Splendid Cycles Big Sale

Recap and background of Zoobomber-police summit

Posted by on August 10th, 2007 at 11:08 am

Police and Zoobomb Meeting-12

(File photo)

In a meeting room nine floors above Pioneer Courthouse Square in downtown Portland, bike lawyer Mark Ginsberg hosted a mini-summit Thursday between representatives of Zoobomb and the Traffic Division of the Portland Police Bureau.

In attendance from Zoobomb were Dave Terry, Corey Sevigny, and Leah Bendlin. From the PPB were Commander Mark Kruger and motorcycle officer Sergeant Mike Fort.

Before I share my recap of the meeting, let’s look at the events that led up to this meeting…

It has been over a year since tensions between Police and Zoobomb participants have reached the “sit down” point. In June 2006 the two discussed the issue of riding on Highway 26 (a route known as “Hellway”). At that meeting, both sides aired their concerns and returned to their respective corners without any low punches.

Police and Zoobomb Meeting-4

Zoobomber Dave Terry
(File photo)

Things remained tranquil on the hill up until June of this year when Kruger began to receive complaints from West Hills residents (including the president of the Arlington Heights Neighborhood Association) about how the Zoobombers were careening dangerously around blind curves, not stopping for traffic lights or signs, and riding without lights.

A few weeks later Kruger got another complaint about the Zoobombers. This time it was from PDOT construction crews who said they disobeyed flaggers orders at a work site on W. Burnside Avenue (a popular downhill route).

Then, on July 15th, Kruger’s officers set up a sting operation to catch Zoobombers running a stop sign in the parking lot of the Children’s Museum (read the reaction on the Zoobomb Forum). Riders claimed the show of force was excessive and unneccessary. Kruger said the enforcement was done to deter riders from their ultimate destination: the “Hellway” (Highway 26).

According to Joseph Rose, who wrote about it in the Oregonian, that sting netted 14 Zoobomber citations. The following week, 10 citations were written on residentials streets in the West Hills.

With tickets being written faster than a speeding mini-bike, concerns from Zoobombers that police resources could be put to better use, and the local media hot on the story, it was clear that a bi-lateral summit was needed.

Stepping up to his usual role of mediator and buffer between cyclists and the police was lawyer (and chair of the Portland Bicycle Advisory Committee) Mark Ginsberg.

So now, on to the meeting.

Commander Kruger brought two main concerns to the table:

  • Illegal riding in the lanes of Highway 26 (the same concerns he had last year)
  • Various complaints of traffic violations and a concern for safety from West Hills residents

Riding on Highway 26
Known as Hellway, the route is a popular thrill-ride for some Zoobombers. Riding on the Highway is 100% legal, but Kruger’s concern stems from video he has (and which he has willingly shared with local TV stations) of ‘bombers swerving way out into motor vehicle lanes. Kruger finds that activity “unacceptable”.

In their defense, the ‘bombers say they only leave the shoulder because it is full of debris and raised manhole covers that would cause serious harm to a rider on a mini-bike going 35-40 mph.

The following is my attempt at a detailed recap. Unless bound by quotes, the following statements are paraphrased from scribbled notes.

Terry: We advise helmets and lights on Hellway, but we can’t control what everyone does. Besides, our lights aren’t good enough to see hazards.

Ginsberg: Maybe ‘bombers can pass out flyers at start of ride warning of dangers and encouraging legal riding behavior.

Police and Zoobomb Meeting-14

L to R: Fort, Kruger, Terry
(File photo)
Police and Zoobomb Meeting-15

L to R: Ginsberg, Fort, Kruger, Terry, Bendlin, Sevigny
(File photo)

Terry: I’m opposed to flyers because they’ll end up as litter. “We prefer to use the oral tradition.”

Bendlin: We do a safety shpeel before each run, but flyers represent authority, which is not very well-received on the hill.

Kruger: I’d say your flyers are a preferable authority to us showing up.

Kruger said his video shows that they don’t leave the shoulder simply due to hazards. Kruger also said he drives on that stretch of highway on his daily commute and he thinks the shoulders are wide and clean. He said perhaps the problem is that they’re riding too fast for the conditions. He reiterated his main concern is with a drunk motorist hitting a bicyclist from behind.

