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Charity ride nets small town $4000, courtesy of cycling scofflaws

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Charity ride nets small town $4000, courtesy of cycling scofflaws

Old 05-25-11, 10:44 AM
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TheHen
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Charity ride nets small town $4000, courtesy of cycling scofflaws

An old issue with organized rides reared its ugly head again this weekend. The police of Amity, OR decided they had had enough of the riders involved in Reach the Beach blowing through the town's stop signs, so they issued fourteen $317 traffic citations.

https://www.registerguard.com/web/new...arden.html.csp
(last blurb on the page)

I know others may disagree, but I'm with the cops on this one. I hasten to add that these small towns along Hwy 99W tend to also cite motorists with the same zero-tolerance attitude, which is one of the reasons these towns are a joy to walk or ride through. I've had motorists stop at crosswalks in these towns just because I looked like I might want to walk across the street.

The ride organizers do still have the option of paying off-duty cops to control the intersections and wave the cyclists through. It will be interesting to see if they do that next year.
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Old 05-25-11, 11:01 AM
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Form the article:
Some riders said they thought police were at the intersection to allow riders through because it was an organized event.
I find this credible. I've been at organized rides before where I couldn't tell what a cop was doing parked at an intersection. I stopped for the red light, then the cop yelled at me to go ahead through.
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Old 05-25-11, 11:09 AM
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Originally Posted by sggoodri View Post
Form the article:


I find this credible. I've been at organized rides before where I couldn't tell what a cop was doing parked at an intersection. I stopped for the red light, then the cop yelled at me to go ahead through.
I've had the same experience. However, I always wait for them to signal (or yell) me through. They do tend to take up different positions when they are doing facilitation as opposed to enforcement. I have experienced troopers in one county out doing enforcement on a double century ride and a couple hours later troopers in a different county were doing facilitation; it wasn't tough to tell what each was doing. It wasn't entirely unexpected since the ones doing enforcement were notoriously anti-bike. (They had botched a drunk-driving investigation where the drunk had killed a cyclist a couple years earlier and then one of their troopers hit a cyclist on the ride the year after that.)
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Old 05-25-11, 11:46 AM
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The last organized event there were officers at many intersections (signaled or signed) and they pointed which way to go if you asked and they gave words of encouragement as one rolled thru the stop signs. But they never waved us on. They seemed to be there to stop cross traffic when cyclists were approaching and to help with directions if needed.
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Old 05-25-11, 12:39 PM
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The only organized ride(s) I have been with any police that I can remember were the mayors rides when Dick Reardon was mayor of Los Angeles.

It is pretty easy to know what the police are doing when there are Motot officers at teh fromnt of the ride and they rotate to cork the intersections.

My only complaint is they were better trained for leading a cycling event than the motorbikes associated with major Cycling events are. Try as I might I could not get a draft on them. They kept 30 feet or more out front. No noticable exhaust, no noticable drafting. And I tried really hard on one ride.
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Old 05-25-11, 01:03 PM
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Originally Posted by TheHen View Post
An old issue with organized rides reared its ugly head again this weekend. The police of Amity, OR decided they had had enough of the riders involved in Reach the Beach blowing through the town's stop signs, so they issued fourteen $317 traffic citations.
I wonder how much it cost to issue the citations, and to defend them in court. The town probably won't have netted $4,000 when all is said and done.

But taking joy in other cyclists' suffering is good bike advocacy. "With friends like these..."
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Old 05-25-11, 02:51 PM
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I checked the Reach the Beach website and did not see any information regarding participants needing to follow all traffic rules during the sponsored event. I am interested in seeing the brochures they sent out as to the exact wording, placement, and font size of the warning.

I am also interested in seeing how the American Lung Association responds to the tickets issued during a fund raiser for them. Can cyclist use some of the donations raised for legal fees associated with riding in a sponsored event?

I would think that the revenue produced by having an event go through your town for one day would exceed the amount of the fines. What happens when the "Reach the Beach" events decides to take its business to another town or cyclists chose not to participate.

