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Old 07-13-11, 10:13 PM   #1
irclean
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Bicycle Cops on the MUP?!!

While I concede that this may be a common sight in other areas, here in conservative London, Ontario this was a new one to me: I was sitting on a bench by the playground while my son clambered on the climbers, when I saw a couple of uniformed cyclists go by on the MUP. Spotting what could only be "POLICE" in big white letters on the back of their shirts, I thought to myself that it feels good to know that our MUPs are being patrolled.

As my son and I started for home I began to wonder if we would run into the cops coming back the other way. No sooner did the thought cross my mind that we almost did just that... literally.

There is a line painted down the middle of the MUP to separate traffic traveling in different directions, and as we rounded a blind curve, Cop#1 was in the oncoming lane and was looking down at what I assumed was a cell phone. I got on the binders and avoided a collision as we swerved in opposite directions. I'm glad I was cruising with my son, hauling him on his Trail-a-Bike instead of being out on a high-speed fitness ride on one of my faster bikes.

As we passed I heard a garbled voice that sounded like it was coming from a two-way radio. Instead of coming from a mike clipped to the cop's shoulder I thought he must of had his cell on "speakerphone" mode. In any case, even if he was using a two-way, he was obviously distracted by the device he was holding in his hand. I'm just glad we avoided a collision.

I welcome the presence of bike cops on the MUP, I just hope they keep their eyes on the road as they do their job... and pull over for cell phone use.

Last edited by irclean; 07-13-11 at 10:20 PM.
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Old 07-13-11, 11:17 PM   #2
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Be glad your cops were on bicycles. In my area, there's a cop on a Harley who frequently uses the MUP as a short-cut... He doesn't go much faster than walking speed, but takes up darn near the entire path!
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Old 07-13-11, 11:58 PM   #3
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Cops on bikes! On one of the hilly training courses I ride, I saw a patrol car pull up, drop off two cops and they sat at a stop sign writing tickets to drivers that failed to make a complete stop at a sign. I did a few loops then near the end of my ride, I saw the patrol car return to pick them up!:roflamo2:
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Old 07-14-11, 12:03 AM   #4
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The MUP in my town has had a rash of muggings lately... blech. All late at night, and all single female joggers, so a cop on the trail THEN would probably be welcome.

Not sure what they hope to accomplish in broad daylight on a cell phone.
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Old 07-14-11, 12:16 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by irclean View Post
As my son and I started for home I began to wonder if we would run into the cops coming back the other way. No sooner did the thought cross my mind that we almost did just that... literally.
At least they're not doing it like Dallas; the WRT is exactly a Crown Victoria wide for most of its length, and you'll be cruising along one of the twisty bits and round a corner straight into the front of a DPD cruiser "patrolling the trail."
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Old 07-14-11, 10:50 AM   #6
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What's a MUP??
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Old 07-14-11, 10:51 AM   #7
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Multi-Use Path
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Old 07-14-11, 10:57 AM   #8
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I see them here all the time on the section near downtown. Good thing, since there's lots of shady characters around there.
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Old 07-14-11, 12:17 PM   #9
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What's a MUP??
It's an area where they park city vehicles that rarely do any city work. Unless you count putting orange cones around ones truck .
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Old 07-14-11, 02:17 PM   #10
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We have our own levee police!

Basically they ride up and down the levee, where our MUP is, in their four wheel drives.

At least they give us bikers the right of way.
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Old 07-14-11, 02:26 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by sstorkel View Post
Be glad your cops were on bicycles. In my area, there's a cop on a Harley who frequently uses the MUP as a short-cut... He doesn't go much faster than walking speed, but takes up darn near the entire path!
I have the same thing in our town: the cop on a Harley. The only time he's ever caused any issue was when he was coming across an old converted railroad trestle that was too narrow for both him and me. He was halfway across and I had to wait for him until I entered the trestle. Everywhere else I've encountered him the MUP is wide enough to pass safely.