Traffic violations and complaints from West Hills residents
Kruger: What can you guys do so that we stop getting these complaints?

Sevigny: I don’t feel the police presence is a good use of resources. There are more effective places for 10 officers on a Sunday night. Driving 65mph in a 55mph zone is illegal too, but it’s reasonably safe, much like a bicyclist rolling a stop sign. In the five years of Zoobomb, we’ve never had a serious collision with an automobile.

Kruger: I’d quibble with the “use of resources” point. Of the 130,000 citations we issue, only 1% go to bicyclists and we do a lot of speed and drunk driving enforcement.

Kruger then explained that their “servicing of complaints is based on the intensity of the violations” that occur when they go out to observe them. He also mentioned an increase in complaints since the Oregonian article.

Kruger: We’d rather not spend a lot of time on the Zoobombers, there are other things we’d rather do.

Ginsberg: Corey, how do you plan to address the neighborhood complaints?

Sevigny: It’s an open community, and so we’ve got a lot of yahoos that show up. Of the regulars, way over 90% have helmets and lights and ride responsibly.

Terry: We have some influence over what people do, but not control.

Kruger then brought up the issue of riders not staying in the proper lane on residential streets.

Terry: We used to have a system where people in front would yell, “Car!”. That worked well until people in the neighborhood complained that it was too loud.

Kruger then brought up a video he has that shows Zoobombers speeding by the camera in a flash, blowing through controlled intersections.

Police and Zoobomb Meeting

(File photo)
Police and Zoobomb Meeting-7

Bendlin (L), Sevigny (R)
(File photo)

Terry reiterated that these were fringe elements (“yahoos” was the word of the day) to which Kruger replied (with my favorite quote of the day), “I understand the peculiarities of your organizational model.”

The Zoobombers did a good job of making the case that much of things Kruger has issues with are due to these “yahoos” that they have little control over.

Then Kruger wondered what a solution could be for dealing with the “yahoos”.

Kruger: “Should we show up with an officer presence at the start to put a scare into the yahoos? What can we do, as police, to help you bring these outsider elements back to the center?”

(Note: Kruger’s tone in saying this was not heavy-handed, rather it sounded cooperative and sincere.)

Terry: “(Having a cop at the start, or on the hill is) not a good idea. We’d much rather have you give us a chance to influence them ourselves. We want to be the self-cleaning oven so you guys can be out there busting drunk drivers.”

Police and Zoobomb Meeting-6

(File photo)

At this point, there was a real esprit de corps in the room and all three Zoobombers expressed that the meeting had been a great, and needed, step in the right direction.

Then, throwing a wet blanket on the mood, Kruger brought up alcohol consumption on the hill. He recommended that more peer pressure should be used to discourage drinking. If not, Kruger said if they ever bust a Zoobomber for a DUII, they “will not hesitate to make a big deal of it and let the whole world know.” This ominous statement implied that the resulting PR would be a very bad thing for the Zoobombers.

Again the ‘bombers said how difficult it is to control what everyone does but they nodded in agreement to Kruger’s warning and suggestion for more peer pressure.

Final analysis
Kruger plans to closely monitor Highway 26 riding and will communicate with Ginsberg if/when they plan an enforcement mission in the area. He also plans to send an officer to monitor the West Hills. He reiterated that the ‘bombers should do their best to exert peer pressure to some of the fringe elements.

The Zoobombers were very appreciative to have Kruger’s concerns clarified and the mood at the end was generally upbeat (as the group photo can attest).

What happens now is anyone’s guess. Were both sides being sincere, or was this all just posturing? It sounded and felt sincere to me, but I tend to not be as cynical as I probably should be in situations like this.

Matt Davis at the Mercury wrote that the meeting was, “a merry little rhetorical dance” and that it was only done “in response to an Oregonian article…The cops don’t want to look stupid in the press. And who can blame them.”

My sense is that Kruger would rather not deal with this issue, but that he has no plans to turn a blind eye as long as egregious traffic violations (which he feels are unacceptably dangerous) continue to take place.

