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Track stand ticket adds to frustration, confusion around enforcement

Posted by on March 27th, 2007 at 7:58 am

On Friday, a friend of mine was riding into downtown via the Hawthorne Bridge. As he approached a red light at First Street he came to a stop, but his feet did not leave his pedals (this is known as a track stand).

When the light changed he rolled away and was nabbed by a police officer who claimed he did not come to a complete stop.

The cyclist was pulling his three year-old son in a trailer and insists that he came to a complete stop. Now he is frustrated over his $242 dollar ticket and is confused as to whether or not track stands are legal,

“I’m curious whether other people have had similiar experiences. I guess since I didn’t have a foot down, I wasn’t at a “complete” stop, but there was no way I would have run through the light while towing a trailer. I’ll fess up if I run a light, but that was not the case here. Is “track standing” illegal?”

I have heard of others receiving tickets and/or warnings about track stands, but according to former Traffic Division Commander Bill Sinnot, they are legal. In an article I wrote about this in November 2005 he said,

“Trackstands are fine. The law requires the wheels to stop moving in order to be considered a stop. However, it’s very rare for a police officer to cite someone just because the wheels don’t “completely” cease movement.”

I’m worried that a lack of consistent enforcement around this and other situations like enforcement missions (also known as stings), the fixed-gear saga, and most recently the dust-up surrounding the OMSI construction zone enforcement, is causing an increasingly acrimonious relationship between some cyclists and Portland’s law enforcement professionals.

The comment below, from the cyclist in the above situation, echoes similar sentiments I have heard recently,

“I’ve lived all over the country and in Europe and was a messenger in Washington D.C. a decade ago and this was the most arbitrary run in with a police officer I have ever had. There really seemed to be an agenda guiding his actions. Portland has a lot of perks for cyclists, but with crackdowns like this I’m liking bike riding in this city less and less.”

I’m not convinced of coordinated “crackdown” against cyclists but I do think this issue merits more attention, discussion and cooperation, especially in a place that calls itself, the “most bike-friendly city in America”.

============

UPDATE: The person who received this ticket has just left a comment which adds more information to this story.

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

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bArbaroo
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bArbaroo

This indeed worrisome. It also feels like a bit like bikes are being singled out. Rolling stops by cars are so common, I’d be interested to know how many motor vehicles get sitations for not making a complete stop. I’ve experienced many occasions when, arriving at a stop sign the same time as a car, they roll through, I completely stop and they’re halfway across the intersection – this happens LOTS. Some consistency in enforcement would be appreciated.

peejay
Guest
peejay

Please find out who the arresting officer was. My money’s on Barnum or Balzer.

Attornatus_Oregonensis
Guest
Attornatus_Oregonensis

We know there are officers of the Portland Police Bureau who target cyclists because of a personal bias against them and we know (some of?) their identities. This is another example of their abuse of their discretion. If people who work for the Bureau or the City wonder why they don’t have a better relationship with the citizens of PDX, they need look no further. I suppose we should be thankful that they don’t stand around us in a big group and beat us to death as they have done to others of our fellow citizens.

anp
Guest
anp

If the light changed to green before he went through the intersection, the law does not require a “complete stop,” does it? If you’re driving a car and slowing down while approaching a red light, and then the light changes to green right as you arrive at the intersection, you aren’t required to stop. How long was the cyclist at the intersection before the light turned green?

Matt P.
Guest

There’s also a big difference (not in the eyes of the law, but from a practical standpoint) between a car “rolling stop” at 3-5 mph and a bicycle at 0.5-1 mph, both in terms of braking distance and potential damage to others if a collision occurs.

I think the requirement should be relaxed for cyclists (I know, I’m the one who usually argues FOR the law, and for equal treatment of all vehicles – consistency). In this case, bikes are different from all other vehicles: No other vehicle requires the operator to balance the same way as bicycles. Not even motorcycles – a motorcycist merely has to move one foot and one hand to accelerate, but a cyclist has to shift their entire body and center-of-gravity in order to accelerate from a stop – a much more precarious position. Any motion at all makes that balancing act easier.