I don't know if he's taking a short cut, or just out patrolling. Until I have proof of the former, I'll assume the latter.
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Old 07-14-11, 02:33 PM   #12
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There's 4 paths I frequent:

1) Lancaster: Only seen a police officer on bike once here. Riding a bike up and down the path. Another time a police officer drove up the path on his cruiser, taking up the entire lane. He did pull over onto the grass to prevent me from having to do the same though, so that was ok.
2) Clarence/Newstead: Seen a police officer ride it in his cruiser... did not pull over for anyone, and took up the entire path. There's also several cameras, which I assume do most of the policing.
3) UB/Amherst: Always police on bicycles here.
4) Niagara Riverwalk: Never seen police here.
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Old 07-14-11, 03:11 PM   #13
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At least they're not doing it like Dallas; the WRT is exactly a Crown Victoria wide for most of its length, and you'll be cruising along one of the twisty bits and round a corner straight into the front of a DPD cruiser "patrolling the trail."
That sounds like a lawsuit in waiting.
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Old 07-14-11, 04:39 PM   #14
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While I concede that this may be a common sight in other areas
Nope ... our bike cops ride on the sidewalk.
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Old 07-14-11, 04:40 PM   #15
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What's a MUP??
Mixed use trail. Some examples in my area are the Burke Gilman Trail, the Sammamish River Trail, the Green River Trail, etc. I don't know of any named such and such path. I think it's a VC thing to denigrate them.
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Old 07-14-11, 05:23 PM   #16
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Nope ... our bike cops ride on the sidewalk.
I just saw the meter maid riding a bike on the sidewalk. I already knew they drove Priuses, but I forgot about the bikes.
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Old 07-14-11, 05:57 PM   #17
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ya, lots of bike cops in Toronto. They have these big double-kickstands and never have to lock up their bikes. Nobody touches them. It looks incredibly free just to hop off the bike and enter a store, no worries at all.
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Old 07-14-11, 06:23 PM   #18
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Nobody touches them. It looks incredibly free just to hop off the bike and enter a store, no worries at all.
If anybody was stupid enough to steal a police bike, I'd be willing to bet they'd be tracked down rather quickly. There's probably a GPS tracking device hidden in the bike somewhere.

Hey, that would be a great idea for curbing civilian bike theft!
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Old 07-14-11, 10:24 PM   #19
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Multi-Use Path
Since I rarely ride on them but I guess I should have known that. Specially since one of those rare occasions was just a week or so ago.
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Old 07-14-11, 11:16 PM   #20
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That sounds like a lawsuit in waiting.
Unfortunately, reflexes are quicker than the thought process required to "fail to avoid" the car in front of a lot of witnesses who don't like cops.

I did keep waiting for him to run somebody on 23s into the dirt when it was muddy enough to grab narrow wheels and send them over the bars, though.
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Old 07-15-11, 05:23 AM   #21
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I don't see it too often, but there are a few in Harrisburg. Usually riding in a group of three. I don't think I've ever seen them on the MUP that circles the city, though. I am happy to see them paroling on bike even if the area is pretty bicyclist friendly (not bike friendly as the capital of PA has exactly one bicycle lane that doesn't go anywhere useful, generally the drivers have a good attitude towards cyclists).
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Old 07-15-11, 09:55 AM   #22
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ya, lots of bike cops in Toronto. They have these big double-kickstands and never have to lock up their bikes. Nobody touches them. It looks incredibly free just to hop off the bike and enter a store, no worries at all.
I heard a story about somebody who kicked a police bike that had been left on its kickstand. He was arrested for some low degree of assault on a police officer. If he ever gets pulled over, he's a marked man, I'm sure. The police leave their cars running when they get out of them around here, and I've always wanted to see somebody try to steal one. It would be tragic, but entertaining.
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Old 07-15-11, 12:09 PM   #23
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Some of these cases seem like pretty egregious safety issues. If I encountered that kind of thing with any regularity (esp. patrol cars on twisty sections of the MUP) I'd think about contacting local authorities (police, local bicycle/pedestrian advisory committee, bike coordinator, city council) to explore viable solutions.
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Old 07-15-11, 12:15 PM   #24
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The police leave their cars running when they get out of them around here, and I've always wanted to see somebody try to steal one. It would be tragic, but entertaining.
It's happened several times here in California, Ambulances and fire trucks too. Sometimes there was some good pursuit footage from the lead cop's dashcam.
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Old 07-15-11, 03:02 PM   #25
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No bike cops on MUPs but I did see a couple bike cops pull over a car a ticket the driver.
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