Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Blogger Gets a Ticket for Being Too Far to the Right


onNYTurf mastermind Will James was busted ticketed during the Friday night Critical Mass bike ride (which featured, among other things, about 100 cyclist and 90 cops, making for a nearly one-to-one cop to cyclist ratio). The ticket was for not being far left enough. We will copy and paste some of Mr. James' narrative of the ticketing:
Officer 757 asked me if I had ID, and I said sure and handed him my drivers license. I asked him if I was being stopped for something and he didn't really answer. He was giving some direction to other police, so he must have been a more senior bike harassment. At this point I could only imagine the sense of pride he must feel having gone to the academy to fight crime and protect the public and after probably ten+ years on the force he has now graduated to lieutenant of bike busters. But I digress. We moved to the curb and he told me I was being ticketed for not being far left enough. Oh, he must be very proud I thought!

"Not far left enough?" I said, "I was left of the car lane waiting at the light." Top bike buster 757 said I was not far left enough. I wasn't really clear on this far left enough, I mean did he want me to ride against the curb, two feet from the curb, two feet from the parking lane? I decided to try a curve ball and I said there was another cyclist to my left. He said, then you can't be there, he then said some flim flam about that I had to ride in single file. Which IS flim flam and not what the law says.
While Gowanus Lounge is ambivalent about Critical Mass, we are less ambivalent about the incredible amount of police resources that dedicated to hunting down and busting the bicyclists. (We also oppose the effort to impose new regulations that would make it easier to selectively target and ticket or arrest bicyclists, pedestrians and protestors.) It is worth noting that at the same time onNYTurf and other cyclists were being ticketed, two people were run down not very far way (one was killed) by a hit-and-run driver. Just some food for thought.


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