Riding along with Officer Hoesly

Posted by on August 15th, 2006 at 8:57 am

riding along with Officer Hoesly

[Traffic Division officer Ron Hoesly]

Last week I joined Portland Police Bureau Traffic Division officer Ron Hoesly for a ride-along.

Why go on a ride-along?

First and foremost is my ongoing desire to build good, working relationships with the cops (especially the Traffic Division). Whether you like them or not, I think our experience as cyclists will be much better if we continue to work with them, not against them.

Consider this; the Traffic Division writes the vast majority of bike tickets, they work bike parades, patrol Critical Mass, and they investigate bike crashes. As time goes on it’s inevitable that we’ll come together, and whether those moments are constructive or destructive is up to us.

OK, now onto the action.

After meeting with his team at roll call and hanging around the station for a bit, Hoesly and I took out an unmarked patrol car for a night on the mean streets of Portland.

Our first stop was in Southeast Portland to stake out a stop sign in response to a citizen complaint. After writing a few tickets to motorists, we noticed a young girl on a bike blow right through the intersection. By the time we caught up to her she had pulled into her driveway and her mom was out front.

It turns out the girl was just 12 years old. Hoesly had a talk with her and her mom and they were both receptive and grateful for his concern.

Hoesly and I both have daughters (his are 8 and 14, mine are 1 and 3) so that girl’s carelessness really hit home.

We then drove out to 82nd and Powell and while Hoesly was writing up a guy in Escalade for turning left on a red light (the driver said the sun was in his eyes (sound familiar?)), I heard a call come over the radio. The dispatcher said,

“That guy that has been written up in the paper for harrassing ladies on his bike is at River City bike shop.”

I knew it was “that creepy cyclists named James” so I told Hoesly we should go check it out.

We pulled up to River City Bicycles and talked to the officer on the scene. She said “that guy named James” was indeed inside, but that there was nothing they could do (the D.A. is working on the case and trying to put together an arrest warrant for him). Just as I went to check things out, James had fled back onto the streets.

[For the latest on the unfolding James saga, visit this thread on the Portland Bike Forums.]

After a textbook speed enforcement mission on Highway 26 near the Zoo, we went back into downtown.

riding along with Officer Hoesly

[What red light?]

As we drove west on Burnside approaching Broadway, we looked up and saw a cyclist run the red light right in front of us. Hoesly pulled her over. When he asked her why she crossed on the red light she said,

“I thought that law was only for cars. I didn’t know it also applied to bikes.”

She said she just moved here from New York City about a month ago. She also didn’t have lights. I was embarrassed for her because we were in a high-traffic area of downtown and there she was, on her bike, getting pulled over by a cop.

It was surreal to be sitting on the other side of the windshield. I felt awkward, like I was on the wrong team or something.

riding along with Officer Hoesly

[Installing lights
downtown]

Luckily, Hoesly is great at loosening up the mood. Within a few minutes, Hoesly and the woman were laughing at her driver’s license photo and carrying on like old friends.

I got out of the car to snap some photos and saw another friend on a bike nearby. Soon, there we all were, hanging out and discussing traffic safety, laws, and bike lights.

In the end, Hoesly gave her a warning and a free front light.

A few minutes later we were back in the car, onto the next stop.

If it sounds like Hoesly is a nice guy, it’s because he is. A family man with three kids, Hoesly is easy to talk to and quick with a smile. He’s a personable guy and he approached each stop with an open mind,

“Most of the time, when I stop someone, it’s an individual thing. If they are reasonable and honest they’ll have a much better experience. It’s all about common sense and attitude. When I’m dealing with people on the street, I just think about how I would want my own family to be treated.”

Common sense is something he brought up a lot. I consider it his core philosophy for traffic safety. For instance, he couldn’t believe how many cyclists ride at night without lights and don’t wear brighter clothing. “It’s just common sense,” he’d say.

Like the other Traffic Division officers I’ve met, Hoesly brings a sincere concern for traffic safety to his work.