Tbird
Guest
Tbird

If there is anything good to be taken from the recent enforcement incidents reported on BIKEPORTLAND.ORG I think this one holds promise. In our legal system( please correct if I’m wrong) we require precedence in order to guide us, In order for precedence to be achieved there must be an incident which is brought before the court. This type of problem, if contested in a court, is also an opportunity to establish track stands as an acceptable stop. I hope the track standers prevail.
My .02 cents..

peejay
Guest
peejay

Matt:

I’m glad you finally recognize that bikes and cars are different. This is the whole point about rolling stops, or “slow-and-go” or whatever else people were calling it. They ar so different in terms of physics and operation from a car that they should not be subject to the exact same law. It would not increase enforcement confusion to do so, because there is greater confusion (this incident for example) in trying to apply the same law.

Anyway, why isn’t a trackstand a full stop? I can hold one for the entire red light, while rocking on one half-turn of a pedal. If Officers B&B gave me a ticket for that, they’d better be prepared for some ridicule in court.

peejay
Guest
peejay

“ar” = “are”

Preview is my friend. But wait: where’s the preview button, Mr. Maus?

Attornatus_Oregonensis
Guest
Attornatus_Oregonensis

I don’t think there is any question that the citation will be overturned if challenged. That is what begs the question of why it was issued.

ben
Guest
ben

my first thought was what “anp” stated above in comment number 4.

driving OR biking: if i see a red light ahead of me, i start to slow down in hopes of not having to make a complete stop… but rather keep my momentum going.

do police officers want us speeding up to the light and making abrupt stops instead???!
or would they like us to come to complete stops in the middle of traffic whenever we see red?

“hey look! i think i can see a red light about 6 blocks up!…better stop real quick so i don’t get a ticket!”
“oh the light’s green again?? okay legions of angry cars behind me, give me a few seconds to start building my speed back up.”

ridiculous.

but anyways, trackstands should NOT be an issue. if i’m allowed to slowly brake up to a red light and then go thru on a green, theres no question of the legality of someone ceasing their movement at a light via trackstand.

shouldn’t the police be worried about all the people that BLOW redlights/stopsigns…etc….
i thought thats what all this past year’s controversy was over! first the police ticket us for going through intersections….and NOW they ticket us for NOT going through them!

like i said before, ridiculous.

the police are shooting themselves in the foot with this one. i would think any judge would be livid with how much they are OBVIOUSLY wasting the community’s time and money.

groundshero
Guest
groundshero

I’m a bike commuter myself, so generally bike biased, but did anyone think the track stand stop is viewed differently when you’re pulling a kid down at bumper level?

Bet that comes up, if he wants to contest it.

sheldon
Guest
sheldon

That seems like an abuse of power from the cop. The only city I know of where track stops are against the law is Davis, CA. They have a heavy concentration of cyclists down there and they had to update the law defining a “stop” to include it.

I think it will be over turned, but it is incidents like this from a few bad apples that give the PPB a bad name.

Clay Fouts
Guest
Clay Fouts

From the description, this is just ridiculous on its face. As others have pointed out, trackstanding or not isn’t the issue. Neither cyclists nor motorists have to come to a complete stop at a red light; you’re simply not permitted to enter the intersection!

conquistador
Guest
conquistador

I also agree that track stands constitute a complete stop.

But I’m also curious how one can track stand on a downhill grade while pulling a trailer with a child in it. Even on a fixie, this would be a difficult maneuver.

Kristen
Guest
Kristen

Groundshero, if you want to go that route, you could even say that riding a bike while towing your kid in a trailer in traffic is child endangerment. 🙂

Wasn’t it already decided in court late last year that track stands count as complete stops? I thought I read something like that in the flurry of posts about the trials that were going on.
🙂 KT

John Boyd
Guest
John Boyd

police officer who claimed he did not come to a complete stop

Is this specifically what the ticket was issued for? Bizarre.

