I wonder if the OP tried appearing in court rather than just mailing in the fine. I've heard of a number of cases where the judge reduced the penalty upon hearing that the offender was a bicyclist - presumably because of the lesser potential for reducing public safety. One recent case involved a group ride where tickets were issued to the whole group for running a red. Those who went to court had the $400 tickets reduced to $50. And when I lived in NJ I remember that one could plead 'guilty but with an explanation' to argue for a reduced penalty based on circumstances. The OPs situation with a T-intersection is one where one could easily argue that his action did not conflict with the right-of-way of any other traffic and should therefore be treated more leniently even if he was guilty of violating the letter of the law.