My ride-along was definitely a worthwhile experience. It helped me further understand the cop’s perspective and it helped me realize is that each officer is an individual, with his or her own set of values and motivations for their work.

Does this mean all officers are as friendly and open as Hoesly? I doubt it. But then again, I haven’t met all of them so it’s hard to say.

I realize that things aren’t always peachy between cyclists and cops. Open wounds remain for some and there is still work to be done to help them better understand things from our perspective (and vice versa). My hope is we can move forward as partners, not adversaries.

If I’m going down the wrong path, I hope you’ll set me straight.

Please support BikePortland.

NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are productive, considerate, and welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. If you see a mean or inappropriate comment, please contact us and we'll take a look at it right away. Also, if you comment frequently, please consider holding your thoughts so that others can step forward. Thank you — Jonathan

33 Comments
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    Michael August 15, 2006 at 9:13 am

    Great work, Jonathan!!!

    The police are OUR employees and diplomatic encounters like this help restore good relationships on both sides.

    I have been gradually coming over to the side of the issue where cyclists obey the traffic laws. (Most of the time. At 5 am on a residential street I still cruise through stop signs carefully.)

    As cyclists and pedestrians, we witness some terrible driving behaviors that put everyone at risk. Many of those drivers have little regard or respect for us. It only makes their attitude worse when we flagrantly violate common sense rules and laws. One of the most important steps we can take is to become better citizens of the road ourselves.

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    Austin August 15, 2006 at 9:22 am

    Great post Jonathan. It is not often that we get the opportunity to see things from their perspective. Officer Hoesly sounds like a great guy; and every time I hear of cops giving out lights, I feel like these things are pointing in the right direction.

    So along the same lines, what are the chances of coordinating a ride-along where the traffic division guys ride along with us? It would seem like a one on one ride would be equally valuable.

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    Paul August 15, 2006 at 9:33 am

    Good to see the post. I was fuming a little last night as I rode home and crossed Belmont at a four way stop and had to zip out of the way for a cyclist who came barrelling down off Tabor and didn’t even pause at the stop sign. Car or bike – we’ve all got rules and our own safety to watch out for.

    I too like to see that lights are being given out. Cycling with no lights at night is nuts!

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    brettoo August 15, 2006 at 9:39 am

    thanks so much for doing this, Jonathan. It’s great for everyone all around, and I’m glad to hear there’s someone like Ron Hoesly on wheels. I wish all the cops were like that!

    Along similar lines… any chance of your working with the police who investigate bike thefts? I’m new to town so maybe this is old news, but I’d sure like to know more about the scum who are responsible for all the stolen bike listings, and what’s being done about it.

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    JLu August 15, 2006 at 10:24 am

    Regardless of the front he puts up for PR stunts such as this, Officer Hosely abuses his powers and authority like your average corrupt police officer. I have had an extremely bad experience with Officer Hosely in which he acted in a nasty, vindictive and illegal way. Since my encounter with Officer Hosely, I no longer stop for the police for fear of similar encounters.

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    dotRob August 15, 2006 at 10:45 am

    Jonathan, thanks for taking the time to do this. I appreciated it, and enjoyed the article.

    I really want to believe in public servants (police or otherwise) who act like Officer Hoesly, with courtesy and based on common sense. Then I read JLu’s comment, and recall my own stop for “running a red light,” and my skepticism resurfaces.

    When I was stopped, by an officer in a Camaro, his attitude and approach were very gruff. Admittedly, though I was polite and caused no trouble, I was cold towards him as well. I got off with a warning, and my feeling at the time was that this was because I had an absolutely clean record, both on 2 and 4 wheels.

    In hindsight, I wonder if his reception of me was because he was stopping a guy, dressed in black, on a bike, on W. Burnside, at 10 pm.

    I wonder how Officer Hoesly would have responded if the woman in your article had been a man dressed similarly to how I was….

    And I’m curious about JLu’s story, if it can be told without too much exaggeration.

