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What a ridiculous waste of time. So sad.

That's terrible. This isn't even a car vs. bike thing - I see cyclists blowing through red lights without even stopping, ALL THE TIME. Start there, MPD. Ticket the jerks who endanger others, not those of us who make completely safe rolling stops at empty intersections.

I was ticketed for a rolling stop at this intersection as well. A couple of dog walkers helped me argue with the cop, but to no avail. Any idea if this is part of a broader crackdown on bicycle moving violations or if it is response to neighborhood concerns over that intersection? There is a park right there, so maybe some vocal parents made a fuss at the ANC meeting.

I have no idea why this intersection is being targeted. Just on Tuesday there was talk about how safe rolling stops would not be targeted by the DDOT bicycle mounted enforcement teams, but then this is MPD not DDOT. I'd ask MPD.

Yesterday at 14th and Constitution at around 5:35pm:

I am waiting for the light to turn green. Cross traffic is red, I get in the pedals and want to start with the green light. I see a car speeding up (substantially faster than 25mph) to run the light on the inside lane and stop. Could have ended badly. AFTER that guy, a bus crosses the intersection. Unbelievable.

Even more: all this in plain view of a cop car waiting to turn right onto Constitution. Shift must have been over...

How fast are cars going through rolling stops? At least 10mph, my guess. Is that speed blowing through a stop sign on a bike? Just wondering.

I'd be OK with it if they were also ticketing cars going 26 mph on that stretch. Zero tolerance for everyone, hooray.

I'm in Chicago and got held up at a stop sign a couple of weeks ago when a line of 10-15 police officers, apparently on some sort of training, went through a 4-way stop... without stopping. I plan to use the anecdote if I ever get ticketed.

btw -- in case it wasn't obvious, the officers were all on bikes.

What a waste of time. With cars and I must admit reckless riders actually putting people at risk, it is very disappointing that a rolling stop in an empty intersection gets the ticket. Especially when rolling stops for bikes are, in my opinion, much safer than a foot down.

I often gently run the stop sign at this intersection for my own survival - getting the jump on the cars (yielding right of way and without inhibiting pedestrians or cross traffic, of course) is important because of the parking lane that begins about 10ft from the sign. I like to get ahead so I can ride into the lane to avoid getting doored - too often cars at that intersection will be pushing bikes very close to the cars since bikes have to merge towards the middle of the road (to accomodate the parking lane) presuming they don't take the lane directly at the sign. In sum, targeting this intersection in particularly is frustrating and really silly.

Frankly, stopping at a stop sign as a bike pretty much ensures that you'll never get noticed and you put yourself in harm's way in two ways:

1) Cross traffic that would have to stop won't because it notices the bike too late when the bike starts going again

2) Cars coming from behind to the stop will not see you standing there and run right into you

In both cases, they will use the Bob Novak defense (I just did not see him/ her) and be sent their way without any further sanction.

I actually looked at the link to the intersection which makes this whole operation even more obviously just a money making operation for the cop/ MPD. It would have been interesting to just film the guy for an hour and see who else would be stopped.

The cyclists who come to a rolling stop are the conscientious ones. I agree, start with the red light runners, then the stop sign runners, then the ones without any clothes, then...

"the ones without any clothes"? But what about the World Naked Bike Ride?

We've been over this before: cyclists don't endanger other road users. Inconvenience, yes, sometimes. Endanger, no.

Cyclists can, and do, hit and injure or kill other cyclists and pedestrians. Cyclists can,and do, cause drivers to kill or injure others through evasive maneuvers. We may have been over it before, but I guess we didn't reach agreement.

When we discussed it before, we found that cyclists hitting and injuring or killing others is extremeely rare -- maybe a couple times a year in a bad year. You're more likely to be hit and killed by lightning. No one in the discussion was able to find a documented case injury or death caused by a driver swerving to avoid a scofflaw cyclist, that's just urban myth. The risk to others posed by cyclists may not be zero, but it is imperceptible from zero.

It's too easy to think of bikes as mini versions of cars when it comes to safety. The reality is that cars generate massive negative externalities. For example, according to Tom Vanderbilt's book "Traffic" just the medical expenses due to automobile accidents come to about $2000 per automobile per year, with very little of that borne by the owners of the automobiles. Bicycles generate almost none of the externalities that cars do. We shouldn't be afraid to point that out.

Here's a story I posted a while ago [Coincidentally, the cyclist was charged under Georgia's 2nd degree vehicular homicide law] and another in Georgia and I seem to remember one in the UK.

But yes, it is rare. Rare, though, is not the same thing as "it doesn't happen."

My point is, IF the police feel the need to enforce laws on cyclists to achieve any one of the goals I discussed before (safety, congestion relief, revenue generation or to foster good citizenship) why not go after the crimes that are most likely to cause collisions?

I would add that in addition to death and injury (which are the most serious concerns), law enforcement has to consider property damage.

That being said, I think that Contrarian is probably right that the externalities produced by bikes are probably minuscule compared to those produced by cars. (Yes, you heard that right.) It's not unreasonable, however, for police to enforce traffic laws for reasons of safety, congestion relief, and good citizenship (or promoting lawfulness and civic values, as I would put it). Of course I agree that that enforcement should be targeted toward the most egregious and risky behavior.

Oh yeah, I'm not arguing with his claim that the externalities produced by bikes are probably minuscule compared to those produced by cars. I think on that we can all agree.

This the action of just one MPD officer. A heavy-set black cop who was also the one who ticketed a slew of cyclists at U and New Hampshire last year. He's well known to have a love of cyclist ticketing. I think its his envy of cyclists as his girth doesn't allow him the same bipedal pleasure.

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