Michael
Guest

Aren’t these laws all an effort to provide “safety”?

My mind always comes to the fact about consequences. Even at these speeds (…at 3-5 mph and a bicycle at 0.5-1 mph…), the level of damage to others is always more significant with cars than with bikes. Not only that, but the only damage in terms of safety that arise for cyclists is typically, solely, to themselves, whereas a car’s damage can be inflicted upon countless people I think the mention of relaxed laws (i.e. letting common sense prevail) should be encouraged.

What’s the significant consequence if I fall while trackstanding, or don’t stop in time; at the least I look like a clumsy cyclist, and at the worst, I kill myself and most likely myself alone. Of course, I’m speaking in generalities here, but the consequences are easily more significant for cars in most every case.

Brad
Guest
Brad

Portland should consider revising its slgan from “The City That Works” to “Better Police for a Better Police State”.

This is absurd! Then again, what if I have a “leg spasm” while trackstanding? OMG! You might have to taser or “accidently” fall on me until I’m dead and you feel un-threatened.

PPB-rather than harrass riders doing trackstands, why not hangout at NW 25th and Lovejoy during the rush hours? No DRIVERS completely stop at that intersection during rush hour. They just slowly roll through the stop signs as their turn to go rotates around. I bet you could hit your revenue quotas pretty quickly!

Please pass the “Idaho” law in Salem! In the meantime, I would encourage all of you to contact Commissioner Adams and the League of American Bicyclists to advise them that Portland is NOT deserving of Platinum status due to the arbitrary enforcement policies and harrassing nature of the police. Bike friendly? Not yet.

jay
Guest
jay

i’m glad the support is unanimous that this cop is an idiot. track standing does not put anyone’s safety in danger, if anything it allows the cyclist to get a better place in traffic as you don’t have to worry about clipping back into your pedals once the light turns green. what’s next, no bunnyhopping under any circumstances? tickets for doing wheelies?

Dabby
Guest
Dabby

I believe it was simply stated in a discussion, when the mater of track standing came up, that it would not be considered a offense.
Yet, this suggestion by Mr. Sinnot does not mean that it is the leter of the law.

It would appear to mean that they would be suggesting to police officers that hey should consider a track stand to be a legal stop.

In reality, the ordinances are still left to the judgement and translation of the citing officer.

We full well know that some of these officers are interpreting bicycle related ordinances to the advantage of targeting cyclists.

We also know that this is being allowed, and certainly encouraged, by someone higher up than them who also has it out for cyclists.

While I could imagine this stop being perpetrated by a random police person, during a random stop, I doubt it is the case.

You would have to be searching hard to pull out of your ass the ticket for track standing at a red light…especially with a trailer and child in tow behind it…

As stated above, cars do it all the time.
Motorcycles do it all the time.
Tri Met does it an extrodinary percentage of the time, along with many handfulls of other traffic atroscities.

This is just another incident in the long line of bicycle harrasment issues here in the City Of Portland.

Isn’t it time we stand up and hold someone accountable?

How about a one on one, or one on 1,800 even, with Rosie Sizer, to discover what she will be doing about selective, and racial (against bikes) enforcement by her officers?

There must be someone we can approach about this, instead of continuing to bitch and moan, and deal with it some more…..

I will start the line in the police station to talk to her.

Once they kick me out, one of you will need to step in.

They don’t like me there very much…..

Go figure……

edward
Guest
edward

Jonathon said-

“I’m not convinced of coordinated “crackdown” against cyclists”

Will you ever be? How many of these stories will you need to report on before you are convinced? Will some upper level bureau employee need to come forward and confess?

This seems to be clear to anyone with an open mind and no affiliation with the police. These officers would not be continuing this behaviour without approval from above. They do have a chain of command.

It is a fine line between creating disourse and empathy with the cops and becoming their mouthpiece. Heads up!

SKiDmark
Guest
SKiDmark

The Police should change their slogan from “To Serve and Protect” to “To Observe and Harrass”.