    .rob

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    Jonathan Maus August 15, 2006 at 11:05 am

    JLu,

    Sorry to hear about your bad experience.

    If Hoesly acted illegally toward you I would recommend finding a lawyer and writing a letter to the Mayor and Police Chief Rosie Sizer about it.

    And please get in touch if you have any real evidence of police corruption.

    And by the way this was not a “PR stunt”. I initiated the whole thing.

    dotRob,

    I think that if you were stopped on a bike at night for running a red light while wearing dark clothes, Hoesly would not be too nice to you.

    I think he would be frustrated that you’ve chosen to be so unsafe and I think he would project his concern for your safety onto you.

    Please understand that these cops see people die horrible deaths on the streets all the time.

    There #1 job is to make the streets safe (of course you can disagree with how they execute this, but that’s another topic)

    Right or wrong, I think being nice to everyone they stop is not their highest priority.

    That may sound bad, but I think it’s the reality we have to work with.

    Best advice is to just be mellow and realize that a traffic stop is the absolute worst time to argue your point or become upset at the officer.

    I have no doubt that even guys like Hoesly will turn mean in that situation.

    Best thing is to just bite your lip and report them later.

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    organic brian August 15, 2006 at 2:07 pm

    I’m familiar with the “the sooner I get my ass to my destination the less likely I’ll be run over” perspective on cyclists running stop signs, but… there are still some who don’t know the law? Maybe the statutes have to be painted in the street for them, or something. At least this cyclist is new to town, maybe didn’t have time yet to look into what the laws are. It’s each person’s responsibility to know the laws, whether they’re cycling, driving, boating, hang-gliding…

    Oregon statutes online:
    http://www.leg.state.or.us/ors/

    Here’s a doc that ODOT created consolidating the bike / pedestrian related statutes:
    http://www.oregon.gov/ODOT/HWY/BIKEPED/docs/bike-ped_statutes.pdf

    Thanks Jonathan for giving us this insight!

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    steve August 15, 2006 at 5:31 pm

    What a shame. A highly paid officer of the law wasting his time giving tickets to a cyclist for running a stop light. Obviously she knew it was safe. That’s why cyclists run lights. We’re only going 15 mph so we can see both directions in time to stop if we need to. But, if you folks still want your tax dollars being wasted go ahead and give the cops the go-ahead to keep wasting them.

    Stop sign laws do not pertain to pedestrians and cyclists. When I’m on a bicycle I do what is safest – sometimes that means stopping at lights and sometimes it means getting through them when there is no traffic around – no matter the color of the light. The color of a light does not indicate whether it is safe to go or not for a bicycle. That colored ball indicates when it is LEGAL for cars to go – not when it is safe for cyclists.

    My intent is to be seen by wearing yellow and lots of flashing lights and to stay out of the way of cars as much as I can – and many times that means going through lights on red.

    I’d say there was a serious problem in the police department management for allowing the street cops to waste time harassing cyclists for doing something that isn’t a safety problem. There are so many other traffic problems that are so serious that it makes the bicycle enforcement ludicrous.

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    Sasha August 15, 2006 at 5:55 pm

    Steve,

    I for one would rather have the loud garbage collection problem taken care of over the loud motorcycle one.

    Motorcyclists come and go, garbage collection is forever.

    S

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    Dr. Mark Ross August 15, 2006 at 6:18 pm

    steve sez: “Obviously she knew it was safe. That’s why cyclists run lights.:

    oh well, then, lets ALL run lights. I’ll be teaching my 10 y/o to run lights because its, as you said, SAFE!

    ps: there are laws on the books saying its illegal. what are you gonna tell YOUR kid?

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    Michael August 15, 2006 at 6:39 pm

    Steve: I have been known to blow a light when no cars are around, but for the most part, selective obedience of traffic laws by bicyclists does not help our cause.
    If bikes are traffic, we have to act like traffic. I try to ride safely and obey traffic laws because I want to be treated as a vehicle. I also believe how I act on my bike impacts how drivers treat other cyclists.
    One night late, I saw a group of ten-twelve cyclists, in black without lights, blow through a 4-way stop at NE 21st and Fremont, almost hitting a pedestrian and his young son. He screamed at them, much like I do when a car almost hits me. As they rode away I heard one of the cyclists yell, “He probably drives an SUV.” Ha-ha.
    Bicyclists aren’t holy because they ride bikes. Traffic laws should be followed for everyone’s safety.

