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How is this helpful? How is this harmful?

Old 07-29-20, 04:39 PM
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Unca_Sam
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How is this helpful? How is this harmful?


Columbus, OH police bicycle patrol.

I encountered this while lazily riding along in my comfortable, confined, resource intensive cage. This is along a public street designated as a 'bicycle boulevard' with 'sharrows' painted in the road every mile or so. We traveled at 16-18 mph for about a mile and a half, or 5 minutes. The street is posted for 35 mph.

This 3 abreast formation (two faster officers were two abreast ahead) bothered me. Even with the center turn lane open, there was no safe pass with the cyclist riding just right of the yellow line. I considered it poor diplomacy not only for cyclists, but also for the police force. It's great that the officers are out of their cruisers and potentially interacting positively with the residents.

What do the rest of you think? Is this more of the same (i.e. police on patrol disregarding parking rules and posted speed limits, when there is no emergency)?
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Old 07-29-20, 04:48 PM
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Send the pic to the mayor's office with a letter or email of why it's wrong.

Of course, I have to ask. Did they run the red light?
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Old 07-29-20, 04:56 PM
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Originally Posted by FiftySix View Post
Send the pic to the mayor's office with a letter or email of why it's wrong.

Of course, I have to ask. Did they run the red light?

I thought they might, but they were timing the yellow on cross traffic and didn't start rolling until green.
Mayor Ginther has his hands full at the moment. I think the city is in the process of implementing police reforms for best practices, which puts more patrols on bikes. They've been working on that after the Stormy Daniels arrest was revealed as basically a setup.
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Old 07-29-20, 06:44 PM
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Sometimes on bike patrol you have to ride in ways that seem (or are) counter to the rules of the road. Those officers aren't out there on a bike ride ride, they're on patrol. They may have been looking for something/someone specific that could have required them to be together or any number of other things. If nothing else they were visible for crime prevention purposes and everyone in cars dutifully gave them the lane they were taking. That's something they (the drivers) might extend to you as regular cyclist one day. Like I said, it isn't a bike ride they're on, they're at work and just because you aren't privy to what that work is at the moment doesn't mean they aren't doing what they're supposed to do.

To put a finer point on it, you were using an electronic device while operating a motor vehicle behind cyclists on a public road and nobody busted your balls, right? Oh the irony

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Old 07-29-20, 06:48 PM
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There's a gap between them that you could blast through.
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Old 07-29-20, 07:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Unca_Sam View Post
This is along a public street designated as a 'bicycle boulevard' with 'sharrows' painted in the road every mile or so.
The sharrows are in the lane in which they are riding? In that case, they are riding appropriately.
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Old 07-29-20, 07:38 PM
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Originally Posted by nomadmax View Post
Sometimes on bike patrol you have to ride in ways that seem (or are) counter to the rules of the road. Those officers aren't out there on a bike ride ride, they're on patrol. They may have been looking for something/someone specific that could have required them to be together or any number of other things. If nothing else they were visible for crime prevention purposes and everyone in cars dutifully gave them the lane they were taking. That's something they (the drivers) might extend to you as regular cyclist one day. Like I said, it isn't a bike ride they're on, they're at work and just because you aren't privy to what that work is at the moment doesn't mean they aren't doing what they're supposed to do.

To put a finer point on it, you were using an electronic device while operating a motor vehicle behind cyclists on a public road and nobody busted your balls, right? Oh the irony
This was RTB. The precinct substation is another mile away.
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Old 07-29-20, 09:27 PM
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This is one of those many cases where, as a driver, I dismiss what might be a one-time breach of etiquette. If it's every day, then I'd call the station and just have a friendly chat. Mention that you're a fellow cyclist, and that courteous cycling is good for all cyclists and for traffic safety in general.
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Old 07-29-20, 09:45 PM
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Three abreast is illegal.
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Old 07-29-20, 09:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Unca_Sam View Post
This was RTB. The precinct substation is another mile away.
No crime or call for service has ever been within 1/4 mile of a police station house?

Have the courage to say what you mean, IE "I don't like cops and here are THREE of them who have the audacity to ride bicycles abreast in the middle of the street". It's honest, direct and it outlines what the real problem is. Which do you or anyone else here consider to be a more egregious act; three police officers riding bicycles abreast at 16-18 mph on a street designated as a "bicycle boulevard" or the driver of a car using an electronic device while following cyclists? As far as being "helpful or hurtful"? Nobody jacked you for your ride or wallet did they? Maybe their presence kept that from happening.

It's OK to hate the cops; just be man enough to say it instead of tip toeing around your true feelings while trying to hold the moral high ground. I'll pass along this piece of advice and be on my way; hanging on to those kind of feelings is like drinking poison hoping someone else will die.

