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Dear PoPville: Ticketing Bicylists – Safety Measure or Fundraiser?

by Prince Of Petworth July 18, 2011 at 10:30 am 250 Comments


Photo by PoPville flickr user [F]oxymoron

A reader shares an email sent to CM Jim Graham:

This year, I decided to take advantage of the Capital Bikeshare. I am so pleased that DC has (or had) begun to make this city more walk-able and bike-able. Since I am a new biker, I am a very conscientious rider (and probably much slower than the average bicyclist). Well needless to say the other day I got pulled over by two police who set a “bicyclist trap”. They literally were pulling over bikes for rolling stops at a stop sign.

Ok, so while I agree we need to obey the rules of the road too, I have to say this “trap” felt particularly like the cops were just trying to raise revenue rather than raise awareness. I also am a bit concerned that we can afford to have two police officers stand out and trap bikes while we have a huge gang and murder problem going on in our Ward. I especially thought it was offensive given that it was just a couple days after the craziness that happened at the Caribbean Fest.

Again, I don’t make excuses for not following the rules of the road….I just question the use of our (what seems like scarce) police to actually set a trap for bikes. I think if we are trying to raise awareness for bicycle safety there are much better ways to do that.

The reader writes that the incident took place a couple of weeks ago at 8:05am around 14th and U St, NW.

Anyone else get a ticket on their bike for rolling through a stop sign?

Do you think this is a safety measure or a way to raise revenue?

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