Crackdown

July 10, 2016 § 18 Comments

Now that the PVE residents have screamed bloody murder about cyclist scofflaws, as if that has anything at all to do with putting up signs that say “Bikes May Use Full Lane,” and “3-Feet, It’s the Law,” the police department has, shall we euphemistically say, “stepped up” its enforcement against bikers who violate The First PVE Cager Commandment:

  1. Thou shalt stop at stop signs.

On this morning’s Donut Ride, which I was mercifully absent from as Matt Wikstrom set a new KOM up Crest, when the group came lawlessly swooping through Paseo del Mar at the incredible speed of 30-ish miles an hour, a PVE cop lay in wait at the Cloyden Road t-intersection and burst into the middle of the peloton.

One rider later said, “I was sure twenty people were going down.”

Another rider said, “I know that crime doesn’t pay, but this is ridiculous. ”

A third rider said, “Brillo pad and bleach on my chamois for a week.”

So the PVE bike haters have successfully linked two completely unrelated issues. In order to be granted the legal right to ride on their roads, all cyclists have to obey the law. Doesn’t matter that cagers don’t. Doesn’t matter that not a single citation has ever been written for violation of the 3-foot law. Doesn’t matter that on the same day that the Donuteers blew through the stop sign at which there were no cars, endangering no one at all, another rider caught a driver on video committing assault with a deadly weapon against a cyclist. And of course it doesn’t matter that no charges will be filed against the pickup driver who was caught on video camera tailgating John Bacon shortly before his “mysterious” death.

None of that matters.

What matters is that if you ride in PVE, you had better understand that you will be subjected to strict enforcement of the First Commandment. If that means we are on our way to getting recognition of BMUFL, and if it means that the city is going to bring an equally heavy hand down on cagers who break the 3-foot rule, I’m not going to complain.

But if it’s just another attempt to privatize the public roads for the convenience of cagers, well, that’s a whole different kettle of fish. See you at the PVE council meeting this Tuesday, July 12, at 340 PV Drive, Palos Verdes Estates, 90274.

PS: If you’re planning on attending the Tuesday, July 12 meeting of the PV City Council, please note: 1) Although the meeting starts at 6:00 PM, public comment won’t begin until 7:30, and probably not until after that. So no need to be there at 6:00. 2) The council will be voting on the signs at their next July meeting; this meeting is an opportunity for us to communicate to the council that we support the signage and want them to vote on it at the next meeting. Hopefully you can attend both meetings.

END

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§ 18 Responses to Crackdown

  • Carlos says:

    I read somewhere that in recognition of the fact that a cyclist blowing through a stopsign poses insignificant danger to life and property in comparison to cars, some cities have enacted laws allowing cyclists to ride through those signs without stopping. Likewise they allow cyclists to treat traffic lights like stop signs – stop then proceed when safe.

    • fsethd says:

      I think that’s the Idaho stop rule. They may have something similar in Portland. I have no problem with cyclists getting cited for breaking the traffic laws. But I have a huge problem with cyclists getting cited while motorists assault them and fail to abide by the 3-foot law. If there’s going to be enforcement, it needs to be fair.

      And anyone cycling through PVE now who thinks they can ignore all stop signs with impunity is in for a rude awakening.

  • LesB says:

    Well maybe you’re a better man than I. I got a big problem with citing cyclists for these infractions.

    There is no enforcement organization in the world that even tries to enforce ALL the laws. It’s impossible, it would be overwhelming. Enforcement always has to cherry-pick which infractions to enforce. In so many circumstances the excuse is given “He broke the law, so we HAD to cite him.” Snowden, for example. I can’t think of any other specific examples right now, but I’ve heard the “had to” excuse many many times.

    In truth it’s “I CHOSE to cherry-pick this specific infraction and I’m not telling why because it’s a secret.” The had-to excuse is always a lie and always a cover-up for whatever is really going on.

