked car there this morning, but this time I stopped and put both feet down. The annoying thing is that these cops are there specifically to go after cyclists. She said the cops are there "because we are getting a lot of complaints". A lot of complaints from who? What a load of snit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I see atrocious stuff on the road from fellow drivers, not to mention while I'm in my car but hyperawareness is how I ride. There are far more infractions being caused by drivers but when the public sees 2 boneheaded moves out of the 8 or 10 kitted out riders they might have seen that day, I think the day to day vehicular nonsense gets filtered out.
And when you compare the number of injuries/deaths caused by cyclists vs drivers, it's ludicrous.

How many times do people jaywalk each day? A pedestrian is better off statistically crossing in the middle of a street than in the crosswalk (where they're more likely to get hit by a car.)

People often talk about their close calls with "crazy cyclists," but when there's a crowd of jaywalkers ignoring the cyclist (who has the green), and the cyclists has to pick a line through the crowd, the jaywalkers shouldn't ***** and moan. Ditto those who step into the street, oblivious, while staring at their phones.

And the cyclist that buzzes close to them isn't hitting them. Would they rather have a close call with a bike or a car??
 

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And the cyclist that buzzes close to them isn't hitting them. Would they rather have a close call with a bike or a car??
By this logic would cyclists rather be buzzed by a motorcycle or a truck?


I'm a firm believer in yielding the right of way to automotive traffic when it's due them and taking it when it's due me, and always yielding to pedestrians. And I also use the "Oregon stop", when traffic warrants, and haven't had an issue with the police in this neck of the woods, and I don't know that the "Oregon stop" is recognized here.

All that being said, Cops are people too.

They have a job to do and they most highly differ in the ways that they go about doing it. Some may not like cyclists and abuse their authority, others may allow minor infractions, while others may think that they are doing the right thing by enforcing the law verbatim, who knows. They also may be following orders or see ticketing cyclists as easier than ticketing motorists.

I also think that in areas of heavier traffic the laws may be more strictly enforced upon cyclists, possibly due to public outcry, both by motorists and pedestrians. But I'm just supposin' here.

Most of my cycling experiences with the police have been good, the only issue that I have had was with a cop who claimed to be a cyclist and wanted me to hug the curb, for my own safety. I didn't he didn't ticket me, but that's a memory that has stuck with me.

There may be a little of the bad outweighing the good here. We've all dealt with "automotive harassment", but how many drivers treat us respectfully compared to the bad apples. The good outway the bad by a Large Margin, in my estimation, and that may be the same with police stops. It's easier to remember the one that gets our attention than the many that don't.

Again, I'm just supposin' here.
 
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