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Thursday, April 3, 2008

How Does An Embattled Police Force Restore Public Confidence?

posted by on April 3 at 9:32 AM

Spending a week issuing traffic tickets to the city’s bicyclists should do it!

From Slog tipper Kraskland (who also provided the photo):

This morning in Fremont there were police writing tickets to bicyclists for running stop signs on 34th and Evanston near the PCC. This was around 8:20am. I spoke with a motorcycle messenger and he said the police were all over the city writing similar tickets and he was being especially careful this week.


Alrighty then.

RSS icon Comments


Ticket bicyclists? But bicyclists are magic!

Posted by elenchos | April 3, 2008 9:33 AM

If you want to be treated as motorists on the road, you will be subject to the same laws as motorists.

Posted by Gomez | April 3, 2008 9:34 AM

and they shouldn't get tickets because....??

Posted by Jimmy Legs | April 3, 2008 9:34 AM

It's about priorities, people.

Posted by David Schmader | April 3, 2008 9:35 AM

Ironically, this increases my confidence in the SPD. Run a stop sign, get a ticket.

Posted by Joe M | April 3, 2008 9:36 AM

How dare those policemen enforce laws. Don't they know that cyclists are above mere traffic regulations?

Posted by tsm | April 3, 2008 9:36 AM

Works for me.

Posted by Fnarf | April 3, 2008 9:37 AM

i expect to see them issuing tickets to people for smoking in bus stops, next.

um, when will the police be exactly cracking down on motorists who nearly run over pedestrians in crosswalks, pray tell?

Posted by kinkos | April 3, 2008 9:38 AM


Posted by benxer | April 3, 2008 9:39 AM

@4, it's high time they made examples of a few cyclists, before one of them gets killed (or indirectly kills others) running a red light because it looked sufficiently safe to them.

Posted by tsm | April 3, 2008 9:39 AM

In the grand scheme of things do we really need to waste time and manpower righting jaywalking tickets?

All you self-righteous anti-bike dorks need to think about that next time it takes 45 minutes for an officer to respond when your car has been stolen or your home broken into.

Posted by Jeff | April 3, 2008 9:40 AM

This is long overdue.

Posted by Elvis | April 3, 2008 9:40 AM

Start seeing bicycle cops.

Posted by Jason Josephes | April 3, 2008 9:42 AM

I am not a pro-bicyclists-running-red-lights lobbyist. Running red lights is bad.

But I'd feel better if, say, corps of cops were sent out to ticket errant cyclists late on weekend nights, perhaps at the corners of Pike and Broadway, so cops might just nab a stabber or basher while protecting our precious traffic laws.

Posted by David Schmader | April 3, 2008 9:43 AM

i'm glad the spd does this from time to time.

Posted by some dude | April 3, 2008 9:44 AM

@8: Amen!

I've lost track of the number of times I've had to duck incoming traffic. Even better when is when they wave me along as I walk with the light because, y'know, I'm keeping them from their next Starbucks fix!

Posted by Chris B | April 3, 2008 9:46 AM

Thanks for finally stepping up SPD! I've seen bike riders nearly get hit or cause accidents quite regulary because some are quite selective with the rules of the road they choose to abide. A little crackdown will hopefully snap those rebels back in line...

Posted by ddv | April 3, 2008 9:48 AM
Posted by not Jonah | April 3, 2008 9:50 AM

18: click the subject line.

Posted by also not jonah | April 3, 2008 9:51 AM

Hey, I know that guy.

Posted by Mr. Poe | April 3, 2008 9:51 AM

priorities indeed. They don't stand on say, boren and seneca and issue tix to cars that are endangering pedestrians. I had to guide a BLIND lady the other day coz cars don't stop or slow down when they make a right turn onto seneca. Two cars nearly hit hit her.
The other day an old man got hit in that area and the cops took 45 minutes to respond.

Posted by orangekrush | April 3, 2008 9:54 AM

So the perception is that you've got police who are busy ticketing a bicyclist for running a stop sign. Then, a call comes in saying there's some serious crime in progress. Burglary or assault or whatever. And then...? Does anyone think that the cop just ignores that call and stands there writing bike tickets? Is that how it actually works in your mind? Come on.

