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Old 07-20-06, 09:25 AM   #1
doublethink
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'biking off lane' in NYC

yesterday i attended traffic court with the hopes that my ticket for 'biking off lane' during critical mass would be dissmissed. Not only did the cop show up, he also had a detailed description of what happened (4 months later). The fine was 40 dollars which is not terrible, but i'd still like to appeal. Do I have any grounds for appeal, cosidering that a. I was making a turn; b. the cop grabbed my bag and literally pulled me off the road.
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Old 07-20-06, 09:41 AM   #2
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I am not a lawyer, nor do I play one on tv.

You can appeal whatever you want... For a $40 charge I would say you will be giving up more of your time than it is worth to go any further.

As far as the cop's actions, they are irrelevant to your legal status.

If you wish to file a complaint against the officer, that is your right, but it would not impact your citation if I were the judge. I can't think of a way to logically use another's misconduct after the fact to excuse your actions.

EDIT: Did the fact that you were turning left have any impact with this judge? If not, what would make you think that another judge would rule any differently?
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Old 07-20-06, 09:41 PM   #3
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Pay the fine...your time is worth more than the $40.
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Old 07-21-06, 05:43 AM   #4
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This is just another reason I will NEVER attend a critical mass ride.
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Old 07-21-06, 06:30 AM   #5
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I say appeal it! Money be damned, it's all about the principle!
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Old 07-22-06, 07:41 AM   #6
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And what, exactly, is the "principle" at stake here? Riding a bike unsafely in city traffic? Not obeying city and state traffic laws? Making a general nuissance out of oneself? Help me out here.
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Old 07-22-06, 12:37 PM   #7
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And what, exactly, is the "principle" at stake here? Riding a bike unsafely in city traffic? Not obeying city and state traffic laws? Making a general nuissance out of oneself? Help me out here.
I am sorry, but as you obviously already know, you can not win an argument about critical mass. If something happens bad to someone who was riding in CM, then it is an affront to cyclists everywhere... and all of the brethren should support the cause. If you mention you do not agree with either their position or their methods, then they fall back on the "We are all just individuals, there is no organizational goal."

I think it is kind of cute to see this fledgling non-organization trying to exist without existing... And if they evolve into a movement with worthwhile goals (which I hope they do), then I will worry more about one of them getting a ticket, and maybe even ride with them... until that hapens, I just enjoy the naive "We are taking a stand, but we won't say what we stand for or against" threads...



BTW - doublethink, I am just curious. What are your current thoughts on appealing?
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Old 07-22-06, 09:43 PM   #8
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This is just another reason I will NEVER attend a critical mass ride.
What is another reason? That the cops in NYC are a bunch of thugs? Or are you afraid of getting a ticket? I don't understand. Here in San Francisco, the cops gave up trying to stop Critical Mass and instead they send out a few motorcycle cops who mainly seem to be there just in case there are any serious altercations. All you naysayers and complainers can whine and moan about the anarchy of Critical Mass, but really, it only happens once a month and if people are patient the whole thing passes through in a few minutes and all the car people can continue on their merry way. It's fun. What more goal do we need other than once a month seeing how beautiful it would be if bikes were the majority rather than cars?

Why can't we have one city in this country that is free from car traffic? Right... all the car people would complain that we are taking away their god given right to drive. But I guess there is no right to ride a bike free of morons talking on cell phones and driving 2 ton killing machines, polluting the air we breathe and killing some 40,000 people a year in the USA alone (not to mention all the road kill animals).

Okay, I'm stepping down off my soap box. Which is made of sustainably harvested timber and used to contain handmade organic soap locally made and not tested on animals, but damn, the water I used with the soap came from the evil Hetch Hetchy dam... Ah, it's so nice to live on the Left Coast instead of in the Big Fascist Apple.
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Old 07-23-06, 02:09 AM   #9
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(not to mention all the road kill animals).
Don't diss the road kill aspect. Crows gotta eat, you know.
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