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    Gregg August 15, 2006 at 7:36 pm

    “Garbage collection is forever” I think I saw that on a bumper sticker once.

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    N August 15, 2006 at 11:28 pm

    Steve:

    “What a shame. A highly paid officer of the law wasting his time giving tickets to a cyclist for running a stop light. Obviously she knew it was safe. That’s why cyclists run lights. We’re only going 15 mph so we can see both directions in time to stop if we need to. But, if you folks still want your tax dollars being wasted go ahead and give the cops the go-ahead to keep wasting them.”

    Obviously, you know nothing about how much cops are paid, or how they divide their forces to handle different jobs and different assignments.

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    zach August 16, 2006 at 7:40 am

    If we don’t like the stop sign laws (and I don’t), we should keep working to change them. I run signs pretty frequently with a full knowledge of the consequences I could face if caught.

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    brock August 16, 2006 at 7:54 am

    “One night late, I saw a group of ten-twelve cyclists, in black without lights, blow through a 4-way stop at NE 21st and Fremont”

    Hmmmm. There’s a stop light at 21st and Fremont, not a 4-way stop. Story sounds fishy, but maybe you’re a just a little confused and this really did happen somewhere else.

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    nuovorecord August 16, 2006 at 7:56 am

    Perception is reality, folks. The more that we cyclists choose which traffic laws we will and won’t obey, the longer we have to deal with problems like hate speech from shock jocks, road raging SUV drivers and similar behavior. And, the longer it will take for everyone to accept that bicycles are a viable, sustainable and (for many trips) a vastly superior transportation mode.

    Taking a position that you are somehow exempt from following traffic laws will do more harm than good. If you don’t like the laws, work with the lawmakers to get them changed. But don’t get down on the police for doing their jobs. When a cyclist blows through a red light or stop sign they deserve a ticket – period. That’s the law. Sack up and take responsibility for your own actions, and think about other cyclists as well, because your unwillingness to play by the rules hurts us all.

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    Michael August 16, 2006 at 9:48 am

    Brock: You are right. At NE 21st and Fremont is a stop light. Several years ago when this happened, it was a flashing four way stop light. This means that all vehicles must stop before proceeding, giving preference to other vehicles at the intersection first. And pedestrians always have preference.
    This group of cyclists approached the intersection and did not even slow down for the man and his child already walking across the intersection. There were cars at the intersection as well, waiting for them to cross.

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    JLu August 16, 2006 at 2:11 pm

    I’d like to address a couple comments regarding mine:

    Office Hosely pulled me over just before dusk. I had been riding my bike for the last 2 hours and had not noticed it get dark (if it was even dark). Officer Hosely drove his motorcycle through a group of 6 cyclists in the bike lane (I believe it illegal for motorized vehicles to be in the bike lane, it was certainly unsafe). He then proceeded to give warnings to the 3 cyclists (including myself) which he pulled over and stated that cyclists are required by law to have both front and rear lights on their bicycles at night. I respectfully (yes, respectfully. I even used that word. “Sir, I’d respectfully like to point out..”) informed the officer that while I currently had both front and rear lights on my bicycle (which I had by this time turned on), my understanding of the law only requires a head light and rear reflectors. At this point Office Hosely became very rude with me and proceeded to write me a ticket for not having a headlight (which I repeat, I had and was on at the time of ticketing). As he wrote the ticket he said “You punks never learn.” A car also drove past without headlights on. I almost died inside wanting to point it out to him. After he gave me the ticket I asked him for his name as it was not legible on the ticket and obstructed on his vest (this was so I could file a complaint later). He denied my this information twice until I pulled out my cellphone and informed him I was calling my attorney. I told him I’d see him in court.