The data say that Seattle has a lower violent crime rate than other cities. Yet nonviolent crime is high -- we're near the very top in that category. Pedestrian injuries are high. The evidence says that the cops are already pouring all their resources into violent crime and there's nothing left over for anything else.

No city our size in the US has a smaller police force. How can that not have a major impact somewhere?

Posted by elenchos | April 3, 2008 9:54 AM

@11 So we should stop pulling over cars who run red lights and endanger people because the police have better things to do?

Posted by jewritto | April 3, 2008 9:55 AM

I'm waiting for elenchos' pie charts!

Mmmmmm...pie. I hope its apple.

Posted by TheMisanthrope | April 3, 2008 9:56 AM

Really, this is a load of crap. Bikes and bikers aren't "magic" but they do NO damage by making rational judgments and ignoring useless stop signs. For all of the panicked talk about "someone getting killed! Or worse!" I defy you to find a single instance of a bike rider killing anyone by running a light. The bikers who die are almost inevitably the result of car drivers doing something dumb or illegal. This is simply one more way for fat cops to avoid straining themselves to solve real problems.

And on top of that, despite the years worth of evidence, it always pisses me off that the Slog is such a "law-and-order" crowd. My perspective says the police are bullies who can always be counted on to harass the people who don't have the resources to fight back - minorities, young people, immigrants, skateboarders and yes, bicyclists. Car drivers and wealthy people in general get a free pass. I say fuck the cops and to hell with their authority.

Posted by Gurldoggie | April 3, 2008 10:00 AM

My main problem with this, and the SPD's occasional crackdown on drivers, is that it's only used to make a point. They'll do this for a few days, stop, and everything goes back to normal.

Posted by keshmeshi | April 3, 2008 10:02 AM

All of that aside, thank you for the tip.

Posted by Gurldoggie | April 3, 2008 10:02 AM

They broke the law, if they were unlucky enough to get caught they should get a ticket.

I jaywalk at least 3-4 times a day... if I ever get a ticket, I will suck it up, because I willfully choose to ignore the law. Yeah, the police have better things to do, and I'm more careful when I cross in the middle of the block, etc., etc. But the fact is, I break the law when I jaywalk, so if I'm caught, too bad for me.

Posted by Julie | April 3, 2008 10:04 AM

If the story said that SPD was ticketing cars for running red lights, how many of you would be complaining?

Posted by Fifty-Two-Eighty | April 3, 2008 10:04 AM

Silly retards, Dumpt trucks disobeying traffic laws don't kill people. Fixed-gear bicycles do! Erica alreeady proved this.

Also, Derrick Ito is a fatty!

Posted by Bicycle Jihad | April 3, 2008 10:05 AM

Gurldoggie bringing the 13 year old angst to the party, nice.

If bicycles ride in the road, they need to follow the rules of the road. Which includes stopping at red lights and stop signs.

Contrary to Gurldoggie, not every act of a police officer is bullying, and not all car drivers are rich. Nor are all bike riders poor. That's one of the most uninformed generalizations I've heard in a while. Like I said, 13 year old angst.

Posted by Dan | April 3, 2008 10:05 AM

Gurldoggie, you're an idiot. So, nobody but the biker is harmed when the biker makes a stupid mistake, followed by "bikers who die are almost inevitably the result of car drivers doing something dumb or illegal"? Really. Bikers are all innocent? The majority of bikers are always the victims? You're throwing all of this on drivers, yet you started it off with being ever-so blasť about breaking the law.

If a semi ever hits you and you die on impact, I will be here on Slog to laugh about it.

Posted by Mr. Poe | April 3, 2008 10:07 AM

Are the police bored? Don't they have better ways to spend their time?

Posted by fullandbye | April 3, 2008 10:07 AM

Oh, I almost forgot. Fuck you.

Posted by Mr. Poe | April 3, 2008 10:08 AM

@4 Ticketing people for running stop signs should be a priority. It's fucking dangerous, particularly for the cyclist who's doing it.

Posted by Gitai | April 3, 2008 10:08 AM


Blindly blowing through stop signs on a bike is stupid and gives us all a bad name. But the intersection of 34th and Evanston is a pretty simple one to navigate without coming to a full stop on a bike.

