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One, I hate wrong-way riding and no it's not safer which I bet will be his argument.  Two, did he think NYPD wouldn't catch him?  It's Fifth Avenue!  And from the news, NYC cyclists are getting ticketed right and left. 


"Uh, yeah, Sarge, we just caught ourselves a Big Mouth Salmon."

I think there are arguments for wrong-way riding on some one-way streets (assuming you ride on the right; obviously it is very obnoxious to ride the wrong way on the left):

- many residential streets are one-way not because they are too narrow or because it makes sense in terms of getting people around, but in order to make them unattractive to through-traffic. The impact of bike through-traffic is far less burdensome, in terms of noise, exhaust, safety, and traffic congestion, on the residents, so I don't think there is a strong argument for applying this same logic to cyclists. (I don't think I'm alone in thinking this; it's basically the rationale behind neighborhood greenways like the one on Berteau which are one-way for cars but two-ways for bikes.)

- In neighborhoods where residential streets are a maze of one-ways and dead-ends, there are usually larger arterial roads where through-traffic is supposed to go. Often, however, these roads are unsafe or uncomfortable to bike on. So cyclists are inconvenienced to a much greater degree than drivers by these one-way streets.

- Contrary to what is often asserted, it's common in Chicago for many parallel streets in sequence to be one-way in the same direction, necessitating very lengthy detours. There is a grocery store exactly one block from my house. I can get there by riding one block on a one-way street. To get back legally I have to go six times as far. Again, this kind of detour is more burdensome on a bike than in a car.

- A common argument is that drivers don't expect cyclists to be coming from the wrong direction. This is the strongest argument against riding the wrong way, but it's still not very strong. How many of the drivers on the greenway sections of Berteau (or Ardmore) realize that the one-way signs apply only to them and not to bikes on those particular blocks? I would guess it is very, very few. Should we discourage people from biking (legally) the "wrong" way on those streets, because drivers won't be expecting it?

The fact is that, like it or not, biking the wrong way is very common all over the city on low-traffic residential streets, so I suspect any driver who is paying the slightest attention will already be aware of the possibility of a bike coming from the wrong direction (and, of course, many drivers don't think about bikes at all and will consider them to have "come out of nowhere" no matter how many laws they follow).

Obviously, additional caution is needed when wrong-way biking, and the burden of situational awareness falls much more heavily on the cyclist than it would in other circumstances. But, I'm sorry, if my choices are (as they have frequently been in the neighborhoods where I live) between between going the wrong way to get out of the maze of low-speed, low-traffic, all-residential one-way streets in which I live, and biking on a deathtrap speedway like Western or Ridge, I'm going to occasionally take a wrong-way shortcut a block or two.

Well what irks me is when I am going the right way and I encounter a bike salmon!  And even worse, these salmons are riding on streets with bike lanes both ways. You're advocating it's okay to do it on one way streets, especially those with low traffic.  Well it's been a while since I've been on Fifth Avenue, but I get the impression it's a hip and happening place and probably very busy!

His problem was not riding the wrong way, per se.   His problem was, once again, his refusal to show respect to the authority figure.  This is a ticket for being a jerk.

Davis, you are absolutely correct in that you don't have to carry ID...Unless you are committing an offense that an officer can stop you for, like riding the wrong way down a one way street. Then it's all down hill...

We are in agreement that this isn't 1940's Germany. And we are in agreement that if you are doing nothing wrong than you don't need an ID.

And we are also in agreement that Alec Baldwin was in the wrong and doing something illegal...So he can get taken in... Carry an ID and you don't get taken in. Seems simple.

I'm a Sovereign Citizen and under Admirality Law and the Uniform Commerical Code the CPD has NO JURISDICTION over my Vessel (aka "bike") nor can they ask for my Strawman Signifier ("ID").

Davis Moore said:

Actually, no. You still don't have to have an id.

Riding a bicycle is not an activity for which one must be licensed. Neither is walking down the street, riding a bus or Metra or El train. You don't need an id to sit on a bench in a public park. You don't need identification to just be a person out in the world.

If an officer has reason to stop you because he has reasonable suspicion that you have committed a crime, or if you match the description of someone who has committed a crime etc., they can stop you and ask for your id, and if you do not have one, and you are not engaged in an activity that requires an id or license (like driving, or getting on a plane etc.) then he or she can detain you for a reasonable time so as to reasonably and positively ascertain your identity. This can include taking you down to the station and leaving you handcuffed to a bench until you can get someone to come down and produce some form of identification. But that is not the same as being arrested. You cannot be lawfully arrested simply for the charge of not having id on you.

Now if you have it and refuse to produce it, or you lie about who you are, that's another story.

Once again, this isn't 1940 Germany, you do not have to "show your papers". A right you have that isn't exercised, isn't really a right.

BTW, I originally read about this on our local NBC website, but my mobile wasn't letting me link to that article.  The Chicago headline used "arrested", but more recent reports say "taken in."  The picture at the scene shows it is a one way street (Googlemaps shows that both Fifth Ave and 16th are one way streets).

Wow, I wish I had so little going on my life that I could waste the energy on being annoyed/irritated by anyone who rides the wrong way.

I save my annoyance/irritation energy I have for the tourists on their rental and Divvy bikes on the LFP when I'm doing my best to imitate Lakefront Lance.

Obligatory Glengarry jokes:

Always Be Salmoning.

IDs are for Closers.



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