I also think that some veteran Zoobombers are wary of what could happen if their beloved activity stays on the radar of the PPB. They seem to understand that if they don’t at least attempt to make some changes, they’ll continue to be under the microscope, which they clearly would like to avoid.

Time will tell how this all ends up, but this meeting definitely seemed to smooth over a frayed relationship.

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

86
Leave a Reply

avatar
86 Comment threads
0 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
27 Comment authors
Harry McBicyclerixtirwsbobSKiDmarkSpencer Recent comment authors
  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
steve
Guest
steve

So kruger\’s main concern is a drunk motorist hitting a cyclist from behind?

Well, it sure makes sense to harass the cyclists instead of busting drunk drivers. What a reasonable and logical conclusion. Dare I say, kruger for mayor?

Heya Jonathon-

Why doesn\’t everyones favorite piggy get a neat little orange tag after his name linking to his youthful indiscretions, and delightfully violent frolicking?

wsbob
Guest

Discourage drinking. No alcohol. Well, that\’s funny, because isn\’t riding bombed off your ass on cheap, crappy PBR a fundamental part of the \”fun\” of Zoobombing? I give the Zbombers that showed up to the meeting points for being civil and attempting to have a constructive dialogue with the cops, but it\’ll be surprising if they have any luck advising the yahoos to behave differently.

Lee
Guest

I admire the bicycle scene down in Portland, but the wrongheadedness of requiring cyclists to ride on the shoulder/bike lane where present rather than in the traffic lane and full DUI penalties for cyclists always have a bit of a chilling effect when I cross the border.

Certainly Kruger is aware that being hit from behind is, though feared, one of the rarest types of cyclist accident? I believe nationally it\’s maybe 3-4% of all bicycle accidents.

Jeff P
Guest
Jeff P

I\’ve noted it before in discussions about Hwy 26 on the west side but regarding riding on the shoulder:

Washington County Sheriff spokesperson Sandy James has publicly stated that they consider riding on the shoulder of the highway to be illegal. According to WCSD the state law requires all travel to be in the lanes – shoulders are for emergencies only. She actually stated for a bike to ride legally on a highway [as allowed in Oregon in all but a few specific locations] they have to ride in the first lane, as far right as practical.

Is this really what Oregon requires and does the law need to change to allow the Zoobombers to ride on the shoulder as PPD wishes they should?

felix
Guest

All this talk of Zoobomb is almost as fun as the real thing. Come find out Sunday!

wyatt
Guest
wyatt

What there needs to be is a nomadic zoobomb. If you keep bombing the same hill….well, you see what happens.

Jasun Wurster
Guest
Jasun Wurster

I am curious to see the front camera of the cop car that captured the Zoobombers on Hellway.

I suspect that there was *NO* on-coming traffic and posed a threat to no one… except the concept of non-accountable authoritarian rule that the PPB are trying to protect.

Really, let us see the entire video both front and back of the cop car and of the stings that the police have (with audio) so we can hear their remarks and comments.

Matt Picio
Guest

\”Kruger also said he drives on that stretch of highway on his daily commute and he thinks the shoulders are wide and clean\”

Wide, sure. Clean?!?

Of course the shoulder looks clean from the traffic lane at 55mph. I encourage Commander Kruger to get on a bike, and see what that same shoulder looks like at 35mph on the shoulder itself, with vision unobstructed by the shell of a car. He\’ll see there is a tremendous difference.

That said, taking the lane is fine (and legal) – weaving across 2+ lanes is not.

SKiDmark
Guest
SKiDmark

That shoulder is covered with road debris and is sketchy on a 26\” wheeled cruiser.

Nobody in Zoobomb is saying that weaving out into the traffic lanes is OK, THAT kind of behavior is discouraged. What is encouraged is wearing safety gear especially a helmet, and Zoobomb also encourages the use of lights.

That video is on Crank My Chain with audio.

DK
Guest
DK

They should have came up agreeing to riding in the first lane period! End of \”summit\”. And this story could have done without all the pictures. What\’s that about? My pc takes for ever to pass through them.

