The Chainlink

Speed Trap Alert! Where there are Chicago Bike Ambassadors there are Cops Ticketing You

It's 5pm on a late summer day, the sky is dark, and I hear thunder in the distance. I am biking south down Halsted trying to beat the rain home, while trying my best not to get hit by angry rush hour commuters who are speeding heavily after barely making the light on Roosevelt. Up ahead I see a line of cars stopped for the light on 18th St. Making a rapid assessment of my surroundings I see that there is no oncoming traffic and the sidewalk is clear. So instead of biking along the right side of the queue of cars and then trying to cut the cars off and make a quick left hand turn in the intersection I decide to cross the street and hop on the wide sidewalk for the brief 20 meters to the crosswalk.

Everything is going perfectly, until I hear someone scream at me, "WRONG SIDE!!!! OFF THE SIDEWALK!!!" To this I simply start biking faster, smile and think to myself, Whatever, this is a great line and it is safer then if I would have obeyed the road law of cars. Then I hear the screeching of tires and revving of an engine. FUCK!... I don't even have to look because I know that it is a cop. Sure enough a block down 18th St I hear the distressing sound of a cop siren "RWWWUPP, RWWUPPPP"

I slow down and the cop pulls up next to me. "Hey! Turn around and go back to 18th and Halsted."

"Why?" I inquire.

"You are being cited for blowing the intersection."

"Seriously?"

"Yeah, now go back to 18th and Halsted."

So, I turn around and bike back to 18th and Halsted. All the while the cop is slowly tailing me making sure I don't dip down a side street... I won't lie, the thought did cross my mind. When I get there I am greeted by another squad car, two bike cops and three Chicago Bike Ambassadors. They then spend 10 minutes lecturing me on the rules of the road, and that they are trying to raise awareness. I explain my situation, I was trying to get home before the rain and am sorry I broke the laws (I could not tell them what I really thought because I can not afford the $200+ ticket) and they let me off with a warning.

And here is the warning, "Bikers beware. You are subject to the same laws of cars and the CPD will start ticketing soon."

I don't know if this is complete bullshit, but with the parking meters being privatized the cops may not have enough cushy ticketing to do/quotas being met. If that is the case prepare for bike speed traps, bike parking tickets, and tickets for having no brakes!

If you are still reading, please use this thread to post bike speed traps and stories where the law is cracking down on cyclists. Also, keep an eye out for those pesky Chicago Bike Ambassadors because they are now working with the 5-0

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I was not paying exact attention to the street numbers, when riding I pay more attention to where cars and pedestrians are then to the street signs/lights, in response to o0 Dan 0o, also I never said that bikes are not subject to the same laws but that cops may now be enforcing it. Finally, my bad for trying to put humor into a thread, it seems to have failed...

but anyways here is a more detailed description of what happened.
Going S down Halsted. After the first 18th st I went over into the left lane and hopped up onto the sidewalk. Then I went down the sidewalk and crossed through the intersection with a red light. The southbound and northbound traffic had a red light and the westbound traffic had a green. There were cars waiting for the north/south light. So that is why I crossed and hopped on the sidewalk. When I got to the intersection the north/south traffic still had a red, and all the cars from the west had turned north or south. Then I went through the red, in the painted pedestrian crosswalk, and continued eastbound on 18th St. The cop busted through what was most likely two lights to pull me over in front of the light before the 94 underpass. He then flipped a U-Turn somewhere, I did not see but it sounded like in the intersection, and then followed me down 18th St turning right onto Halsted and finally coming to a stop on the intersection of Halsted and 18th St (eastbound Halsted, the on further north).

Additionally, since it was raining/about to pour (even though the rain held off for awhile) there were not many people out.

Finally, the whole experience was not horrible. I got off with a warning, the bike messengers were nice and just trying to help cyclists out, and I still beat the rain home. I just think that cop resources could be better used elsewhere, and that the cop in the car broke just as many traffic rules as I did to bring me back to 18th and Halsted.

Check google maps street view for visual picture.