    Unfortunately, I became extremely ill on my court date which was most inconveniently in Gresham (the ticket was given to me on the east side of the Hawthorne Bridge) and was unable to appear. I will not be pursuing any legal action against Officer Hosely because I run a couple small businesses in Portland and simply do not have the time for a petty personal issue such as this. However, up until that point I had been a strictly law abiding cyclist (with the exception of that brake thingy), I now no longer care to consider the law because regardless of my efforts I’ll still be pulled over and penalized because some over-weight, power-abuser in a uniform is having a bad day.

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    steve August 16, 2006 at 2:53 pm

    It is apparent that we have two camps in the debate: One camp of people who will obey the laws even if the laws have no relevance to bicycles.

    The other camp of people thinks for themselves and understands that they are responsible for their own safety, not a particular colored lightbulb or a man with a gun.

    Then there are the non-bike riders and the police and all the rest of society. This group outnumbers ALL cyclists by a factor of 20 to perhaps 60.

    Per the posts on this website, perhaps 50% of cyclists are in camp 1 preaching to obey the laws. Those in camp 2 are an exceptionally small minority of society as a whole. The result? We WILL be forced to follow the law or we will get tickets. By making the mistake of post # 12 in thinking that bikes are “traffic” we will be subject to the rules and regulationS of “traffic”. It will be a good source of funds for the government. Bicycles have much more in common with pedestrians than with “traffic”.

    By not being united in an understanding of bicycle safety and what it means to ride a bike we have set ourselves up for:

    Mandatory bicycle drivers licenses.
    Mandatory bicycle registration and license plates.
    Mandatory bicyle insurance (the insurance industry is going to welcome this).
    Not being able to get a job if your record indicates you run too many lights on your bike, etc, etc.

    This is where the “follow the laws” folks are leading us. Too bad. But I predict it is too late to reverse course. That is apparently what they want – why? – I don’t know. All bicycle traffic enforcement and future regulations of bicycles will result in no gains in safety for cyclists or for anyone else. It is a waste of time and money.

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    organic brian August 16, 2006 at 11:57 pm

    Steve, if laws are passed requiring mandatory bicycle driver licenses, bicycle registration, or insurance, it will be mostly the result of the cyclists who disregard the law. This I hear constantly from motorists: “You cyclists never obey traffic laws and are unpredictable, I think you should all be required to license the bikes and get licenses.”

    While we’re making generalizations: some people are insightful enough to cruise through a stop sign / light if there is no traffic / nobody there, but most of the time at least make a pretense of noticing the sign / light (slow down, look both ways) rather than blast through seemingly oblivious as I notice very often. I tend to obey the law if anyone else (who is not a cyclist) is present, it seems just good public relations for cyclists.

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    BLDZR August 17, 2006 at 7:33 am

    let me just point something out to those who believe believe there’s a PR problem with “outlaw cyclists.”

    The relationship between cyclists and automobile drivers, and thus between cyclists and many police officers, is adversarial and will never be anything else. Most people who try to make points with their vehicle will do so under the PRETENSE that they’ve seen cyclists break the law, but even if they haven’t, they’ll invent the memory to justify their actions.

    Cyclists who run lights, or ride without them, are NOT the source of the cycling community’s problems. Laws are NOT the solution. When you are out there riding, you are responsible for yourself, and no one else. Those who would seek to tell others how to ride their own bicycles, and would side with the law over a fellow rider do not speak for me. And please, I would rather you did not speak to me.

    The point is, why are there so many of you that can’t mind your own business? The generic angry driver from gresham is not simply mad that a cyclist ran a light. That driver is mad because he CAN’T do that. He’s mad because the cyclist is there in the first place. He’d be just as mad if you passed him because he was stuck in traffic. He’s mad at his own situation, and following laws that were written in the interest of automobiles will not prevent, nor assuage that anger.