Evan
Guest
Evan

I\’m reminded of our very recent discussion about going through stop signs in North Plains. How is it that we get criticized for rolling through a stop sign in the middle of the day at 2-3 miles an hour (when we know it is illegal), but the Zoobombers find it OK to blast through stops signs at full speed, at night, with maybe a rear blinking light? I must admit I am a little skeptical about the level and harshness of their self-policing.

It seems that one group is trying real hard to legitimize bicycles, while the other group is trying to legitimize flaunting the law. Yahoos or not, a lot of the \’bombers are not exactly poster children for our cause. Most non-cyclists lump anybody on a bike into one group, and the more the \’bombers and others show a brazen disregard for the rules of the road, the less they will listen to our very legitimate request for fair and equal treatment. If I were driving at night in that neighborhood and hit and killed a \’bomber who blew a stop sign, dressed in black, with no lights, who would you feel sorry for? The dumbass who blew the stop sign, or me, the person who has to live knowing I took someone\’s life, even though he was at fault? Chances are both, of course, but let\’s look at where the blame for such a tragedy would lie. Sorry, but not with the driver. Thanks for playing.

The law is the law. If you don\’t like the law, work to change it.

No matter who is right and wrong, we all know who loses the battle when a car and a bike get in a fight.

BURR
Guest
BURR

at Evan #10 congratulations to you and all the reactionaries working so hard here to hone your anti-fun message in which you plead sincerely for meek submission to the police, homogenization and conformity. guess what, not every cyclist is a suburban roadie, nor does every cyclist want to emulate the surburban roadie model.

SKiDmark
Guest
SKiDmark

Evan, what you don\’t seem to understand is that if YOU went to Zoobomb, you YOURSELF would have the option of running the STOP sign and red lights. It would be a decision for YOU to make on your own. Just because everbody else runs the STOP sign does not mean YOU have to.

SKiDmark
Guest
SKiDmark

I am a suburban roadie Burr. And a suburban freak bike rider.

I think the word you are looking for is conformist.

Tasha
Guest
Tasha

I feel conflicted on this, as I, too, get really annoyed when cyclists ride at night, in black, blowing stop signs, with no helmet. If I happen to be driving (which I sometimes do, of course), I can be super careful and still almost hit someone in these conditions because I CANNOT see them. I think personal responsibility is great, but I have a feeling if a Zoobomber did end up getting hit by a car, their friends and community wouldn\’t just go \”oh well, they knew the dangers of what they were doing and died/got injured doing it. no biggie.\” No, I think they would be pissed off at the car who hit them, no matter how much they might have been in the wrong. So, I think that there must be a line drawn between having fun and bending the rules; and being mindful of other users of the road and the laws they all must follow for there not to be complete anarchy.

Lynne
Guest
Lynne

Please define \”suburban roadie\”…

BURR
Guest
BURR

@Tasha#15. That\’s one reason why zoooBomb happens late on Sunday night, it\’s the time of the week with the least traffic possible. the cops show up in force, on overtime no doubt, and give tickets out at a stop sign at a crosswalk on an empty road between an empty parking lot and a closed museum. it\’s a waste of police resources, and a waste of taxpayer funds.

BURR
Guest
BURR

@skidmark#14. you know what I meant, it wasn\’t personally directed at you, my bad, no offence?

who cares
Guest
who cares

yawn.

SKiDmark
Guest
SKiDmark

It is not against the law to wear dark clothes at night, and it is not required to wear a helmet. What is required is a headlight and either a red reflector or a red light. I think a car driver should be able to see a person on a bike with the lighting requirements that the law dictates, and nothing more. Pedestrians are not required to even have lights, and it is the car driver\’s responsibity to see them too.

As far as how Zoobomber react to riders that get hurtby cars,it depends on the circumstance. If it were someone who gotted while running a light then the accident is their fault, and noby is going to be blaming the person driving the car. But if the car ran the light or STOP ,and it happens all the time up there, or if the car deliberately try to hit the cyclist (yeah it happened) then I am sure their fellow Zoobomber would be rightly angered.

