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Bike commuters get stung!

August 2, 2006

Today on the ride to work downtown I saw no less than 5 cops on their motorcycles pulling over bicyclist commuters just before 8:00 a.m.

They were clearly getting tickets, probabably for not following traffic rules such as staying in bike lanes and riding between traffic lanes.

I generally believe that bicyclists should follow the laws just like drivers must, if only because it gives expectations and enables me to assume the next moves of a cyclist when I’m on the road.  My friend Jeff Alworth over at Blue Oregon wrote an excellent piece called the The (Five Golden) Rules of the Road which describes what to me is the best approach to sharing the road. 

I’m not a fan of stings and I don’t think it’s fair for cops to aggressively ticket people without warning.  So watch out!

3 Comments leave one →
  1. August 3, 2006 5:05 am

    Your picture of PDX on the masthead makes me soooo homesick right now! I am a REAL Portland native, born and raised (I’m just hasslin’ ya, you are a native too, in my book), but I moved away a couple years ago. Not just from Portland, but from the USA, and, although I miss Portland desperately, my level of insane rage at the crap that is going on in the US right now is down to a dull rumble. So, keep an eye on my favorite city. I’ll be back one day, as long as there are no Bushes in the WH.

    On to more relavant topics, what is the deal with the cops and the bicyclists? I personally (in PDX) witnessed a cop pull a biker over for not signaling (I guess). Meanwhile, cars are just blasting by, real threats of death. I am so sick of the lopsided enforecement. Aren’t there real crimes going on out there, Johnny Law? Yes, we must be saved from the crazy lunatics who fail to lift up a hand to show they are turning right? Sheesh. As “bike friendly” as Portland would like you to beleive it is, there is this palpable sense that, given half the chance, many would like bikes banned, bike lanes paved over, and more cars clogging the already clogged streets.

    Love the blog, I’ll be back for more NW goodness

  2. Will Von Wizzlepig permalink
    September 15, 2006 9:23 am

    The cops are a real mixed bag around here. Let’s not forget they do not hire cops for their smarts. I’ve run into: very nice, sorta of boing, verging on lunatic, and raging jerks. Portland is understaffed and underfunded, and the sidewalks are crammed full of obnoxious losers and mental cases who do nothing but create problems and waste law enforcement’s time. Joe average, on the other hand, can actually pay the ticket they get. The karmic redemption for people enforcing the law in Portland must be pretty bad. Parking enforcement, even worse. What a job! Ugh. Well, what it boils down to for me is: try to keep away from them, and hope they don’t notice you. Much like when a rabid dog is loose nearby.

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