Any wonder why I have been spending the majority of my time riding off-road lately?

justa
Guest
justa

I don’t have anything to add that hasn’t been said. Ridiculous.

tonyt
Guest
tonyt

anp makes a really good point. Pretty much settles the case there.

Regarding a track stand at a stop sign for instance: A track stand typically involves moving back and forth as you balance. It is physically impossible to go from a forward movement to a backward movement without stopping. At some point in space you have come to a complete stop. The law does NOT give a count time for how long you must stop and it SPECIFICALLY states that a cyclist (and motorcyclist too if I remember correctly) does not have to put a foot down.

This case is a sure win. Take it to court.

Burr
Guest
Burr

Sure win or not, there should be no need to go to court in the first place.

nuovorecord
Guest
nuovorecord

What a stupid ticket! You know, I’ve deliberately not gotten too involved in the whole “cops v. bikes” debate, figuring there was no way to know all the facts just from blog postings. But, this one pushes me off the fence and I’m convinced that there are “some” cops that really have it in for cyclists.

I think, just to be on the safe side, I’ll start opening the door and putting one foot on the ground at red lights when I’m driving my car!!!

Matt P.
Guest

peejay – I’ve never claimed bikes and cars are equivalent, nor failed to recognize where they are different. I think that the law as it applies to vehicles should be uniform as much as possible. Fundamental differences in transportation require different laws to handle them. There’s no reason why a bike can’t stop the same way as a car. If a bike doesn’t stop, it should get ticketed, same as a car, motorcycle, unicycle, truck, semi, moby, whatever. Where I think it should differ is in the penalty – fines / penalties should be issued on the basis of weight class, i.e. the amount of potential damage the vehicle can do. A cyclist shouldn’t be getting a $242 ticket – more like $50. Motorcycles should get $242. Cars should get $500 or more, and a tractor-trailer should be fined at least $2,500. (I’m not going to be popular with truckers, I can tell)

In any case – the above ticket is totally bogus. Trackstands are a stop. The law is quite clear – the wheels have to stop moving. If the wheels reverse direction, then by definition they had to stop moving in one direction and start moving in the other. Unless they want to rewrite the statute to specify a length of time (wouldn’t THAT be fun), a trackstand satisfies the definition of the law.

Caveat: I am not a lawyer.

And I agree – take it to court.

I’d also really like to know the CURRENT position of the Portland PD on this – Bill Sinnott has been gone for a while now, and the current policy is not necessarily as bike-friendly.

ben
Guest
ben

tonyt makes another good point.

also: i’m with dabby on this. pick a time, and i’ll show up with you at the police station.

sheldon
Guest
sheldon

Matt,

I agree that bikes and cars are not equivalent, but I fear different fines for different types of transport would do more harm than good.

First off, thre is already a perception that bikes get special treatment and this would only reinforce it.

Second, fines are a way to discourage behaviour that is dangerous to ourselves and to others. For example, I can be fined for not wearing a seat belt, but the only I’m putting at risk by not doing so is myself. The consequences of cyclist running a stop sign could pretty dire to himself or herself so I can see why a $242 fine would make sense for bikes. I can also see why there is an equivalent fine for cars because of the risk drivers pose to others from running a stop sign.

Carl
Guest
Carl

Enough with the whining conspiracy theories.

Write a letter to the traffic bureau.
Send a note of support to Sen. Atkinson.
Go support a cyclist at their traffic court appearance.
Encourage the PPB to have more officers on bikes.
Set a legal precedent by straighten your ticket out in court, not on the streetcorner.
Ride smart, but don’t ride in fear. Wave to all motorcycle cops and give ’em a toothy grin.

Attornatus_Oregonensis
Guest
Attornatus_Oregonensis

I just received an email from the City Club telling me that Rosie Sizer will speak there on Friday, March 30 about police accountability. Since I’m a member, I get to ask her a question. Anybody got any suggestions for exactly what question I should ask her regarding this issue?

