It’s about time.

Maybe I’m late on this update but I was very happy to see that someone was doing something about it.

“the same laws that apply to cars apply to bicycles.”

“Granted, there was a red light back there,” he said, “but there weren’t any cars.”

Ummm, if I go through a light, whether or not there are any cars, I get a ticket. I have nothing against bikers and honestly, if I could, I’d ride a bike to work. But I work way too far from my job. And well, traffic laws apply to both automobiles and bikes. Everyday, everywhere I go, they ignore all the laws drivers of cars are expected to follow to a “T.” I expect quite a bit of scorn and anger from bicycle riders regarding this post. So, please tell me what an elitist, natural resource guzzling bastard I am. Either way, if you don’t start following the rules, which serve a practical and logistic purpose, you get a ticket. Just like what happens when I don’t follow the rules.

13 Comments so far

  1. TMI (unregistered) on August 1st, 2005 @ 3:03 pm

    I’m fine with the police ticketing bicyclists for disobeying traffic laws as long as they hold the same standard of enforcement for automobiles.

    I mean, it’s great that they’ve eliminated the whole “people driving idiotically” problem and can now concentrate on the two-wheeled menace.

    I mean, I ride on the sidewalk because of the way people drive, especially on weekends.

  2. TMI (unregistered) on August 1st, 2005 @ 3:06 pm

    Oof. I’m so embarrassed that I the last 2 lines of that comment with the phrase “I mean.”

  3. Fritz (unregistered) on August 1st, 2005 @ 3:15 pm

    Whether cyclists there should be increased focus on scofflaw cyclists is one of those perennial discussion topics among cycling advocates. The thinking is that increased enforcement of traffic law will improve the image of cycling among motorists and pedestrians.

  4. Justin (unregistered) on August 1st, 2005 @ 3:43 pm

    Look, i agree that we (the bikers) need to follow the rules, but i think we should have different rules than cars, i mean we don’t have horns, at least some of us don’t, we don’t have turn signals, just hands, we are more likely to die in accidents and we can’t just accelrate as quickly. so we need different rules that can help us share the roads with the cars.

  5. steven (unregistered) on August 1st, 2005 @ 3:45 pm

    I’m fine with giving tickets to people on bikes, but only if they’re endangering others around them. If I’m on my bike and I see a 4-way stop coming up, with no one approaching, I’ll slow down for a second to make sure I don’t get side-swiped, then I’ll continue thru on my merry way. Should I get a ticket for that? No. Should 1,000 lb vehicles? Yes. We can’t hold bikes to all the same rules because it’s just not the same.

  6. K. (unregistered) on August 1st, 2005 @ 4:18 pm

    I agree, Justin, but I also think that enforcing rules of the road for cyclists does improve safety- I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had bikes dart out in front of me. I’m actually *looking* for people on bikes, it’s gotta be ten times more dangerous to do that to a person who isn’t as aware/isn’t used to driving in the city and sharing congested roadways with bikes.

    and TMI, I don’t think anyone is implying that everyone is driving safely, following the speed limit, etc. Why does one problem have to be fully addressed before we can start addressing other problems? That’s like saying we shouldn’t worry about muggers because we haven’t solved the problem of murderers.

  7. TJ (unregistered) on August 1st, 2005 @ 5:24 pm

    When will they start ticketing cars for the very dangerous (and bike lane infringing) pass-in-the-right-lane-while-accelerating-from-a-stop-sign/light maneuver? This move is a major rager and has scared me out of my bike seat more than thrice.

  8. TMI (unregistered) on August 1st, 2005 @ 5:38 pm

    First off, K – I just meant that the Chicago Police currently do NOTHING about reckless driving. The only reason they’ll pull a car over is if it’s being driven by a non-white person. I drive my car to work every day up Western Ave, and every day I witness at least 10 different moving violations, some of which are also witnessed by cops who do nothing about it. I wish they’d make a point to enforce the traffic laws for cars as much as they’re making it a point to enfore bike laws. But this brings me to my second point…

    This “bike ticketing” policy is a PR stunt. They’ll write some tickets in the particular area where people were complaining, (around Halsted and Armitage, I think) but for the most part, cyclists in other parts of town aren’t going to get hassled. I’ll continue to ride my bike through the stoplights and stopsigns between Western and Damen so long as I don’t see a cop sitting there looking. Chances are the Wicker Park and Humboldt Park cops could give less than 0.5 of a shit about it.