Tank-Ridin' Ryan said:
Where's the blowing of the light? He crossed the street midstream and still had to wait for the light at Halsted and 18th.
Am I correct there Michael? As for Ryan L's rant, I totally agree.

Gabe said:
Hey Tank,

The warning for blowing the light would be the same for a car pulling through a gas station at a corner so as to not stop at a light. You are not allowed to avoid traffic signals according to traffic law.
This thread brings back memories from reading the comments whenever the Trib runs a story on red light cameras. The bitchin' and complaining is almost hilarious to read
Let's face it. You run a red light? Fine by me, whatever. But don't come complaining to me that a cop called you to task for it. You should have thought of that before you ran the red light.
Duppie
Thanks for the clarification Michael.

You getting warned for going across on red looks to be valid; however, I do see credibility in the cops possibly cracking down for revenue reasons. It's entirely possible that selling the parking fees (read: meters) to a private company really backfired on the city.

Michael Jugovich said:
I was not paying exact attention to the street numbers, when riding I pay more attention to where cars and pedestrians are then to the street signs/lights, in response to o0 Dan 0o, also I never said that bikes are not subject to the same laws but that cops may now be enforcing it. Finally, my bad for trying to put humor into a thread, it seems to have failed...

but anyways here is a more detailed description of what happened.
Going S down Halsted. After the first 18th st I went over into the left lane and hopped up onto the sidewalk. Then I went down the sidewalk and crossed through the intersection with a red light. The southbound and northbound traffic had a red light and the westbound traffic had a green. There were cars waiting for the north/south light. So that is why I crossed and hopped on the sidewalk. When I got to the intersection the north/south traffic still had a red, and all the cars from the west had turned north or south. Then I went through the red, in the painted pedestrian crosswalk, and continued eastbound on 18th St. The cop busted through what was most likely two lights to pull me over in front of the light before the 94 underpass. He then flipped a U-Turn somewhere, I did not see but it sounded like in the intersection, and then followed me down 18th St turning right onto Halsted and finally coming to a stop on the intersection of Halsted and 18th St (eastbound Halsted, the on further north).

Tank-Ridin' Ryan said:
Where's the blowing of the light? He crossed the street midstream and still had to wait for the light at Halsted and 18th.

Am I correct there Michael?

As for Ryan L's rant, I totally agree.

Gabe said:
Hey Tank,

The warning for blowing the light would be the same for a car pulling through a gas station at a corner so as to not stop at a light. You are not allowed to avoid traffic signals according to traffic law.
Thank YOU Thank YOU !!!! I have been lucky and the cops up north here just wave to me when I am on the Tallbike. Today I had the step ladder attached because I has to clean gutters in Evanston. I often blow lights and sometimes I will go on the sidewalk if I feel it is tricky on the sidewalk. I will start using more sidestreets and practice my trackstands more. So far I can stand perfectly still for about 10-12 seconds. I guess I am gonna need alot more if I see those pricks. Funny thing is when I talked to a detective about the recent beating of my friends by the '77's (a punk gang) they told me there was not they could do unless they were caught it the act because they are afraid of being sued (and have been) for profiling. This world is screwed up, and most if it is because of Lawers. They focus on us and let the violent criminal do what they want. When? if I get a ticket on the tallbike, I am gonna move out of Chicago. ALSO does anyone feel like finding the city codes regarding all of this. It will be easy to get out of if one can prove that no laws were broken. Once again the Lawyers. Please someone post the codes, otherwise I am gonna have to and it may be a day or two.
I would also like to ADD on that due to the fact we are available in large numbers, it would be easy as pie to stage a protest, shut down whatever we want too and I think they would back off. Just look at the Mass (which is major headaces for the city). Truly I am surprised they tolerate us at all, but there is not enough police in the city to do anything if the right person is in charge. Nothing radical, just something to show that we can also act just as unreasonable as the police. Dig Dig.
Carefull with those words, Ryan. You may give someone an idea. For revenue purposes, we very well may need get licensed, insured, registered, pass inspection. Especially if bike commuting will continue to grow as a standard form of transportaion.

