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  1. #1
    Senior Member murphstahoe's Avatar
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    SFPD - Harrassment.

    http://holierthanyou.blogspot.com/20...sari-sfpd.html

    Original letter from the harrassee reposted here.

    From: Michael Anderson

    This morning while riding in the right lane heading east on Geary St. in front of the Curran Theater, I got "corked" by one of San Francisco's finest. His name: Sergeant M.G. Cesari. The officer came within inches of hitting me and then cut me off, causing me to slam on my brakes and swerve to the right. No siren, no lights, no warning at all! It was an attempted vehicular assault. Sgt. Cesari stepped out his car, and asked me for my driver's license. When I asked him why I was cut off, he became more annoyed than before and demanded my license. When I insisted on knowing why he needed my license, he told me I was impeding the flow of traffic. When I informed him that there was obviously no bike lane and that I'm allowed Full Use of the Lane, he told me that either I show him my license or he would take me to the station. I showed him my license, and after taking his time, he handed me a ticket to sign; CVC 22400a Impeding Flow of Traffic. When I told him that thi
    s was outrageous and wouldn't sign the ticket, he told me to turn around and put my hands behind my back! I said to him " you gotta be kidding me". He responded by saying that this is the last time I'm telling this to you. I reluctantly told him to show me the ticket and I'd sign it under protest.
    And yes I got his badge #: 155. I also took pictures but I have no witnesses.

    After this incident I headed straight to the SFBC office, where Andy helped me out and gave me some excellent advice. Next stop, Office of Citizens Complaints.

    And this all happened after a lovely morning of Christmas Shopping.
    Unbelievable!

    Thanks again to Andy Thornley!

    Be careful out there. Happy holidays to my fellow bicyclists.

    Michael Anderson

  2. #2
    Cycle Year Round CB HI's Avatar
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    Since bicycles are not considered vehicles under California code, that section of the law does not apply.


    Bicycle
    231. A bicycle is a device upon which any person may ride, propelled exclusively by human power through a belt, chain, or gears, and having one or more wheels. Persons riding bicycles are subject to the provisions of this code specified in Sections 21200 and 21200.5.
    Minimum Speed Law
    22400. (a) No person shall drive upon a highway at such a slow speed as to impede or block the normal and reasonable movement of traffic, unless the reduced speed is necessary for safe operation, because of a grade, or in compliance with law.

    No person shall bring a vehicle to a complete stop upon a highway so as to impede or block the normal and reasonable movement of traffic unless the stop is necessary for safe operation or in compliance with law.
    Notice how the CA code even spells out the only codes that apply to bicycles, which does not include CVC 22400a.
    Last edited by CB HI; 12-23-08 at 07:02 PM.

  3. #3
    Bicycle traffic engineer
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    Bicyclists have all the rights and duties of the driver of a vehicle

    Quote Originally Posted by CB HI View Post
    Since bicycles are not considered vehicles under California code, that section of the law does not apply.
    CVC 21200(a) says a bicyclist " has all the rights and is subject to all the provisions applicable to the driver of a vehicle by this division". Since 22440(a) is in the same division and applies to drivers of vehicles, it also applies to bicyclists.

    Nevertheless, CVC 22400(a) says, "No person shall drive upon a highway at such a slow speed as to impede or block the normal and reasonable movement of traffic, unless the reduced speed is ... in compliance with law." Since the bicyclist who was cited for 22400(a) was otherwise in compliance with law, he was not impeding traffic. In particular, he was in the right-hand lane of at least two lanes going in his direction, he was in compliance with CVC 21654(a), which requires slow moving vehicles to be in the right lane.

    _____
    CVC 21200(a)
    Every person riding a bicycle upon a highway has all the rights and is subject to all the provisions applicable to the driver of a vehicle by this division, including, but not limited to, provisions concerning driving under the influence of alcoholic beverages or drugs, and by Division 10 (commencing with Section 20000), Section 27400, Division 16.7 (commencing with Section 39000), Division 17 (commencing with Section 40000.1), and Division 18 (commencing with Section 42000), except those provisions which by their very nature can have no application.
    _____
    CVC 22400(a)

    No person shall drive upon a highway at such a slow speed as to impede or block the normal and reasonable movement of traffic, unless the reduced speed is necessary for safe operation, because of a grade, or in compliance with law.