I'd love to know the details of the infractions of those being ticketed. Were they doing 20mph? 5mph? And what direction were they coming from? Because if you're familiar with this spot, you'll know that not all stop signs at this intersection are created equal.

As for this being a waste of city resources: No shit. A complete waste. And SPD still hasn't found my bike.

Posted by DOUG. | April 3, 2008 10:09 AM

We can only hope they stuff a floor lamp up Fnarfs asshole for being guilty of criminal smugness.

Posted by ecce homo | April 3, 2008 10:10 AM

You know, the reason the suicide fence is going up on the Aurora bridge is because decent people a sick of looking at their splattered bodies in the parking lot below. And decent people want nothing to do with the suicide of dumbfuck bicyclists. If you want to die, kill yourself at home.

Posted by elenchos | April 3, 2008 10:11 AM

@26 -

it's only used to make a point.

Eh, but it's a point that needs making. Cyclists break the law regularly in Seattle because they're apparently quite confident they can. Or because they're barely even aware they're bound by laws at all.

Posted by tsm | April 3, 2008 10:12 AM

Thank you, #25. Slog is really starting to look and sound a lot like the P-I.

Seattle, and in particular Fremont at 8:25am, may be low crime communities, but there are places in this city that are fairly high-crime at all hours of the day, where it is virtually impossible to get a timely request for assistance. I think of my old neighborhood around Broadway and Boren as a place where, when you called in a report on the numerous drug dealers that work that area, you would almost never get a response, let alone some patrol time through the neighborhood. And the situation as you go farther south down Rainier is much worse.

Don't all you law and order types think this might register as a slightly higher priority than ticketing some cycling yuppie on a side street on his way to work? I suppose it is sending a message to the bikers, but the message being sent to those in underserved communities is much more powerful. And believer me, they are all hearing it loud and clear.

Posted by quilsone | April 3, 2008 10:13 AM

The best way to send a message to a biker with the Gurldoggie mindset is to introduce them to your fascia.

Posted by Mr. Poe | April 3, 2008 10:17 AM

Mr. Poe, Get a hold of yourself.

34th and Evanston give me a break. Like that's a fucking dangerous intersection.

You pro-cop pro-law pro-ticket people weird me out.

Signs don't save people -- people save people. Signs aren't real. Use your brains. It will all be OK! Baaa baaaa.

Posted by Chas S. | April 3, 2008 10:20 AM

The whining from Bike riders in this thread prove the point quite well.

You are little children with a toy fetish. You think you are above the law, while everyone must obey it. You think that somehow the use of a fucking bike makes you somehow superior.

When I am making a right turn onto Dexter, I make sure I cut off and freak out as many of you shit heads as I can. Fuck you and your stupid little toy. I can only hope when you run the light at Harrison, I am making a right turn and turn you into a quadroplegic.

The funniest thing about you shitting in a diaper and not having you arms work for the rest of your life you ask? Your insurance will pay for the damage to my Toyota.


Posted by ecce homo | April 3, 2008 10:20 AM

Again, Mr. Poe and others, bikers may be a problem, but there are much bigger problems going on throughout Seattle at exactly the same time, especially in parts of the city that are traditionally under-served by SPD. And this is where a department, particularly one that has been complaining so much recently about being stretched so thin, ought to be dedicating their resources.

Posted by quilsone | April 3, 2008 10:22 AM

This morning in Fremont I helped some tourists not pay for parking by showing them where the free parking in Fremont was.

So that's why there were so few bikers ...

Posted by Will in Seattle | April 3, 2008 10:22 AM

Mr. Poe, Get a hold of yourself.

34th and Evanston give me a break. Like that's a fucking dangerous intersection.

You pro-cop pro-law pro-ticket people weird me out.

Signs don't save people -- people save people. Signs aren't real. Use your brains. It will all be OK! Baaa baaaa.

Posted by Chas S | April 3, 2008 10:22 AM

Row well and serve this ship all ye believers.....the expulsion financing plan has taken affect.... ha! You can see them everywhere............. making life more enjoyable for everyone handing out little pieces paper and relinquishing good cheer to all forms of resistance.