I will also add...as a daily commuter and such...that we as cyclists do take advantage of the road laws as tho they do not apply to us...i do it regularly (lights, one ways, drinking). I feel we are creating a double standard. We ask for respect on the road...then disrespect the road laws.

P.S. this is iggi on Shars account

Ryan L said:
You don't need a license or an id to ride a bike. You don't need required insurance to ride a bike. You don't have inspections and registration fees for a bike, and you don't have to pass a cycling test to ride a bike, not to mention 0 age restrictions to ride, yet the city wants to ticket us like we are in a 3 ton car that is subject to all of the above. I call bullshit!!!

I am getting so f-ing fed up with the way this city is run. F-you Daley for claiming to promote cycling yet finding any way to stick it to us at the same time.
I was also riding on Halsted tonight.

I stopped at the red light at 18th.

Somebody shouted, "Thanks for stopping!"

That is my exciting story.
I was headed north from 33rd on Halsted this afternoon around 3pm. I come up around 30th and there are two cyclists in the bike lane I want to pass. I pull out into the street (outta the bike lane) in order to safely pass my fellow cyclists after I checked there was no car traffic behind me. - I'm in the process of passing the bikes when 2 bike cops that are riding in the opposite (southbound) bike lane pull across the street and head directy at me. They proceed to attempt to block my path (in the middle of the street!!) and as I zig zag around them one yells "stay outta the street!"
I pretended I didn't hear and kept riding with no problems. However, I do find this totally ridiculous...and unless I'm way wrong, I was breaking no laws by using the entire lane in order to pass another cyclist.
Score another one for CPD making up random laws.
Oooops!

h3 said:
This is disgusting, but believable. I think this deserves its own thread. The current thread is about mistaking a collaborative educational outreach effort by two city agencies for a power-tripping revenue-suck and then ranting at "the man."

DonRay A.K.A. Zesty said:
I was headed north from 33rd on Halsted this afternoon around 3pm. I come up around 30th and there are two cyclists in the bike lane I want to pass. I pull out into the street (outta the bike lane) in order to safely pass my fellow cyclists after I checked there was no car traffic behind me. - I'm in the process of passing the bikes when 2 bike cops that are riding in the opposite (southbound) bike lane pull across the street and head directy at me. They proceed to attempt to block my path (in the middle of the street!!) and as I zig zag around them one yells "stay outta the street!"
I pretended I didn't hear and kept riding with no problems. However, I do find this totally ridiculous...and unless I'm way wrong, I was breaking no laws by using the entire lane in order to pass another cyclist.
Score another one for CPD making up random laws.
Sorry Donray, IL State Law says that riders can only ride two abreast. So if the riders in front of you were next to each other they have effectively formed a roadblock. If they were single file then the cops were in the wrong. Either way it was a useless exercise for them as they should be doing something more important.

DonRay A.K.A. Zesty said:
I was headed north from 33rd on Halsted this afternoon around 3pm. I come up around 30th and there are two cyclists in the bike lane I want to pass. I pull out into the street (outta the bike lane) in order to safely pass my fellow cyclists after I checked there was no car traffic behind me. - I'm in the process of passing the bikes when 2 bike cops that are riding in the opposite (southbound) bike lane pull across the street and head directy at me. They proceed to attempt to block my path (in the middle of the street!!) and as I zig zag around them one yells "stay outta the street!"
I pretended I didn't hear and kept riding with no problems. However, I do find this totally ridiculous...and unless I'm way wrong, I was breaking no laws by using the entire lane in order to pass another cyclist.
Score another one for CPD making up random laws.
h3 said:
The current thread is about mistaking a collaborative educational outreach effort by two city agencies for a power-tripping revenue-suck and then ranting at "the man."


Come on, now. It's not like it was announced in advance or anything.
Uh oh Burden, that's fuel for the fire. Anyone wanna bet on how many tickets were given out for parking in the bike lane? ;-)

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