    No person shall bring a vehicle to a complete stop upon a highway so as to impede or block the normal and reasonable movement of traffic unless the stop is necessary for safe operation or in compliance with law.
    _____
    CVC 21654(a)
    Notwithstanding the prima facie speed limits, any vehicle proceeding upon a highway at a speed less than the normal speed of traffic moving in the same direction at such time shall be driven in the right-hand lane for traffic or as close as practicable to the right-hand edge or curb, except when overtaking and passing another vehicle proceeding in the same direction or when preparing for a left turn at an intersection or into a private road or driveway.
    _____

  4. #4
    Cycle Year Round CB HI's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bshanteau View Post
    _____
    CVC 21654(a)
    Notwithstanding the prima facie speed limits, any vehicle proceeding upon a highway at a speed less than the normal speed of traffic moving in the same direction at such time shall be driven in the right-hand lane for traffic or as close as practicable to the right-hand edge or curb, except when overtaking and passing another vehicle proceeding in the same direction or when preparing for a left turn at an intersection or into a private road or driveway.
    _____
    So you are saying that it is the "Slow Moving Vehicle" law that applies and not the "Bicycles Stay Far Right" law that applies here?

  5. #5
    Senior Member StrangeWill's Avatar
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    He should get tazered just for having that blogspot name.

  6. #6
    Senior Member mike's Avatar
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    A lot of San Francisco's cops suck. Part of the problem is funding the police department via fines and parking tickets. SFPD police see citizens as a revenue stream that they can fleece and extract money.

    The San Francisco police department generates about $170 million dollars per year in parking tickets alone! That is crazy and abusive.

    It is no wonder you were harassed by a bulley cop. He was probably wondering what kind of ticket he could write.
    Mike

  7. #7
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    I'm confused.

    That section of Geary St. is one-way heading West. If the "harrassee" were riding East, as he wrote, he was riding the wrong way down a one-way street. He would warrant a ticket.

    Did he mean to say he was riding West, away from downtown?

    I ride in SF every day, including that part of the city, never had a problem from the SFPD.

  8. #8
    Senior Member hurricane harry's Avatar
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    Hindsight:

    You hit me. I think you hurt my leg ( rolling on ground now ), could you call the paramedics.

  9. #9
    PatronSaintOfDiscBrakes dynaryder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mike View Post
    The San Francisco police department generates about $170 million dollars per year in parking tickets alone! That is crazy and abusive.
    Not to threadjack,but ever watch Parking Wars on A&E? Parking tickets are usually deserved. "I was just running in for a second" when they're parked illegally for 15min,blocking a loading area/bus stop/fire hydrant. I'm constantly having to work around folks parked in the bike lanes around here. I have no sympathy for the majority of people who think hazard lights allow them to park anywhere/anytime they wish.

    C'dale BBU('05 and '09)/Super Six/Hooligan8and 3,Kona Dew Deluxe,Novara Buzz/Safari,Surly Big Dummy,Marin Pt Reyes,Giant Defy 1,Schwinn DBX SuperSport/Qualifier,Dahon Speed Pro TT,Brompton S6L

  10. #10
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    San Francisco has punitive 'street sweeping- no parking' ordinances that virtually ensures a motorist tickets by not moving their parked cars for 'street cleaning' on a weekly basis.

    I can see SF garnering significant revenue from these types of parking tickets.


    cops harassing bicyclists with a blatant ingnorance of the laws is nothing new. glad to see the rider will be taking it to the level of a formal complaint.
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

  11. #11
    Senior Member murphstahoe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mike View Post
    A lot of San Francisco's cops suck. Part of the problem is funding the police department via fines and parking tickets. SFPD police see citizens as a revenue stream that they can fleece and extract money.

    The San Francisco police department generates about $170 million dollars per year in parking tickets alone! That is crazy and abusive.

    It is no wonder you were harassed by a bulley cop. He was probably wondering what kind of ticket he could write.
    Parking tickets are DPT, not SFPD. money goes to MTA (MUNI among other things).

    If it isn't clear I am just the messenger.

  12. #12
    Senior Member murphstahoe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jhalv View Post
    I'm confused.

    That section of Geary St. is one-way heading West. If the "harrassee" were riding East, as he wrote, he was riding the wrong way down a one-way street. He would warrant a ticket.

