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

Views: 161

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

And less optimistically, lots of violators will still get stopped and ticketed (or whatever) because in general, I'm guessing, the kind of people who don't respect cross-walks, drive drunk and engage in other dangerous driving behaviors don't read the news - or don't read much of it anyway.

The news spectacle will work somewhat to raise awareness among some, and sting itself will still yield plenty of results.

h3 said:
It's an attempt to get more bang for the buck-- suggestive of an awareness that these little checkpoints are a drop in the ocean, and using them as a "media focusing event" to generate some media buzz and get more drivers to think about their behavior.

(optimistically speaking)

heather stratton said:
What is the rationale behind alerting drivers to the exact intersection where they will be?

Active Transportation Alliance said:
If you're out driving or biking tonight, here's some advance warning about yielding to pedestrians:

http://www.chicagobreakingnews.com/2009/08/chicago-police-plan-even...

I'm sure this is mainly targeted to motorists, but the law says bikes should also yield to pedestrians at mid-block crosswalks.

Ethan, with Active Trans
Best way to avoid these tickets is to follow the rules. Why are many of us always complaining about the lawless drivers but then when we are cited for not obeying the rules we've suddenly got good excuses for why we should be exempt. We can't have it both ways. If you break the law and get caught doing it, be an adult and be accountable. Don't like the fines? Don't break the law or don't get caught. Anyways, for how lazy and apathetic the CPD is, I doubt any kind of crackdown. Sounds like you got caught in a one in a million promotional moment.
jen said:
He got all pissy and wanted to see a d.l or state I.d. I told him this was all i had and as per law a valid goverment issued document will do.

Wait, is there some state law that says you have to carry an ID while biking?
The most basic sensable answers are usually the right ones. How about you just take the entire job of Congress, the President and his admin. You have my vote for supreme leader. I would like to know you in person. Marty

mattbikes1 said:
Best way to avoid these tickets is to follow the rules. Why are many of us always complaining about the lawless drivers but then when we are cited for not obeying the rules we've suddenly got good excuses for why we should be exempt. We can't have it both ways. If you break the law and get caught doing it, be an adult and be accountable. Don't like the fines? Don't break the law or don't get caught. Anyways, for how lazy and apathetic the CPD is, I doubt any kind of crackdown. Sounds like you got caught in a one in a million promotional moment.

RSS

Groups

© 2008-2016   The Chainlink Community, L.L.C.   Powered by

Disclaimer  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service