JeremyE
Guest
JeremyE

Realizing, of course, we are only hearing one side of the story (and not the officer’s), the fine is failure to obey a traffic control device. Could the cyclist have entered the crosswalk prior to the light turning green?

On a side note, the track stand headline is a bit misleading, assuming the facts of the case as stated are correct, since the need to stop at a *light* does not exist provided the light turns green prior to your entering the intersection. It was mentioned above, but is a fact seemed to be lost among the inflammed track standers out there.

I pull that particular move every morning on my ride to work. Besides the stop sign at the end of my street, I encounter four lights on my way. Since I roll down to the light, I simply coast longer if the light is red until the light turns and then I stand on it (watching for right-turners in the car lane, of course).

Cecil
Guest
Cecil

I agree that a properly executed track stand should not be ticketed. However, as both a cyclist and a driver I have frequently encountered unskilled and very shaky cyclists attempting to trackstand and , in the process, making everyone else at the intersection extremely nervous as to which direction the cyclist will fall before the light turns. When I am in my car I live in fear that one of them will fall over in front of me as we all start off from the light, and as I cyclist I fear that one will fall in front of me, or the car next to us, causing us all to crash. My encounters with those unskilled riders has made me pretty leery of getting anywhere near a tracker, no matter what vehicle I am on. Perhaps the cops are cracking down on all such stops in response to those kind of concerns? Just a thought . . .

ip
Guest
ip

Ridiculous ticket.

It discourages an activity essential to the city of Portland. It s sad, very very sad.

You know how easy it is for a cop to cite a driver? Very easy.

Why does the police go after people who HELP the overal livability of a city, keep the air clean and reduce congestion?

Don t they see the BIG picture?

P Fin
Guest

Comment #32

32 comments in 6 1/2 hours…yeah!

Jon, thanks for covering this. I hate to take issue with your “coordinated crackdown” comment, but I gotta. When will PPB understand that its “ACTIVIST OFFICERS” (stole that one from the Bushie spinsters) tarnish its collective image every time they waste taxpayer money on their personal vendettI.

In other words, there may be no agency-wide coordinated crackdown, but rather a series of smaller crack-cliques in the bureau (who presumably coordinate and plan their agendas outside of any oversight or accountability).

On the most basic level, these charges are insulting the intelligence and dignity of any taxpaying citizen.

tonyt
Guest
tonyt

Cecil,

While I agree that unsteady trackstands can be a bit unnerving at times, there really has be a violation of law for there to be a crackdown. There is no law against trackstands.

There are a lot of things that I’m sure annoy/bother people, but that’s not why the cops are there. Not their job.

That’s why it’s important to take this case to court. We need to keep the cops on THAT side of the law, enforcing actual laws, not their unresolved personal issues. Bad cop, no donut.

dan
Guest
dan

I think everyone is sort of missing a really basic point here…it was sort of said a ways up, when someone stated that it makes more sense to slow down until the light turns green rather than coming to a stop, but think about it this way:

1) The guy waited at the light until it turned green.

2) He then went through the green light.

…whether or not he ceased all forward motion makes ABSOLUTELY NO DIFFERENCE, because he went through a green light.

Coming to a complete stop matters at stop signs, and when turning right on a red light. IF YOU ARE GOING STRAIGHT THROUGH A LIGHT-CONTROLLED INTERSECTION, THERE IS NO QUESTION OF WHETHER OR NOT YOU STOPPED, JUST WHETHER OR NOT YOU RAN THE RED.

Sorry for the caps, but I felt it was an important thing that is was being missed, and there are a lot of comments to read through.

peejay
Guest
peejay

I agree with the above poster (Carl) who advises smiling at the cops. If they really hate us no matter what, that’ll piss ’em off even more. If they don’t, they might learn to like us.

Whenever I drive, I get some people who get bent out of shape over my “IMPEACH” sticker on my rear window. As they pass me, all I ever give them in return is a peace sign. They just hate it!