    Did he mean to say he was riding West, away from downtown?

    I ride in SF every day, including that part of the city, never had a problem from the SFPD.
    Since he told me he was riding in the bus lane, and he says in the email he was riding in the right lane, I assume this was a typo.

  13. #13
    Bicycle traffic engineer
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    Quote Originally Posted by CB HI View Post
    So you are saying that it is the "Slow Moving Vehicle" law that applies and not the "Bicycles Stay Far Right" law that applies here?
    Exactly. The law that requires bicyclists to ride as far right as practicable is CVC 21202, which has several exceptions, including:
    1. Riding at or greater than the speed of traffic
    2. Passing a slower vehicle or cyclist
    3. Preparing for a left turn at an intersection or into a private road or driveway
    4. To avoid road hazards, such as debris or a pothole
    5. When the lane is too narrow to share safely side by side with a vehicle
    6. Where a right turn is authorized

    From what I can tell, the right-hand travel lane at the location where the OP was stopped met the narrow lane exception. Neither the narrow lane nor the right turn exception is listed in the CHP Redi Ref booklet that policemen in California carry around with them, so a lot of them are unaware of those exceptions. I am in contact with the CHP to try to get that rectified in the 2010 printing of the Redi Ref (the 2009 edition has already gone to press).

  14. #14
    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hurricane harry View Post
    Hindsight:

    You hit me. I think you hurt my leg ( rolling on ground now ), could you call the paramedics.
    Yeah too bad, but its never too late to report an incident on a personal blog and to leave out any details that may not reflect the truth of the holierthanyou status of the victim.

  15. #15
    DM4
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    Why must people come in here and whine about getting traffic tickets. My suspicion is that you committed a violation that warranted the ticket (Oh, wait, no, he targeted you for ABSOLUTELY no reason at all; poor fella'). I also suspect that the snotty attitude insured that you received the ticket as opposed to a warning. So, STFU, admit that you committed a violation, pay the fine, and go away.

    And what in the world does Christmas shopping have to do with it. Are all laws suspended during holiday shopping season?

  16. #16
    Team Fat Boy SeattleShaun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DM4 View Post
    Why must people come in here and whine about getting traffic tickets.
    Why must you come here spouting a bunch of nonsense?

    I have no idea what the circumstances are regarding the OP, just as you don't.

    I can say that I have been stopped by and harassed by a Mass State Trooper when I was riding perfectly legally. His contention was that I was required to ride on the sidewalk. Absent the large crowd that formed to watch the exchange, he probably would have ticketed or arrested me.

    And no, I was not going to simply meekly accept his illegal demands that I get on the sidewalk.

    This was many years ago - I hope that Police training has gotten better, but I am occaisionally shocked to read bizarre legal "opinions" by Police officers regarding the legality of riding a bicycle on city streets.

  17. #17
    Senior Member dougmc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by murphstahoe View Post
    When I told him that this was outrageous and wouldn't sign the ticket,
    I don't know California law specifically (I'm in Texas) but the law regarding this is pretty much the same in most places ...

    By signing the ticket you're agreeing to take care of it, not agreeing that the ticket is appropriate or warranted. If you don't sign it, I believe the next step is for them to arrest you and make sure you're not released until it's taken care of (or you agree to take care of it.) You might as well just sign it -- there's no benefit to refusing to do so.

    That said, fight the ticket!

  18. #18
    Cycling afficianado keesue's Avatar
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    Bicycle harrassment

    For a reputedly progessive area, the Bay Area is rather backwards, at least for some of the finest. A few cases in point:

    I was stopped along with my friends on road bikes for the exact same thing as the OP. The officer described us as 'lolly-gagging' in traffic even though we were hustling to get to the park. He was going to write us all tickets, but a car sped by after hooking the corner, thinking he was too busy with us to slow down. I made a comment to suggest that this guy was going to kill somebody and he jumped in his car to chase him.

    In Sausalito, they have a vigorous enforcement policy for cyclists. An officer pulled over a cyclist and in so doing was blocking the bike lane, causing the rest of us cyclists to go around in the car lane. Dumb. If that didn't take the cake, an officer pulled over another cyclist on the downhill section of Alexander drive, again, blocking the shoulder causing downhill cyclists to swerve out into the traffic land. Duh...