    My favorite quote of all time, courtesy of Leonard Cohen:

    Everybody knows that the dice are loaded
    Everybody rolls with their fingers crossed
    Everybody knows the war is over
    Everybody knows the good guys lost
    Everybody knows the fight was fixed
    The poor stay poor, the rich get rich
    That’s how it goes
    Everybody knows

    • fsethd says:

      Les, I agree with you that citing for stop sign infractions is, of itself, ridiculous and, I’d add, harassing and abusive. However, if it’s matched with enforcement against drivers who assault cyclists and who violate the 3-foot rule, it is worth it simply because there are thousands of those violations for every biker who blows a stop sign.

      The reality is that if the law were enforced evenly, cagers would cry “Uncle!” and we’d all get a pass. In the current realpolitik phase we’re in, it’s acceptable to me for us to accept that there will be greater enforcement as long as it’s evenhanded.

      Picking on cyclists so that we can be allowed to use the public roads doesn’t wash, however.

  • channel_zero says:

    Rename the Title: Empire Strikes Back (2 of …)

    I’d be interested to know who arranged your donut ride exercise. Since leadership is so rigid in a typical police department, it seems to me this was an assigned task. Maybe I’m wrong.

    Maybe some career law enforcement readers can fill this question in?

    Please be careful. The locals aren’t done with putting cyclists in their place.

    • fsethd says:

      They’ve been out there before and stopped us, but never ticketed. And the patrol car reportedly sped in front of the onrushing peloton, narrowly avoiding multiple collisions.

  • marcacaruso says:

    The police will probably wait at key intersections a few times before the ride. Especially if they know when to expect you. A good idea would be to get hidden before the ride with a video camera and film the intersection. See if any cagers run the stop sign also. Then if the police don’t pull the motorist over but pull over cyclists. You can then go to court and claim discrimination and ask why the cop you have on video pulled over only the cyclists but non of the motorists for the same violation..

  • tonyguy says:

    To make a point…
    I would go to the same intersection with two video cameras. One focused on license plates and drivers faces, the second from the side showing a failure to stop. Bring video to PD and demand equal enforcement of stop sign statute re motorists.

    • Jorgensen says:

      Part of the reason I like PVE and made it the city I reside in was the lack of signaled intersections. The problem is that as the intersections range between four way stops to uncontrolled, the signs become a mere suggestion.
      The stop signs on a descent are violated by many, frequently.
      There are not enough officers to enforce the signs, no matter the vehicle type.

      My personal comment is I never understood the “share the road” sign with an icon of a bicycle. Who is the sign addressed to? The implication is that it is to either bicyclists or motor vehicles but I think the message is poor. A reminder of the 3 foot clearance when passing rule is better but is narrowed to that.

  • fsethd says:

    If you’re planning on attending the Tuesday, July 12 meeting of the PV City Council, please note: 1) Although the meeting starts at 6:00 PM, public comment won’t begin until 7:30, and probably not until after that. So no need to be there at 6:00. 2) The council will be voting on the signs at their next July meeting; this meeting is an opportunity for us to communicate to the council that we support the signage and want them to vote on it at the next meeting. Hopefully you can attend both meetings.

    • Carlos says:

      “Although the meeting starts at 6:00 PM, public comment won’t begin until 7:30, and probably not until after that. So no need to be there at 6:00”

      That said, I hope astute PV council member doesn’t think it clever to change the public comment period to right after the pledge of allegiance to the inanimate object.

  • Waldo says:

    Good luck on Tuesday, Seth and friends.

  • […] Cycling in the South Bay’s Seth Davidson notes that it’s surely just a coincidence that days after the cyclists’ victory at the committee […]

  • Michael Hunter says:

    Each person on the ride should in single file, make a full and complete stop, then move on after carefully ensuring that it is safe. Then the next rider will stop fully, and move on when it is safe. And then the next, and the next, and the next… If enforcement is targeting you, then you totally obey the law to make a point. It will not take too long before everyone, policemen included, will begin to catch on. Mayhap the folks will begin to demand common sense.

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