Enforcement for auto-related violations is severally lacking in this City in general (when's the last time you saw a driver pulled over for speeding in City limits??), so while I don't disagree that enforcing cyclist safety receives an even lower overall priority, I think it's also an issue with traffic enforcement priorities at CPD and the City in general rather than just pure ambivalence towards cyclists.
Turning some additional authority for enforcement over to other agencies might help, but the rub is that i doubt public health and environmental inspectors have the capacity/resources to really pick up much of the slack. Also, if you essentially deputize inspectors to investigate dooring incidents and increase the size of those departments, what's the guarantee that the same bias doesn't just quickly develop with those inspectors? In other words, are you solving a systemic problem by just reassigning enforcement to a different part of the system?
To the degree City parking enforcement personnel can't write tickets for illegal parking in a bike lane, I think that would definitely be a sensible extension to their powers. They're already patrolling those same areas anyway, so that's a serious area where they could pick up the slack.
Anyone know if it's just CPD that can ticket for bike lane parking, or do parking enforcement agents already have that power?
To be honest, I think the real solution is automated enforcement. There's no reason that the dedicated bus lanes for loop link shouldn't be camera enforced to ensure drivers don't drive in them. The same should hold true for red lights at major intersections, and dedicated PBLs.
Problem is, automated enforcement here (and in the country as a whole) has become politicized, alderman have based large portions of their campaigns against defeating/rolling back such measures, and the public at large hates them. That's unfortunately part and parcel of the huge disservice politicians (and the equipment companies themselves) did by treating automated enforcement as a potential cash cow when first rolled out here, rather than an actual tool to help foster safety.
Yes, yes, yes.
There definitely is a lack of any traffic enforcement. I've seen CPD vehicles at intersections where someone blows a red light and they CPD vehicle doesn't move. I watched a cop drive up Elston the other day past 2 vehicles parked in the bike lane - didn't even slow down as he passed them to consider ticketing them.
Not to go too far off topic, but I do notice that drivers, knowing they will not get ticketed, engage in worse and worse behavior - blowing stop signs to make a right turn, going through red lights, etc.
"You can tell people what the rules are, but if there is no enforcement, you won't get compliance," Neufeld said.
I've been seeing the same thing, steadily getting worse over the last few years in the Loop and in neighborhoods across the city.
i am of the opinion that the CPD not only hold cyclists in contempt, but civilians in general. When i think about the people i knew in high school who later went into the force, and how they behaved then, i am not surprised at the overall negative attitude towards humanity shown by too many among the police.
I'm certainly not holding my breath waiting for the CPD to make things better.
I should contact a few universities, and see if any of their engineering students are interested in designing and building an autonomous bike lane enforcement vehicle. Take a trike, add navigation, and a license plate reader, and you have a revenue generator. It can spend all day tolling along the city's bike lanes, snapping photos, and issuing citations.