Sunday, May 22, 2011

Let my poeple ride

The interaction pictured comes via an impromptu traffic observation session last thursday night. While relaxing on a friend's front steps on 18th and Hiltard, an abnormally high number of police cruiser were noted passing by. Somewhere between 15 to 20 times the police were counted driving on Hilyard. by. In the roughly two hours observing, the only vehicle that we saw pulled over in that time was the bicyclist pictured. His offence? "Running a yellow light" according to him. His punishment? $26o ticket. The cyclist, who had front and rear lights, was being spoken to by two police officers for an unusually long time — ten plus minutes. (Both of the officer's let their police cruiser's idle for those ten plus minutes. It seemed like an odd use of time and energy from the Police Department. Further, what does it say about the way the police department is fostering the City of Eugene's commitment to cycling? Why are police singling out cyclists to give tickets to? Anyone who has been through that intersection is aware that drivers oft go much faster than the posted speed. Interactions like these aren't all that rare. I was pulled over last summer by two officers for running a stop sign on 13th and University. There were no shortage of speeders last Thursday. It will be interesting to see how cyclists are treated by the police in Amsterdam.

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