It is one thing to be popped for running a STOP sign downtown as part of regular Police patrol but it is quite another thing when there are 4 or 5 Police vehicles who are specifically out there simply to target us, especially with, to use Kruger\’s words, \”drunk drivers out there\”. Not to mention all the drugs being sold downtown at all hours.

Dabby
Guest
Dabby

Kruger Schmuger.

rixtir
Guest
rixtir

BURR, I assume then that you\’d be fully supportive of ticketing red light runners on Burnside then? That your issues with the ticketing aren\’t just smoke and mirrors?

SKiDmark
Guest
SKiDmark

Burr, I just hate how the suburb are always picked on. There is a fairly equal mix of Liberals and Conservatives out here, plenty of tattooed and pierced freaks,and even hipsters, punks and goths. There are lots of cyclists in our bike lanes, some ride recumbents. The idea that the suburbs are entirely homgenous is an idea held by those who don\’t live here and never come here. I am not offended, I just want to dispel the myth.

I think the one bitching about Zoobomb not towing the party line are from Portland. They are likely the stereotypical uptight semi-progressive commuter with the orange vest, the safety-zealots. It is funny how even the counterculture ends up being conformist up here.

rixtir
Guest
rixtir

SKiDmark, it seems to me all the bitching is coming from people who want to blow red lights with no consequences.

matchu
Guest
matchu

Regarding the maintenance and cleaning of Portland\’s roads, such as the shoulder of Highway 26… I\’ve called the Street Cleaning hotline for the City of Portland (503-823-1700) and both times, when I\’ve reported incidents of glass being present in copious amounts at intersections around my neighborhood, the phone operator sound annoyed that I had called. She even went as far as to remark that I had called just a couple of days ago.. To which I replied, \”Yep. I did!\”

Has any one else had similar experiences? Are you supposed to only call in for emergency clean ups? My impression from other posters on this site was that it was a number to call when streets started to become hazardous to drive/bicycle due to debris.

Whatever the reason for the operator\’s tone, this number might be a good one for several readers to call so that the city does something about all the junk on the shoulders of Highway 26.

SKiDmark
Guest
SKiDmark

I am sorry you cannot discern between going thru a stop sign in a parking lot in front of a building that has been closed for 5 hours with the only traffic being the bicycles going thru the stop sign and going thru a stop sign in a busy downtown intersection. I am sorry you can\’t see the difference between an undercover car with a camera the 3 more Police vehicles (and what a ridiculous waste of Police resources that is) and a Police car on regular patrol pulling over a Zoobomber downtown. You obviously have no clue as to how many tickets Zoobombers have recieved over the years, which happens to be about the same number that Zoobombers HAVEN\’T bitched about.

Dabby
Guest
Dabby

Running a stop sign is just that.
No matter where it happen.
I know this. I sometimes run them, always looking fully first.
Until the law changes, you will just have to pay the ticket if you get caught.

Whining about where it happened will get you nowhere.
But it will get you negative attention, if that is what you are looking for

rixtir
Guest
rixtir

Actually, I can discern the difference between blowing a red light on Burnside and blowing a stop sign in a deserted parking lot.

I can also discern that had the police handed out tickets on Burnside instead of in the parking lot, we\’d still all be hearing about this, the greatest injustice to ever befall humanity.

gus
Guest
gus

Mind you the PPB presence was this guy: http://www.portlandmercury.com/portland/Content?oid=30725&category=34029
I can\’t bring my self to believe that he wants to do anything to work together with anyone. Maybe I\’m just a cynic.
The ZB problem of running red lights will self correct anyway, just a matter of someone getting clipped….

BURR
Guest
BURR

so what exactly is your problem, rixtir, if I may ask?

SKIDmark
Guest
SKIDmark

SKiDmark said:

\”You obviously have no clue as to how many tickets Zoobombers have recieved over the years, which happens to be about the same number that Zoobombers HAVEN\’T bitched about.\”

Donna
Guest
Donna

I\’m glad to see that someone brought up the Traffic Commander\’s history. Thanks, gus. I\’m not anti-police at all, but I will never be able to bring myself to trust the motivations and reasons for action of a group of police officers headed by *that specific man*. Ever. At all. Period.