Posted by anonymus | April 3, 2008 10:24 AM

@29 - probably no one.

I've got no inherent problem with this, or any other "make a point" patrol that they want to do. But it's a confusing contrast when you've got all these officers anonymously complaining about how short-staffed they are, and at the same time their highest-profile work involves ticketing cyclist/jaywalkers/etc.
and you've got a steady stream of complaints from the public regarding SPD's slow response to things like burglaries and thefts.

Posted by Hernandez | April 3, 2008 10:26 AM

Why did the slog tipper ask a motorcycle msgr why bicyclists were getting tix? And why was the motorcyclist being careful? Cuz he has 2 wheels?

Posted by mungo city | April 3, 2008 10:27 AM

Oh, and you know whats really fun?

Squirting super glue on bikers seats while "parked".

Also, try spreading dog shit on the handlebar grips. hey love that. After all, its organic!!!

Now thats the gift that keeps on giving.

Posted by ecce homo | April 3, 2008 10:28 AM

@44, read @22.

Posted by tsm | April 3, 2008 10:28 AM

what a rare occasion, that's me in the photo. yay! some specifics on what actually happened: 3 way stop, stop signs (not lights). I slow as I approach, look both ways (blinded by the morning sun in my eyes) and then proceed through the sign without making a full stop. next thing i know, a big mass of blue appears in front of me and interjects: 'step onto the curb for me' officer MD keefe proceeds to strap me with a $103 moving violation, no warning. good thing i am getting rid of my car. -your humble servant, petrol-heads.

Posted by the subject | April 3, 2008 10:29 AM


Too bad they didn't impound your precious pedal machine.

Posted by ecce homo | April 3, 2008 10:32 AM

Oh and #52,

You look like an idiot in all that "Gear".

REI must love you.

Posted by ecce homo | April 3, 2008 10:33 AM

The Subject @52: Which street were you riding on and what direction were you going?

Posted by DOUG. | April 3, 2008 10:38 AM

doug- on evanston heading east.

Posted by the subject | April 3, 2008 10:40 AM

The thing that bugs me the most about bicyclists is my uncertainty about what they're going to do next. I'm a defensive driver. I check out my environment as I'm moving along.

When I see a bicyclist, I have no idea if he's going to stop at the stop sign, or stop at the red light (and then run it) or not stop at the red light at all. It's usually about a 50/50 proposition. So my defensive reaction is: expect every cyclist to do something absolutely stupid -- because too often, they will.

Oh, before comparing with cars that run red lights, that occurs during the 1 - 3 seconds after the light turns red. Can't recall the last time I saw a car just blow through a light that was red on the approach -- common practice among the cycling community, alas.

So, go SPD. And yes, when the 911 call comes in, drop the ticketing and respond.

Posted by Perfect Voter | April 3, 2008 10:40 AM

@42 & 46

I'm not "pro-cop pro-law pro-ticket", but thanks for assuming so on the grounds that I'm anti-dumb fucking bicyclists who think their actions either don't matter or aren't comparable in any way to drivers on the road. You share the road with drivers. When the light is red, the light is red. There is no "judgment", you do what you're told. That's why it's there.

Posted by Mr. Poe | April 3, 2008 10:41 AM

Petrol-heads. Law and order types. Yuppies. Rich. Self-righteous anti-bike dorks. Wealthy people. Pro-cop pro-law pro-ticket people.

Nice stereotyping. But other than name calling and over-generalization, anybody got data?

Posted by elenchos | April 3, 2008 10:42 AM


I see that all the time in this city. In fact, I saw a car blow through a light (that had been red for a good long time) on my way to work this morning.

Posted by keshmeshi | April 3, 2008 10:46 AM


As much as the cyclist is in the wrong, it's not as simple as "you ran a stop sign, ergo you will assume 100% liability."

Reality is, the cyclist probably won't pay anything as few (any?) cyclists carry insurance for their bicycle as would a driver for his car. If anyone pays, it will likely be your insurance under your UIM coverage.