It sounds like a win or lose situation for either party when it really doesn't have to be.
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Old 05-25-11, 03:19 PM
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Sounds like 2986 of the riders had no problems with stopping.I have no problem with these tickets.Good for the city.I wonder if any of these cops want a job in L.A.?
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Old 05-25-11, 03:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Booger1 View Post
Sounds like 2986 of the riders had no problems with stopping.
Or, more likely, they just weren't cited for not stopping.
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Old 05-25-11, 06:10 PM
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I live near a very well known focus point for stop sign ticketing in Northern California. At weekends there is always an officer stationed for some portion of the day. It is a very, very popular location for cyclists with hundreds of riders passing through the intersection on weekend days. Of course I have seen drivers as well as cyclists receive tickets, and I have no sympathy, purely because it is such a well known location for a stakeout, and because I ride there every day to get to work.
The police have, on occasion set up a booth, with information for road users and on these occasions, I believe they excercise some leniency, whilst taking some time to stop and explain what they expect, to individual offenders.
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Old 05-25-11, 06:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Ed Holland View Post
I live near a very well known focus point for stop sign ticketing in Northern California. At weekends there is always an officer stationed for some portion of the day. It is a very, very popular location for cyclists with hundreds of riders passing through the intersection on weekend days. Of course I have seen drivers as well as cyclists receive tickets, and I have no sympathy, purely because it is such a well known location for a stakeout, and because I ride there every day to get to work.
The police have, on occasion set up a booth, with information for road users and on these occasions, I believe they excercise some leniency, whilst taking some time to stop and explain what they expect, to individual offenders.
Which is good and fine. What I have an issue is targeting a large organized charity type ride where there are usually police officers present at intersections to help cyclist flow.
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Old 06-01-11, 07:04 PM
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Well, either the event is marshalled by the police to help flow, or it isn't. If not, then it is an impromptu group ride regardless of charity fundraising activity, and the riders are to be expected to follow traffic rules. Were they truly targeted? If so then perhaps this is unfair police attention, but if the situation is repeated often enough, it is going to get noticed. That was my point in raising the situation close to where I live. As much as I love cycling, many residents are frustrated by the scofflaw attitude of some riders, and this has been brought to the attention of the authorities. Having a foot in both camps, I can see both sides of the debate quite clearly. Riders can take their chances, but should be prepared to pay their subscription to the county.....
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Old 06-01-11, 10:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Ed Holland View Post
Well, either the event is marshalled by the police to help flow, or it isn't.
Actually, it's not so simple. I've been on big (hundreds of riders) rides that did not have a pre-arranged police escort, but an individual cop took it upon himself to block traffic for it to go through. (Why, I'm not sure.)
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Old 06-02-11, 07:25 AM
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Sounds reasonable to me. Tickets justified IMO.
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Old 06-02-11, 07:55 AM
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Sounds to me like some of the old southern towns with speed traps to fill the town coffers.

Should the bike have stopped at a stop sign------yes. But this was a charity ride for heavens sake. So see above.
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Old 06-02-11, 08:06 AM
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Nobody thinks $317 is a bit steep for running a stop sign?
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Old 06-02-11, 08:30 AM
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Originally Posted by dougmc View Post
Actually, it's not so simple. I've been on big (hundreds of riders) rides that did not have a pre-arranged police escort, but an individual cop took it upon himself to block traffic for it to go through. (Why, I'm not sure.)
I've been on an unorganized ride with about 20 others and a police officer took it upon himself to escort us with lights flashing for 10mi thru about 5 lights which he blocked and waved us thru. Totally random, we waved and said thanks and he went off another direction.

I've been on a large organized charity ride that clearly stated in the rules to obey all traffic laws including signals/stops (explicitly called out in rules). At about half the stop signs a police officer was there and did not wave us thru, but appeared to be there to stop cross traffic as streams of us when thru stop signs and some gave words of support. Clearly they did not expect us to stop.
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Old 06-02-11, 11:45 AM
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Originally Posted by crhilton View Post
Nobody thinks $317 is a bit steep for running a stop sign?
Sounds about normal to me. If they really want to make money, they should start doing that for cars too. I've been paying attention for the last couple of years and so far apart from myself, I have seen a total of 3 cars actually stop completely at a stop sign when there was not cross traffic present.