Tasha
Guest
Tasha

I think if you\’re going to argue that it\’s okay for bikes to run those stop signs late at night, with no one else around, then you have to also agree it\’s okay for cars to do this (and I\’m sure they do, but that\’s besides the point). I\’ve rolled through many a stop sign (and even light) in my life, on both my bike and in my car, but if I happen to get caught doing so, I would have no right to bitch about it, because it IS breaking the law. Sure, it sucks, and sure, it seems the police should have better things to do with their time, but hell, I\’ve been ticketed for JAYWALKING before (not in Portland). It\’s stupid and it doesn\’t seem \”fair\”, but the law\’s the law, and sometimes, \”life aint fair\”. We must accept the consequences of our choices. That\’s my two (or ten?) cents.

BURR
Guest
BURR

there\’s the law and then there is public safety. who here really thinks zoobombing is actually a risk to \’public safety\’? who here really thinks rolling a stop sign on a bike on a bike boulevard at less than 10 mph is a risk to public safety? Kruger is a \’by the book\’ control freak kind of a cop, and not the right person for the job.

wsbob
Guest

\”Kruger: We’d rather not spend a lot of time on the Zoobombers, there are other things we’d rather do.\”

I doubt it. Look, it\’s Sunday night, even thieves, murderers and rapists take a break. The police got nothing to do, and here is an easy, great-publicity rich, safe thing for them to do on boring Sunday nights, pacifying whiny west-hills homeowners and appeasing the concerns of law abiding suburbanites across the metro area. The department even gets to use grant money to do this.

Why in the world would they leave you alone? Why don\’t you guys wise up? I can just imagine that the departments next big publicity score is, as K-man hints at, to bust some of you fools for DUI,

\’If not, Kruger said if they ever bust a Zoobomber for a DUII, they \”will not hesitate to make a big deal of it and let the whole world know.\” \’. (jonathan Maus/bikeportland)

….and here you all are, just playing right into their plans. More great publicity for the cops!

I\’ve seen this before…the whole, \’we hate cops!\’ refrain that ironically betrays some kind of weird attraction to them. Well, have a good time on your date, kids.

SKiDmark
Guest
SKiDmark

Tasha:only one stop sign,only one. In a park late at night. Being filmed by an undercover car with a surviellance camera. Don\’t you think undercover cars with surveillance cameras could be used for some bigger crime than a bunch of bikes running a stop sign at midnight in a in front of a museum that has been closed for 5 hours?

Really, if this had happened on Fairview or Burnside or Salmon then it would be fair game and nobody would be bitching. But for the Police to go thru all that trouble, I wonder if they they will break even when you add up the manpower and resources required to pull off issuing those tickets,and to go to court on them.

I\’ve seen it before too wsbob. The Police are getting ready to kill Zoobomb, just like they did Critical Mass. Platinum Status my ass.

wsbob
Guest

Yup. Keep the old fun and games going on, and the cops will kill zoobomb. Or, maybe they won\’t kill it until they get some really good (for them) publicity out of it, like the aforementioned DUI\’s. Might as well milk this for all its worth. And then, there\’ll be a little shinier glint on their uh….halo, so to speak. At least try to do something that won\’t make the bomb such easy pickings; pick random nights or whatever.

Mr. Viddy
Guest

I ain\’t cool enough to zoobomb and it really isn\’t my thing but I\’d hate to see it be killed off by folks who are simply too uptight. The cops, yeah they are just being cops. I suspect that the residents of the area and the neighborhood association are the ones who are doing a lot of the muckraking here.

I do agree with what Kruger said though, better the zoobombers themselves use a little authority over the group than the police. Flyers, oral tradition, whatever. Have your fun, be crazy and all that but remind everyone that you are on the radar and it only makes sense to watch your backs.

Pedal on little zoobombers.

BURR
Guest
BURR

@wsbob: Portland Police are hiring!

http://www.portlandonline.com/joinportlandpolice/

steve
Guest
steve

Donna @ post #32-

I too am glad that some of us are responsible enough to point out the history of such a high ranking public servant. It is obviously in the publics best interest for this information to be routinely acknowledged.