    Also consider that this PR stunt was the result of phone complaints. This suggests maybe instead of bitching about bad drivers we should start calling the cops on them. TJ: Next time some asshole pulls that right-lane pass-up move, take his plate and call 311 to report their reckless driving. Maybe if the police get enough complaints about it they’ll do something.

  9. TMI (unregistered) on August 2nd, 2005 @ 4:58 pm

    the point is moot:

    (from the The Trib:)

    Crackdown on bicyclists delayed a month

    Tribune staff reports

    Published August 2, 2005, 7:28 AM CDT

    Chicago police this week have delayed plans to crack down on bicyclists in the Lakeview neighborhood.

    Last month, police issued warnings to cyclists in the North Side neighborhood for riding on sidewalks, going the wrong way on streets or running red lights. They had planned to issue citations beginning this week.

    However, the officer in charge of the bike patrol and the commander are on vacation, so the ticketing will not begin until Sept. 1, police said.

    Officers said business owners along Halsted Street had filed many complaints, prompting the planned bicycle bust.

    Last month, police issued 37 warnings in six hours of patrolling.

  10. Chris Hall (unregistered) on August 21st, 2005 @ 6:29 pm

    I ride my bike to work sometimes, and I drive sometimes. When I ride my bike, I take the nearest road with a bicycle lane over to the lake, and ride the path. I have way more problems on the 6 miles of bike path than I have ever had in the 4 miles of streets I ride to get to the path through Pilsen.

    I think bicyclists should have to follow the exact same rules when they’re on the road with cars. Doesn’t matter that you’re not a “2000 pound car”. Should scooters and motorcycles get to roll through stop signs and lights as well then?

    I was stopped at a 4 way stop once, and as I accelerated to continue on down the road, some jerk-off on a road bike blew the stop sign on the left of me, and startled himself when he saw me (I had stopped in the middle of the intersection by the time he even noticed medid), and he yelled at ME. I made a right turn and caught up to him, and told him “You have to follow the same rules we do if you wanna ride on the street like a big boy you fuck.” He had nothing to say back to me, because he realized I was right.

    Drivers have enough to deal with without worrying at every intersection that some guy on his $4000 carbon fiber trek is gonna wind up on their hood.

    Oh, and fuck Critical Mass. Talk about a bunch of self-righteous assholes. If I ever see those assholes riding on the Dan Ryan again, I’ll throw a bicycle lock out my window at them…

  11. chris (unregistered) on September 29th, 2005 @ 7:52 pm

    AMEN! These bicyclists in chicago are total as*holes! Literally 5 minutes ago i saw a cyclist blow thru a stop sign (as usual), and when he was almost run over by a cab, he yelled “as*hole!” so i said to him as he drove by “actually you are supposed to stop at stop signs”. and the cyclist told me to “f-off!” to which i started laughing very loud. I see this all the time when im walking round the neighborhood.
    Just watch the Critical Mass tv show on chicago cable tv. you will see TONS of these infractions. Ive never seen so many JERKS in my life. I think they are purposely antagonistic towards drivers after they (cyclists) almost get run over because of THEIR OWN stupidity, because they know there are 10000 of them against one driver.
    Personally I think the cops should seriously crack down on these nuisances.

  12. chris (unregistered) on September 29th, 2005 @ 7:54 pm

    OH, and they cant ever ride single file if there are 4 of them on our SMALL neighborhood streets. then they get mad at you for honking for them to get the fuck out of the way.
    Time for a clothesline!

  13. jerk off (unregistered) on November 15th, 2005 @ 12:49 pm

    Do these comments go live right away or need approvals?

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