Probably 4000 or more didn't. It's so incredibly rare that I actually post on my journal when I see a car driver actually stop at a stop sign.
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Old 06-02-11, 12:36 PM
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Originally Posted by ItsJustMe View Post
Sounds about normal to me. If they really want to make money, they should start doing that for cars too. I've been paying attention for the last couple of years and so far apart from myself, I have seen a total of 3 cars actually stop completely at a stop sign when there was not cross traffic present.

Probably 4000 or more didn't. It's so incredibly rare that I actually post on my journal when I see a car driver actually stop at a stop sign.
How many accidents did you see result from those 4000 or more who didn't come to a complete stop?
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Old 06-02-11, 02:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Paul Barnard View Post
How many accidents did you see result from those 4000 or more who didn't come to a complete stop?
Which is why I think $317 is awfully high. If you cause an accident doing it a $317 ticket, on top of being ruled at fault, seems more appropriate. If you don't even cause anyone to look at you cross...
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Old 06-02-11, 02:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Paul Barnard View Post
How many accidents did you see result from those 4000 or more who didn't come to a complete stop?
Considering that he said there was no cross traffic, I'm guessing the answer is "zero".

My experience is similar to ItsJustMe's -- most drivers don't completely stop at stop signs unless 1) there's somebody/something that needs yielding to or 2) there's a cop visible. I would say that the percentage that does it is higher than 0.1% -- but it's way less than 50% too -- perhaps 10%? My observation also applies to red lights when one is turning right -- people rarely come to a complete stop for these either.
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Old 06-02-11, 02:17 PM
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Originally Posted by dougmc View Post
Considering that he said there was no cross traffic, I'm guessing the answer is "zero".

My experience is similar to ItsJustMe's -- most drivers don't completely stop at stop signs unless 1) there's somebody/something that needs yielding to or 2) there's a cop visible. I would say that the percentage that does it is higher than 0.1% -- but it's way less than 50% too -- perhaps 10%? My observation also applies to red lights when one is turning right -- people rarely come to a complete stop for these either.
And most drivers, cyclists included, don't come to a full stop at the stop line or before the x=walk
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Old 06-02-11, 03:24 PM
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If I were the organizer I'd talk to other towns to see who wants us to go through, and as part of the materials sent out encourage people to patronize businesses in those towns, making a big deal of the special effort the towns are making. That will perhaps gather goodwill towards cyclists, and teach the other towns a lesson (though they probably will just say "good, we wanted to get rid of them" if they are anything like Elmhurst,IL and simliar that we've had to deal with)
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Old 06-02-11, 09:21 PM
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Originally Posted by ItsJustMe View Post
Sounds about normal to me. If they really want to make money, they should start doing that for cars too. I've been paying attention for the last couple of years and so far apart from myself, I have seen a total of 3 cars actually stop completely at a stop sign when there was not cross traffic present.

Probably 4000 or more didn't. It's so incredibly rare that I actually post on my journal when I see a car driver actually stop at a stop sign.
As stated by the OP, these small towns do write tickets to motorists with a zero-tolerance attitude. I have talked to several teenagers where I live who went to college near Amity and they nearly, or did indeed, lose their license due to their scofflaw driving habits that just weren't tolerated up there.

Originally Posted by Paul Barnard View Post
How many accidents did you see result from those 4000 or more who didn't come to a complete stop?
I don't think accidents are the whole story. Portland conducted a poll a few years ago that determined that one of the main obstacles to getting people to ride bikes was their fear of motorists. When they can watch the level of disdain motorists have for the law at every intersection, it is difficult to convince them that those same motorists will respect their legal right to use the road on a bike.
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Old 06-02-11, 09:40 PM
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Originally Posted by exile View Post
I checked the Reach the Beach website and did not see any information regarding participants needing to follow all traffic rules during the sponsored event.
Did it anywhere claim to be a closed-course event where riders could safely ignore traffic laws? If not, traffic laws would apply by default, and the ride organizers shouldn't really have to remind people of that. Presumably the riders were able to see that they were on a public street?
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