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I am looking for some resources to file complaints against an officer's treatment of me while biking this morning.  This officer was clearly uninformed about biking rules of the road and made lots of generalizations about bikers in general.  

I do believe it is possible that my bike (a cargo bike with kids in it) is being targeted since this is not the first run in I've had near the police station at California on Palmer.  This particular officer just took things a bit far threatening me with a ticket and telling me that he could kill a biker with his car.  My son was with me at the time and the altercation took 40 minutes. I need to know what my future course of action can be and if there is a way to file a report against this officer. I do have his name, car number, time of incident and details.

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Anika,

Terrible story.  It is particularly worrisome for me because I live right around the corner from that police station.  I want to say that I've seen you riding around with you kids...

Anyway, definitely follow up with Active Trans.  The other thing you may wish to consider is attending the next neighborhood CAPS meeting.  That would be one open forum where the police actually seem to listen to people in the neighborhood.

Good suggestion about the CAPS meeting.  That could be helpful.  Following up with Active Trans is also a good idea.

Misquote.

O said:

Maybe it would be useful for there to be a location (perhaps on this site) the subjective interpretation of Chicago bicycle ordinances are explained. I wonder whether there is not some vague set of understandings (commonly held) which could be cleared up if someone who actually "knows" were to offer guidance.

I see riders launch into the intersection on red lights all the time. Often then veer to the pedestrian crosswalk and proceed to the median strip where they "pause" (usually doing a track stand) before veering back into the righthand lane on the other side of the intersection.

In fact yesterday I watched a fellow cross Butterfield road in this manner. But when he reached the median strip he actually rode into oncoming traffic along the left edge of this four lane road before veering back towards the intersection. I was frightened for his safety since that is a roadway where the speed limit is 55 mph.

What was odd was that as he was doing all of this the light was almost green, so why the rush? He had stood there with the long line of cars waiting for the light change. But I am guessing that most cyclists have no idea of how dangerous this maneuver is nor whether it is illegal.

One gray area that would be nice to know the truth about is what constitutes a "full stop" at say a stop light. Do you have to put one or both feet down? Can you approach and do a mini-trackstand before the light turns green?

These are things that would be good to know. But I will bet that each municipalities police interpret things differently.

h' said:

It is my understanding that I am entitled to take a lane of traffic, correct?

Sorry. Since you did not use the quote feature in your reply anyone replying to your entry gets this. Next time quote properly. The quote should be attributed to Anika.

h' said:

Misquote.

Anika,

That is terrible but I am pretty sure you have a pretty legitimate complaint and hopefully it gets come traction at the CPD.

I live about a block from the station there for quite some time, before I was an active cyclist, and have found the local police to be highly unpredictable when it comes to cyclists.  I cannot count the times I have had a marked police car pull out in front of me either from out of the lot there or when turning onto California.  I have also had a similar confrontation you yours on multiple occasions.  I feel it may be one of the less cyclist friendly districts in the city.

Yes - piano tuner

I only ask about taking the lane since I've heard it reference many times including by Active Trans. Regardless, my biking position was enough for the officer to pull beside me to honk and yell before proceeding on. If he hadn't done this, the whole incident probably would never had occurred. Right now, I'm just thankful my 5 year old wasn't with me when it did since this would likely have really disturbed her as a new biker.

This particularly bad cop is the perfect illustration for my contention that all CPD officers should spend a minimum of a semester, but preferably a year, as bicycle cops. And while we're at it, this should include their commutes as civilians by bike, just so they know what it's like (the good as well as the bad) and can empathize with cyclists.

The head of bikes at CPD spoke at our latest Folks on Spokes meeting. He's a good guy. Said they've been training a bunch of cops on bikes lately, but they haven't had to budget to buy a new bike in years and years.

Bike Bloke said:

This particularly bad cop is the perfect illustration for my contention that all CPD officers should spend a minimum of a semester, but preferably a year, as bicycle cops. And while we're at it, this should include their commutes as civilians by bike, just so they know what it's like (the good as well as the bad) and can empathize with cyclists.

http://cyclingsavvy.org/hows-my-driving/

This is an interesting article from the Florida Bicycle Association. They attempt to explain the Florida law [FS316.2065-5] notion of having to "as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway," (which is similar in wording to the Chicago ordinance).