The real question is why Jonathon refuses to point it out. His refusal to hold this man(and the police) accountable is lock step in line with the main stream media. If sources like this refuse to give us necessary and vital information, where are we to look?

Every post that does not mention Krugers violent and costly(to us taxpayers) past, simply perpetuates his authority and helps to legitimize his roll in our city.

DJ
Guest
DJ

Where is the summit for stop signs as yield signs for bikes? Why do these pseudo-cyclists get ANY attention? I get a ticket for rolling stop signs, cars get them, zoobombers aren\’t some great special exception. If they don\’t like law enforcement ticketing them then stop.

SKiDmark
Guest
SKiDmark

Does anyone actually read the whole article and all the responses or do people just read one sentence and type their knee-jerk reaction?

This is just as bad if not worse than the whole fixed gear debacle.

wsbob
Guest

Well Burr, recruiting for the police now, are you? No thanks.

Assume for a moment, that in the history of the zoobomb, the police had never intervened in any of the fun and games some of the bombers are known for; the yelling, being drunk while riding, general disregard for rules of the road and so forth.

Here is a group whose members admit the pastime attracts \”..yahoos..\” \”It’s an open community, and so we’ve got a lot of yahoos that show up.\”(Sevigny), and who also concede they can\’t manage those people\’s behavior: \”We have some influence over what people do, but not control.\” Terry.

Yeah, what a great, open community, when what it\’s member do is behave like morons in someone else\’s neighborhood and on public roadways. This is the kind of community most intelligent people would not want to grow to very large numbers.

Still, the Zbombers whine like babies, \’we hate cops! just leave us alone\’, when the society at large that they live in calls them on their conduct.

Who knows, maybe the police intervening in this phenomena makes no difference in the numbers of people participating in the bomb or the behavior its members display. Maybe they\’re just wasting everybody\’s time and resources. Maybe if the cops stop showing up, the bomb will just quietly go away. Or not.

rixtir
Guest
rixtir

so what exactly is your problem, rixtir, if I may ask?

You\’re right BURR, I\’ve been extremely negelctful in sending Jonathan press releases about all of my personal problems. In light of my neglect, it\’s no wonder you ask.

I should really rectify this situation, and get to work on sending Jonathan some press releases about my problems.

You know what else? I\’ve also been extremely neglectful about blaming everybody but myself for my personal problems.

There, I already feel better, acknowledging that…

Jonathan Maus (Editor)
Guest

Steve (and others),

I have no agenda behind the fact that I don\’t bring up Kruger\’s dubious past.

It\’s something (both my reporting and his past) I have thought a lot about.

I\’m not opposed to shining a light on your completely valid concerns about him.

I guess I\’ve just taken the position of trying my best to work with the cards we\’ve been dealt, instead of working to get a new deck.

There is more to this than I have time to write, but I plan to deal with this more next week. Thanks.

rixtir
Guest
rixtir

\”You obviously have no clue as to how many tickets Zoobombers have recieved over the years, which happens to be about the same number that Zoobombers HAVEN\’T bitched about.\”

SKiDMark, I realized that you had made this point after I had already posted. So if in fact zoobombers have received citations over the years that they haven\’t complained about, then my conclusion– that we\’d be hearing complaints regardless of where the ticketing took place– was unwarranted.

That said, zoobombers have been blowing red lights and stop signs down Burnside every Sunday for years before the parking lot tickets. And they\’ve been blowing red lights and stop signs down Burnside since the parking lot tickets.

Given that basic reality, the fact that they got ticketed in the parking lot instead of on Burnside is a meaningless distinction.

They *rarely* get cited for blowing stops. This time, they got cited. Just deal with it.

corey
Guest
corey

rixtir, dabby, wsbob, et all;

you are all hypocrites. every single one of you breaks at least one law every day. if there was a cop watching you all the time, by the end of the week, you would either be in jail or in the $1200 plus ticket range. when you actually start getting harassed by the police (like if they were to follow you over the course of a day), your \”too bad, don\’t break the law\” mantra would change.

every time you self-righteous jerks get in your cars, how many people do you see going 60-65 in a 55mph zone? EVERYONE. that is illegal, yet Whitebread America (people such as yourselves) would be up in arms if tickets were given out for going 8mph over the speed limit.

if you live in a glass house, don\’t play with rocks.

steve
Guest
steve

Jonathon-

I know you are a busy chap, though this is the third instance you have said comment would be forthcoming on your \’agendaless\’ decision to refuse to acknowledge Krugers behaviour.