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Old 07-29-20, 10:35 PM
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Originally Posted by nomadmax View Post
Which do you or anyone else here consider to be a more egregious act; three police officers cyclists riding bicycles abreast at 16-18 mph on across the entire width of a street
Fixed that for you.

And yes, it's a problem.

Put simply, road users who can't empathize the situation of other road users are a problem, no matter which mode of usage they are engaged in. "I'll do me, screw you" is not acceptable - no matter who you are.

Those road positions are not about requiring safe passing; those road positions are uncooperative gratuitous obstruction, plain and simple.

When "critical mass" people do this, they get arrested.

When the same cops who would arrest them for it do the same thing, it is abuse of power.

What's doubly sad is the waste of it all; this is just egregious misbehavior, but one or more bike cops riding *appropriately* on the radio with someone ahead in a cruiser to stop the scofflaws could do some good work in dealing with actual unsafe passing behavior.

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Old 07-30-20, 03:39 AM
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Obviously, they are deterring rioting. You don't see any rioting going on there, do you?

Seriously bad PR no matter how you look at it. There's no legitimate reason for it, and they'd definitely tell civilian cyclists to knock it off.
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Old 07-30-20, 04:19 AM
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Originally Posted by nomadmax View Post
No crime or call for service has ever been within 1/4 mile of a police station house?

Have the courage to say what you mean, IE "I don't like cops and here are THREE of them who have the audacity to ride bicycles abreast in the middle of the street". It's honest, direct and it outlines what the real problem is. Which do you or anyone else here consider to be a more egregious act; three police officers riding bicycles abreast at 16-18 mph on a street designated as a "bicycle boulevard" or the driver of a car using an electronic device while following cyclists? As far as being "helpful or hurtful"? Nobody jacked you for your ride or wallet did they? Maybe their presence kept that from happening.

It's OK to hate the cops; just be man enough to say it instead of tip toeing around your true feelings while trying to hold the moral high ground. I'll pass along this piece of advice and be on my way; hanging on to those kind of feelings is like drinking poison hoping someone else will die.
You should take your own advice, since I bear no ill will towards the law enforcement community. I simply expect them to follow the laws as written, and as they're enforced.

Yes, I took a risk using an electronic device while my vehicle rolled along at an idle in gear. I was at least 150 ft back from this peloton.

If I had all of the aposematic marking of a police officer while riding, maybe I would sit on the yellow line too, and save the risks associated with inconsiderate drivers overtaking without enough space, as these officers did. If could also be that they determined that riding abreast like that minimizes catching COVID-19 from the officer ahead 😒.

A quick summary of Ohio Code plus Columbus code Re: bicycles are vehicles.

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Old 07-30-20, 05:58 AM
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Half of what cops do is a visual deterrence. Like parking a car along an interstate just to get traffic to slow down. Who knows, maybe these cops were instructed to make a visual presence. Certainly a lot more visible out in the middle of the road like that.

Either way can't see it as anything to be upset about, but understand that won't stop some people.
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Old 07-30-20, 06:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Pop N Wood View Post
Half of what cops do is a visual deterrence. Like parking a car along an interstate just to get traffic to slow down. Who knows, maybe these cops were instructed to make a visual presence. Certainly a lot more visible out in the middle of the road like that.

Either way can't see it as anything to be upset about, but understand that won't stop some people.
Consider:
What speed do you drive on the highway without troopers visible?
What speed do you drive when you can't see them?

Do you avoid stealing from the store when there's an (off- duty) officer in uniform standing by the registers?

What about when there's no officer there?
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Old 07-30-20, 06:47 AM
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If riding 3 abreast is illegal, (it is in my state) then:




That lane clearly is not wide enough to safely share, so drivers are going to have to wait and/or change lanes. Even with a single rider.

And what of "posted at 35 mph"? Surely this doesn't exclude slower traffic, or imply that motorists can always expect to be able to go (at least!) 35.
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Old 07-30-20, 07:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Unca_Sam View Post
What do the rest of you think? Is this more of the same (i.e. police on patrol disregarding parking rules and posted speed limits, when there is no emergency)?
I see this as "more of the same" and it is a serious problem that goes beyond just setting a poor example. Just look at the headlines for the past month.

My take from history is that if a group abuses their power, they get a short-term win at the cost of an eventual long-term loss. (Some of the individuals don't live long enough to suffer the downfall, but eventually those in power are taken down. I'm looking at you, Uncle Joe.)

You can do a Magna Carta deal or you can have your Bastille stormed. I know which one turned out better for all concerned.

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Old 07-30-20, 07:23 AM
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In Ohio, it's legal to ride 2 abreast. In the circumstances that you present, that 2 riders were abreast and one was slightly behind, I'd say that they were meeting the requirements of the law. Bike boulevard with sharrows? Definitely! These guys were doing all of us a favor.
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Old 07-30-20, 07:33 AM
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Originally Posted by AlmostTrick View Post
If riding 3 abreast is illegal, (it is in my state) then:




That lane clearly is not wide enough to safely share, so drivers are going to have to wait and/or change lanes. Even with a single rider.