Garlynn
Guest

I think City Council should be pressured to respond to these incidents by passing a resolution that makes enforcement of traffic rules against bicyclists the absolute lowest priority for the Portland Police Force — in effect, de-criminalizing it within city limits.

The cops should have better things to do.

If they don’t, then there are obviously too many cops and part of the Police budget needs to be re-directed to, say, the Transportation Bureau.

Let’s start off with a letter-writing campaign to all of our city Councilors urging them to pass a resolution making enforcement of traffic rules against bicycles a non-priority for the police force — and also urging them to take a look at how much money the Police Department is receiving in the budget. It’s probably too much. The cops obviously have too much time on their hands. Probably time to start making cuts there.

steve
Guest
steve

Let’s get this cop removed.

PoPo
Guest
PoPo

To follow-up with what tonyt said above (#36). He is right in that the trackstand is not the issue at all here. Putting your foot down is not the magic signal showing that your wheel stopped, just as keeping it off the pavement doesn’t mean that your wheels are turning.

I just don’t want us to be distracted. If the issue is a stop or not, it depends on the wheels stopping or not, regardless of what the driver or rider is doing to cause that. I have often heard traffic court judges speak about judging the “behavior” of the car or bike in question rather than the driver in control, to help people understand how the law looks at traffic violations. It’s what the vehicle does, not what the driver is doing (unless it is a more serious crime, like DUII or Hit and Run or Reckless Driving, which all require some sort of culpable mental state of the driver).

Indeed there is some confusion regarding the account. Did the person roll over the stop line while it was red, did the person slow down way before getting to the red but keep a little momentum and then speed up again before crossing the stop line? If so, how is that illegal? What really happened here?

We don’t really know yet.
We’ve got one (certainly earnest) perception of what happened from the person who was cited, but we are lacking the other perception- that of the officer’s. It seems a little unfair to decide who was right and who was wrong and so forth without an opportunity to hear from both sides of the argument. Indeed that is why the biker wasn’t convicted and charged a fine on the spot, because society doesn’t completely trust the perspective of the citing officer either. We have a system set up already to adjudicate these disagreements, called traffic court, and by all means the person who was cited should challenge it in court. Then we can hear the perspectives of the people who were actually there and the judge, hopefully a legal expert, can help decide if a violation really occurred. Heck, it is open to the public, we could all go and listen if we wanted to.

The innocent-until-proven-guilty definitely applies to the rider. Maybe we can give the officer a little slack too.

Randy
Guest
Randy

Was the office new to town? We all know that a competent bike rider can come to a complete stop while doing a track stand.

brad
Guest
brad

Part of the problem is that it’s not at all uncommon for officers to lie to back up a citation they’ve given. It’s happened to me, and many others I know.

peejay
Guest
peejay

Unanswered questions:

Name of officer.

Was the cyclist turning right on a red?

Did he at any time enter the intersection when the light was still red?

The answers to the second two determine what happened; the answer to the first goes to the B&B issue.

Everything else is speculation.

N.I.K.
Guest
N.I.K.

So a couple jerk asses who want to go after cyclists for easy tickets pull the same B.S. moves again and again…how dumb can you get? These turds not only get themselves *lots* of negative publicity so that…
-everybody knows who they are
-everybody who can knows to contest the ticket
-the judges get sick of dealing with the same couple of cops writing B.S. citations against the same group of people
-and the cycling community gives the whole affair plenty of exposure and lobbies for clarification of legislature. Don’t they realize they’re ultimately shooting themselves in the foot?

And yes, it shouldn’t be necessary, but it sure gets easier to stamp it out when you have a sure-fire reason to change the law to prevent this kind of idiocy.

N.I.K.
Guest
N.I.K.