It seems baffling that at almost any mention of a person with a newsworthy, print based history, you provide a highlighted link either under their name or after it, and that Kruger somehow always avoids this. Or you simply link to some fluff. Seems unlikely to be an accident, and how there could be no agenda(even a valid one) behind that decision is beyond me.

It seems disingenuous to imply that you have no agenda. This is an individual with great power to control your access to a noteworthy institution. This is the same situation we deal with in our reporting from Washington. No one wants to ruffle feathers and lose out on all their good quote/copy.

If no one has access to real information, how can change or even responsible decisions exist? Simply regurgitating what Kruger, or any other agenda based individual tells you, does not cut it.

Obviously your readers can develop and formulate their own opinions. But when you give equal weight to all sides, or refuse to point out valuable facts, you are in effect shaping the parameters of their decision process.

It is subtle, probably somewhat unintentional, and when played out on a national scale, is harming our republic and the people in it. Not to mention furthering the agenda of the people controlling the information. And to assume that Authority has no agenda, no plan in place to control dissemination of propaganda, is naive at best.

We get enough \’fair and balanced\’ from Fox news. How about some truth, honesty and rational analysis of fact for a change? How about forcing public officials to be accountable? Holding their actions up for public scrutiny and discourse? Why should your commenters be forced to do this legwork?

Why continue to support and be a mouthpiece for such a reprehensible person?

Ken
Guest
Ken

Jonathan, please count me in the camp that wants to see you keep doing what you are doing, the way you are doing it.

What I don\’t think Steve and some others realize is that there is a reason that you have a privilaged position in getting news and interviews with local government and bicycle advocates and that is because you present the information you are given from the source and leave it up to the reader to draw their own conclusions based on the facts presented.

There is a reason Lars Larson can\’t get an interview with the governor, nor many people who don\’t agree with his right wing philosophy. His name calling, interrupting, presuppositions and rude behavior makes it so that people don\’t want to deal with him. We don\’t need that with this site.

The simple fact is that everytime Kruger\’s name is brought up, someone brings up his past anyway. I don\’t think there is a person reading this stuff that doesn\’t know about him. To put a yellow link on his name with links to these stories will only raise the probability that he would see you as being biased and no longer be as open to dealing with this site. Let others put their opinion and his history on here and just keep on bringing us the unbiased reporting. If I want biased bicycle news there are plenty of other places to go.

rixtir
Guest
rixtir

Which glass house Corey?

I don\’t drive a car, in part because I don\’t own a car. If you had any ability to think your way outside of the rhetorical corner you\’ve just painted yourself into, you\’d realize that you actually know nothing about me, and therefore woulnd\’t have made a fool of yourself by talking about me \”getting in my car\” as the basis of your argument.

It probably sounds good to you, though.

Anyway, you\’re right, I do jaywalk occasionally, and if a cop wanted to ticket me for it, I\’d get ticketed.

And that\’s where the similarities would end, because I sure as fuck wouldn\’t send Jonathan a press release complaining about how this great injustice was visited upon me *by somebody else\’s behavior.*

Sure, I\’d think the ticket would suck. That\’s why, in fact, I always look to see if a cop is watching before I step off the curb. But in the end, I\’d acknowledge that I was the one who brought the ticket upon myself.

Know what else? I\’ve actually started to curtail my jaywalking, because even though I only do it when there are no vehicles on the roadway, I realize that it\’s hypocritical for me to say everybody else should just develop the patience to wait until they have the right of way, if I can\’t wait for it either.

But if you really want me to get with the program, I can tell everybody here about the time a cop yelled at me for speeding. It was years ago, when I too thought the world revolved around me, but he was really mean about it. Want me to send Jonathan a press release?