And what of "posted at 35 mph"? Surely this doesn't exclude slower traffic, or imply that motorists can always expect to be able to go (at least!) 35.
No, not wide enough to share. I don't know of any roads nearby that are wide enough to share (12 ft wide or so). There is a center turn lane that I routinely use to go around FRAP cyclists and stopped busses when safe. The 35 mph posted limit is important per Ohio law. You are allowed to pass any vehicle traveling less than 1/2 the posted limit whenever it is safe to do so. Junk car billowing blue smoke from the exhaust with the entire kitchen hanging out of the trunk traveling at 15 mph? Just go around. Cyclist out of the saddle climbing up a hill at 8 mph? If it's clear, go around.

With one officer just right off the yellow line, as opposed to FRAP or even the center of the lane, there's no safe pass, even if there was another lane of travel.
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Old 07-30-20, 08:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Unca_Sam View Post
No, not wide enough to share. I don't know of any roads nearby that are wide enough to share (12 ft wide or so). There is a center turn lane that I routinely use to go around FRAP cyclists and stopped busses when safe. The 35 mph posted limit is important per Ohio law. You are allowed to pass any vehicle traveling less than 1/2 the posted limit whenever it is safe to do so. Junk car billowing blue smoke from the exhaust with the entire kitchen hanging out of the trunk traveling at 15 mph? Just go around. Cyclist out of the saddle climbing up a hill at 8 mph? If it's clear, go around.

With one officer just right off the yellow line, as opposed to FRAP or even the center of the lane, there's no safe pass, even if there was another lane of travel.
All fair points. So you agree that in this situation a motorist needs to at least partially move into the center lane to overtake. It seems to me that 3 (or even 2) cyclists together changes the dynamics of what would or wouldn't allow for a safe pass. How would you propose they handle it?

Keep in mind that even if the cyclists actions are completely legal, many motorists will get their panties in a knot just because they were held up. Unlike you, most are ignorant as to what the rules actually are, and figure that cyclists are always wrong if they are in the drivers way. This is the more common problem. (not cyclists using too much of the lane) Maybe having police riding in the road could be helpful to show that cyclists do belong there.
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Old 07-30-20, 09:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Unca_Sam View Post
Consider:
What speed do you drive on the highway without troopers visible?
What speed do you drive when you can't see them?

Do you avoid stealing from the store when there's an (off- duty) officer in uniform standing by the registers?

What about when there's no officer there?
your thinking is too limited.

Go to a city council meeting sometimes. People actually complain about a lack of police presence. This makes them highly visible.
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Old 07-30-20, 09:23 AM
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A good opportunity to practice driving with patience and consideration of other road users.
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Old 07-31-20, 04:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Pop N Wood View Post
Half of what cops do is a visual deterrence. Like parking a car along an interstate just to get traffic to slow down. Who knows, maybe these cops were instructed to make a visual presence. Certainly a lot more visible out in the middle of the road like that.

Either way can't see it as anything to be upset about, but understand that won't stop some people.
Originally Posted by Moe Zhoost View Post
In Ohio, it's legal to ride 2 abreast. In the circumstances that you present, that 2 riders were abreast and one was slightly behind, I'd say that they were meeting the requirements of the law. Bike boulevard with sharrows? Definitely! These guys were doing all of us a favor.
Originally Posted by Daniel4 View Post
A good opportunity to practice driving with patience and consideration of other road users.

If their goal is to get drivers to start demanding doing away with bike patrols, this is exactly what they would do. If you want drivers to demand removal of the sharrows, this is what you would do. I don't think that's what the officers are trying to do, but it's really bad community relations.

My guess is it's probably a one-off. Three person patrols would be a very strange policy and the timing suggests that there's some training going on as the department is reforming.

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Old 07-31-20, 05:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Moe Zhoost View Post
In Ohio, it's legal to ride 2 abreast. In the circumstances that you present, that 2 riders were abreast and one was slightly behind, I'd say that they were meeting the requirements of the law. Bike boulevard with sharrows? Definitely! These guys were doing all of us a favor.
???

The riders in the picture at the top are riding next to each other.

If they are all going the same speed (no passing going on), they were riding abreast.

Or, the term "riding abreast" has no meaning.
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Old 07-31-20, 06:06 AM
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Originally Posted by njkayaker View Post
???

The riders in the picture at the top are riding next to each other.

If they are all going the same speed (no passing going on), they were riding abreast.

Or, the term "riding abreast" has no meaning.
5 riders, two not pictured because they dropped these three.
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