Dang it, “so that” should be “but then…”. 🙁

mc
Guest
mc

i’m the cyclist who received the ticket—sorry, but was unable to respond earlier in the day. To better explain the incident, the officer pulled me over from behind (in the midst of that “lovely” bus lane coming off the hawthorne bridge), and informed me that i ran the light or “failed to obey a traffic device.” I had been trackstanding at the light and from the officer’s perspective (behind), it must have looked has if i was running the light. did my front wheel cross the crosswalk before the light was green? Perhaps–as i kept my balance my wheel certainly could have rolled forward (though contrary to an implication in a previous post, I’m perfectly capable of trackstanding—steadily—while aimed downhill). from behind, perhaps the officer thought/assumed he saw something different. And he couldn’t have been terribly close, or I would have heard the motorcycle—there was very little traffic at the time.
i asked the officer why he thought i would run the light while pulling a trailer (to clarify matters, there was not a child in the trailer yet; i was heading to pick him up), and he said i must have been timing the light and rolling through. Who in their right mind would wantonly blow a light with a burley in tow? That would be extremely poor judgment. If my wheel did cross into the crosswalk, then I guess im guilty; but there seems to be a big difference between that—something cars do everyday—and full “failure to obey a traffic device,” or whatever the infraction is.
I don’t want to bring the officer into this. He was civil and clearly doing his job enforcing what he felt was a traffic infraction worthy of $242 fine (or the $30 plus time it costs to register for the safe cycling class). He was not one of the two listed in the comments. I informed jonathan about the incident because I was really angry and was curious whether he had heard similar stories from other cyclists.
If my front wheel had drifted into the crosswalk, is that really worth $242? A stern warning or small fine, perhaps, but $242 seems beyond excessive. In Washington D.C, it’s a $10 ticket for running a light on your bike—that’s if and when a cop has the time to bother with such an infraction. Yes, cyclists, should obey the rules of the road, but the energy the Portland police expels on such things is beyond me. Ride a few blocks through old town any afternoon and you’ll see half a dozen open-air drug deals. Maybe cyclists are an easier “mark.” I understand enforcement of cyclists is necessary—considering how many of us are out there and how many truly sketchy people there are blowing through lights and making it dangerous for all of us—but there needs to be some sort of happy middle ground that cyclists—and those in charge—are happy with. Watching the omsi crackdown made me sense something very wrong was going on. What will I do? Im not sure yet. In the end, it’s the officer’s word against mine and we know those odds aren’t good.

ben
Guest
ben

again i say, ridiculous.

if officers handed out tickets for cars/bikes crossing into the crosswalk, they’d be busy 24/7…even if that was their only objective for the day.

personally, i’ve never seen anyone pulled over for stopping on a crosswalk. however, its SOOOOO common, you see it at every intersection.

i’m not buying that this is a regular enforcement pattern of the PPD.
either the officer was just bored….or theres some truth to all of our “conspiracy theories.”

Attornatus_Oregonensis
Guest
Attornatus_Oregonensis

“The innocent-until-proven-guilty definitely applies to the rider. Maybe we can give the officer a little slack too.”

Ordinarily, this would be a good principle to go by. But not in this situation. mc has no reason to lie here. I believe his account. And the PPB has burned up its goodwill with the citizenry. There are a litany of events involving the PPB that, when taken in context, compel the conclusion that there are many Portland Police officers who don’t respect the civil rights of the citizens, and don’t like bicyclists, so they abuse their enforcement discretion to the detriment of the whole community.

As everyone has said, this is ridiculous. And it needs to stop. Now.

Brad
Guest
Brad

mc makes a point that resonates with me since I do ride through Old Town frequently while commuting. That is the PPB doesn’t have to do more than open their eyes to see multiple criminal infractions in broad daylight. Infractions that have far more negative consequences for the community.

I have to ask if Portland politics drive this pattern of enforcement? After all, the general public doesn’t get to upset about a handful of white cyclists getting citations but good ol’ Portland lefties would go batshiat crazy if the cops started enforcing drug and vagrancy laws on the poor misunderstood homeless. Nope, its better to let real crimes go unchecked in the name of faux tolerance. But gainfully employed, tax paying whitey on a Bianchi, he’s fair game.