    Kinda embarrassing, really...
    Ridin' the back streets of San Fran on a Lemond Zurich, Torelli Tipo Uno, Cannondale F600, Specialized Enduro, a Dawes SST and Puch MTB to fetch beer .
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  19. #19
    Cycling afficianado keesue's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DM4 View Post
    Why must people come in here and whine about getting traffic tickets. My suspicion is that you committed a violation that warranted the ticket (Oh, wait, no, he targeted you for ABSOLUTELY no reason at all; poor fella'). I also suspect that the snotty attitude insured that you received the ticket as opposed to a warning. So, STFU, admit that you committed a violation, pay the fine, and go away.

    And what in the world does Christmas shopping have to do with it. Are all laws suspended during holiday shopping season?
    Jeez, man. This is a bike forum not the SFPD forum. Anyway, Merry Christmas to youse (that's joisey).
    Ridin' the back streets of San Fran on a Lemond Zurich, Torelli Tipo Uno, Cannondale F600, Specialized Enduro, a Dawes SST and Puch MTB to fetch beer .
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  20. #20
    Senior Member murphstahoe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DM4 View Post
    Why must people come in here and whine about getting traffic tickets. My suspicion is that you committed a violation that warranted the ticket (Oh, wait, no, he targeted you for ABSOLUTELY no reason at all; poor fella'). I also suspect that the snotty attitude insured that you received the ticket as opposed to a warning. So, STFU, admit that you committed a violation, pay the fine, and go away.

    And what in the world does Christmas shopping have to do with it. Are all laws suspended during holiday shopping season?
    I am not whining about getting a traffic ticket because I didn't get one. If you think Michael is being whiny, please contact him.

    STFU until you get some reading comprehension.

  21. #21
    Older than dirt CCrew's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by murphstahoe View Post
    STFU until you get some reading comprehension.

    Wow. That's impressive. Take anger management courses much?

  22. #22
    Randomhead
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    probably get angry due to anti-cyclist trolls

    Too many cops see nothing wrong with forcing a cyclist to stop by aggressive dangerous driving. If a cop does that to me, my first step is to call 911 and report vehicular assault.

  23. #23
    Senior Member StrangeWill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
    probably get angry due to anti-cyclist trolls

    Too many cops see nothing wrong with forcing a cyclist to stop by aggressive dangerous driving. If a cop does that to me, my first step is to call 911 and report vehicular assault.
    As he kicks you off your bike while you're reaching into your pocket for something...

    Meh, fighting irrational responses with irrational responses doesn't really do much but make you both look like fools.


    If you really cared as opposed to just trying to make some sad point, you'd get a bike/helmet mounted camera and kindly file a serious complaint against the officer with the evidence in hand, as opposed to an opinion that it may have been too close that no one can confirm.

    Cyclist that gets a ticket: "VEHICULAR ASSAULT!"
    Cop: "I pulled him over"

    Hmm who will they believe...

  24. #24
    Lanky Lass East Hill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DM4 View Post
    Why must people come in here and whine about getting traffic tickets. My suspicion is that you committed a violation that warranted the ticket (Oh, wait, no, he targeted you for ABSOLUTELY no reason at all; poor fella'). I also suspect that the snotty attitude insured that you received the ticket as opposed to a warning. So, STFU, admit that you committed a violation, pay the fine, and go away.

    And what in the world does Christmas shopping have to do with it. Are all laws suspended during holiday shopping season?
    Quote Originally Posted by murphstahoe View Post
    I am not whining about getting a traffic ticket because I didn't get one. If you think Michael is being whiny, please contact him.

    STFU until you get some reading comprehension.
    Quote Originally Posted by CCrew View Post
    Wow. That's impressive. Take anger management courses much?

    All right everyone--DM4, seriously, if you'd read the post you would have know that murphstahoe was NOT the person who got the ticket. There was no reason for you to use vulgarity directed at murphstahoe.

    CCrew, don't get on murphstahoe's case for returning the favour.

    So, to sum it up--knock off the nastiness, and try to be good, all right?

    East Hill
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  25. #25
    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by murphstahoe View Post
    I am not whining about getting a traffic ticket because I didn't get one. If you think Michael is being whiny, please contact him.

    STFU until you get some reading comprehension.
    Maybe that's what the holierthanyou blogger told the cop about the traffic code when he was stopped; but forgot to mention it on his blog.

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