There are some additional explanations of why you should use or not use various roadway and sidewalk surfaces and under what conditions. Perhaps something like this in a booklet form (or perhaps on a bookmark-style card) would be useful in dealing with the vagaries of interpretation from district-to-district or from county-to-county as is the case in the suburbs.

Kane County has been especially hard on cyclists who do not put down a foot when at a stop sign, before proceeding to cross an intersection. They have been known to hand out tickets.

Anika said:

Yes - piano tuner

I only ask about taking the lane since I've heard it reference many times including by Active Trans. Regardless, my biking position was enough for the officer to pull beside me to honk and yell before proceeding on. If he hadn't done this, the whole incident probably would never had occurred. Right now, I'm just thankful my 5 year old wasn't with me when it did since this would likely have really disturbed her as a new biker.

You'd think the Millennium Park and North Ave. beach bike rental people, who auction off ALL the bikes at the end of the season, could be easily convinced to donate their stock of hybrids to the CPD... or the CPD could buy them. Do you have a name for the head of bikes at CPD guy? Thanks!

Adam "Cezar" Jenkins said:

The head of bikes at CPD spoke at our latest Folks on Spokes meeting. He's a good guy. Said they've been training a bunch of cops on bikes lately, but they haven't had to budget to buy a new bike in years and years.

Bike Bloke said:

This particularly bad cop is the perfect illustration for my contention that all CPD officers should spend a minimum of a semester, but preferably a year, as bicycle cops. And while we're at it, this should include their commutes as civilians by bike, just so they know what it's like (the good as well as the bad) and can empathize with cyclists.

Sarah,

It's a good thought, but bicycles like those probably wouldn't last more than about 6 months in CPD use.

David

Sarah D. said:

You'd think the Millennium Park and North Ave. beach bike rental people, who auction off ALL the bikes at the end of the season, could be easily convinced to donate their stock of hybrids to the CPD... or the CPD could buy them. Do you have a name for the head of bikes at CPD guy? Thanks!

Adam "Cezar" Jenkins said:

The head of bikes at CPD spoke at our latest Folks on Spokes meeting. He's a good guy. Said they've been training a bunch of cops on bikes lately, but they haven't had to budget to buy a new bike in years and years.

Bike Bloke said:

This particularly bad cop is the perfect illustration for my contention that all CPD officers should spend a minimum of a semester, but preferably a year, as bicycle cops. And while we're at it, this should include their commutes as civilians by bike, just so they know what it's like (the good as well as the bad) and can empathize with cyclists.

In the comments section of the page cited below, I found this:

CM Hickson - January 26, 2012 at 10:45 pm
Great info.
How about making these great responses to the most common questions that we so often hear into a brochure? If I had access to a pre-printed brochure or even a downloadable PDF or other file that I could print myself, I would carry one with me all the time to hand out as appropriate.
What do you think??


O said:

http://cyclingsavvy.org/hows-my-driving/

This is an interesting article from the Florida Bicycle Association. They attempt to explain the Florida law [FS316.2065-5] notion of having to "as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway," (which is similar in wording to the Chicago ordinance).

There are some additional explanations of why you should use or not use various roadway and sidewalk surfaces and under what conditions. Perhaps something like this in a booklet form (or perhaps on a bookmark-style card) would be useful in dealing with the vagaries of interpretation from district-to-district or from county-to-county as is the case in the suburbs.

Kane County has been especially hard on cyclists who do not put down a foot when at a stop sign, before proceeding to cross an intersection. They have been known to hand out tickets.

Anika said:

Yes - piano tuner

I only ask about taking the lane since I've heard it reference many times including by Active Trans. Regardless, my biking position was enough for the officer to pull beside me to honk and yell before proceeding on. If he hadn't done this, the whole incident probably would never had occurred. Right now, I'm just thankful my 5 year old wasn't with me when it did since this would likely have really disturbed her as a new biker.

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