    What steve refers to as “Camp 1” seem to me to be a bunch of old people yelling at the clouds. Stop trying to be the parents of the whole community. Take responsibility for yourself when you’re riding, and allow me to do the same. You don’t have to agree with, or like how I ride, but the only person that reflects upon you is YOU.

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    Brad August 17, 2006 at 8:25 am

    The “I’m responsible for my safety” argument is faulty as well since we don’t live in a perfect libertarian society.

    If the scofflaw cyclist runs a stop sign and gets hit, a cascade of costs paid from sources other than the cyclist is set in motion:

    The police / EMT response is a taxpayer cost.

    If the rider has insurance, the medical costs are distributed amongst the pool of premium payers. (Your bills are subsidized by those who file no claims yet pay premiums)

    No insurance? The state, its taxpayers, and the care provider shoulder the cost of indigent care.

    The rider gets paralyzed or suffers serious brain injury? That’s going to require long term 24/7 care and the taxpayers foot that cost via Medicare and like state funded programs.

    Let’s say said cyclist hits a pedestrian and doesn’t have any personal liability coverage, then the state or the victim’s insurance must cover their costs.

    As you can see, we don’t live in neat and tidy little bubbles isolated from our fellow citizens. Our actions have consequences and we all bear personal responsibility. As a result, we must have some form of codified law. Otherwise, it becomes a free-for-all as drivers should have a right to arbitrarily decide what stops and speeds are appropriate for them also.

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  • […] Portland is definitely seeing it’s share of these fatalities. While at the station prior to my ride-along last week, I heard the officers talk about at least one recent fatal crash that likely involved a newbie rider. […]

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    watergirl August 17, 2006 at 8:55 am

    Cyclists who make poor choices in the name of “personal freedom” or self-responsibility make it really easy for a car driver to use it in their own defense. “Officer, this cyclist didn’t have lights…I couldn’t see him/her.”

    Several weeks ago we were at PIX-North, 10-midnight on a nice warm Saturday. We started watching the cyclists on Williams and were astounded by how many were nearly invisible, so we started tallying riders. In an hour, over 100 riders went by; 60% had no lights or visible reflectors; 40% had no helmets, and only 25% wore something light-colored (other than bare skin).

    In that section of Williams, like Clinton, Salmon, and many of our bike-friendly streets, the streetlights are obscured by trees, rendering the cyclists nearly invisible. Many of the cyclists we tallied were only visible because we saw their bare arms or legs. I won’t get into the number of cyclists leaving Pix/5th Quad that probably were legally intoxicated.

    Last weekend, sitting on a porch on Clinton, we noticed similar things, and saw an unlit/dark clothed cyclist nearly get hit at a dark intersection, where the driver couldn’t see the rider.

    A while ago, someone from the City posted a statistic that a significant number of bike fatalities had a “cyclist at fault” component. After those 2 nights, I can see where the City’s stats come from.

    Maybe the cops are just trying to protect “us” from ourselves…

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    noelle August 17, 2006 at 8:58 am

    In the past, BLDZR, you may have been viewed yourself as defining bike culture, but now with cycling becoming a more popular and accepted form of transportation, commuters are becoming the new bike culture.

    You are becoming the minority within the very culture that you helped to define.

    Attitudes are changing (at least, there are changing here in Portland), and there is very little you can do to stop it.

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    brettoo August 17, 2006 at 10:50 am

    If the laws aren’t working for cyclists, rather than just whining, let’s redouble our efforts to get them changed. IIRC, Rep. Prozanski had a bill in the legislature that would essentially turn stop signs into yield signs for bikers. (Please correct me if my failing memory is fritzed again.)

    That’s pretty much how I treat them much of the time anyway — slow down, look both ways, ease through. I pretty much always stop at red lights, except on the hottest day of the year ride when the whole group would cruise through them. That was an interesting and rare feeling of freedom for a biker but probably not very smart.

    Anyway, if every biker who complained about the stop sign laws and other rules would dash off a quick email to the right lawmakers, we might be able to get the laws to conform to multi-transport-mode reality. I bet the BTA and other bike advocates will provide the right contact info when the time is right.

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    BLDZR August 17, 2006 at 10:55 am

    I do not encourage people to break the law. I do not disagree with there being law to facilitate and manage the safe flow of traffic. If you think this is my point, you are missing it. The argument is that the “mother hen” outlook towards other cyclists is not helpful, but instead divisive, and that these anecdotal “scofflaw bikers” are an easy scapegoat for uptight cyclists like yourself and road-raging drivers alike. A police crackdown on cyclists is absolutely NOT what is necessary, and the constant stream of “why won’t you all just follow the rules” cries are both backhanded stabs at bike messengers, and ultimately naive about how the law is enforced.

    Bubble or no, it is not the law that protects us, it is our own common sense. Some people have more of it than others, but that’s the nature of society.

    Brad, your example of the scofflaw biker who costs the taxpayers so much is stirring, but discounts that the same sorts of situations occur involving law-abiding cyclists, pedestrians, and drivers all the time. You simply can not legislate your way to safety. In doing so, you would throw away the very essence of freedom: the freedom to do stupid stuff, which is one freedom I hold very dear.

    What, I ask, is the solution to the “scofflaw” epidemic? A police crackdown? vigilante cyclists making citizen’s arrests? Mandatory registration and licensing for all cyclists? None of these is satisfactory to anyone, save those who would sacrifice liberty for security, and as Ben Franklin said, those people deserve neither.

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    steve August 21, 2006 at 11:32 pm

    Sometimes if I come to a stop sign/light and I look around and don’t see any cops I’ll run it. You have to be paying attention to play this game or else you will not live long. If you are paying attention I think it is as safe as following the rules. If you have good vision and good hearing and know how the lights work then you can go safely when it isn’t legal. Many times it is safer to run the red light than to wait for traffic to pile up around you and go on green.

    I live in the burbs, but I was in Portland a couple of times this week on my bike and both times I saw cyclists getting tickets from cops. Don’t know what for, but it did give me an uneasy feeling. There is definitely some intentional harassment going on towards cyclists.

    One guy was getting a ticket at the Lloyd Center MAX station. I figured he must have been riding on the sidewalk or the train platform but I’m just guessing.

    Man, I wish I had a job that paid as much as the police and all I had to do was harass cyclists! Those government employees have it made AND THEY GET A PENSION which almost noone working for a private employeer gets. (Yes, the government should FORCE ALL employers to provide a pension plan, but guess what? THE EMPLOYERS are paying off the politicians so they can get away with not doing their civic duty! Ain’t this a great country?)

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  • […] I wanted to gain a perspective on the streets from a bike cop’s point-of-view, learn more about the bike patrol, get to know the officers a little better, and compare this experience to my previous ride-along in a patrol car back in August. I first met Officer Pickett through his posts in the Portland Bike Forums during the “Creep named James” saga. He then showed up to the donut-eating contest at Carfree Day and most recently he was at Sunnyside School for Walk and Bike to School Day. […]

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    adam December 15, 2006 at 10:01 am

    steve, you can apply to become a cop. I did.

    the pay is great. the benefits are great. and, if you dont like someone, bikers or homeless, whatever – you can let them die in custody, no problem. heck you can beat young girls up and run the traffic department. but, i digress.

    seriously, apply, it is fun.

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    earthling March 22, 2007 at 11:02 am

    I met Officer Hoesly recently and found him to be rude and unfriendly. Our conversation ended with him telling me he was “done with me” and turning on his motorbike and driving away while I was still talking to him. Dear Officer Hoesly, please be mindful that I have feelings too!

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    Jason May 20, 2009 at 5:14 pm

    I received a $97 jaywalking ticket from Mr. Hoesly today… and he wasn’t friendly at all. I was frankly amazed at how unfriendly he was, especially since I didn’t put anyone in danger and I treated him with respect. I can’t believe he is a friendly individual since he was so rude to me… for jaywalking? He was probably friendly during a ride-along because he knew he was in the public eye.

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