And as for "you shitting in a diaper and not having you (sic) arms work for the rest of your life", you will likely pay for that as well with all sorts of civil liability suits for which you will get to retain a lawyer. And with such an unrepentent attitude that you just advertised in public, virtually any lawyer can demonstrate to a jury that you displayed intentional criminal negligence entering the intersection.

Posted by Matthew | April 3, 2008 10:49 AM

@25 yeah, when I got hit by a bike it was only 18 stitches. Hardly life threatening. And the biker had enough self-rightiousness to make up for the scar she left me..

Posted by Rod | April 3, 2008 10:49 AM

I'm so glad the understaffed SPD are taking care of this horrible horrible problem.

Posted by monkey | April 3, 2008 10:51 AM

I blame clipless pedals for at least 50% of the laziness.

Posted by nbc | April 3, 2008 10:53 AM

For all you people whining about why they don't sit around and ticket cars who almost hit pedestrians, well, they do that to. Several times I have seen cops on 1st & Broad ticketing drivers who do not wait for peds to reach the other sidewalk before turning.
If you're breaking the law, then you get a ticket when you get caught, that's just the way it works (crazy!).
All this crap about them "having better things to do, bla blablaaa!" Well you deserve just as much to be ticketed for running stop signs on your bike as someone else does for driving their car 10 mph over the speed limit. Maybe the road is empty and you're not endangering anyone by driving 70 in a 60, but you're still breaking a law.
If you don't do it you won't get a ticket.

Posted by D | April 3, 2008 10:54 AM

My insurance will go after them, their wages, the homeowners (if they even own a home) or renters insurance. My insurance will either get their money or right it off.

After which I will retain a lawyer to sue them for mental anguish and distress in addition to property damage my vehicle.

If I am not at fault, I am not at fault. If they damage me as a result of the commission of a illegal act, then I will be made whole.

I have no compassion for the criminally stupid.

Now, go back to class kiddo.

Posted by ecce homo | April 3, 2008 11:00 AM

I don't know why I even bother to post in these in threads, but....

@51 and @22: how fast do you think an officer on a bicycle in Fremont can respond to a drug call in Rainier Beach? Even if they drop the ticket book and go, like, really fast? Maybe it would be a better idea to have these people patrolling high-crime neighborhoods to begin with?

Seattle as a whole is very low-crime, but there are still areas that are not. And that's where the police should be. Not at 34th and Evanston for gods sake.

Posted by quilsone | April 3, 2008 11:01 AM

About fucking time. It pisses me off seeing anyone--car or bike running a red light. It's selfish and dangerous.

Posted by Curtains | April 3, 2008 11:01 AM

Thank you Gurldoggie @25 and DOUG @36. I agree that Slog is surprisingly a Law and Order crowd on certain subjects.

I run stop signs all of the time, but that doesn't mean I blow through them at full speed. I slow down, look both ways, and if there is nobody coming I continue without unclipping from my pedals. I would like to live to a ripe old age. It is in my interest to be safe, and I believe that what I do is the safest way to proceed through an intersection.

Cops give tickets for revenue, not for safety. The pigs will always have resources for giving tickets, because it pays for itself. It's a good racket ... er I mean it's a good business model.

Despite breaking the law, does anyone really think that @52 was being irresponsible or unsafe?

Posted by Mahtli69 | April 3, 2008 11:07 AM

I got my 1st stop sign ticket from those two cops, at that intersection this morning. Iím not going to whine about getting the ticket. I slowed and rolled through the sign sure enough. Iím responsible enough to make up my own mind as to whether itís safe to cross a street. If it happens that a cop busts me, so be it. The other 40 some-odd times a cop has watched my roll a sign and only made a sarcastic remark reminds me that all in all the cops arenít bad, they were just sent out to do a job this morning.

Iíd just like to say I find it a little silly for staking out such a high bike traffic/ low car traffic sign. Itís kinda like shooting fish in a barrel. Iím sure there are some more dangerous locations they could have chosen.

This was my 1st ticket in three years. I usually ride in around 6:15am. There is almost no traffic. So, on average I slow and roll through 7-10 signs/light per morning, and stop and roll through another 4-5.

That works out to pocket change per light. I just hope my $103 goes to something good.

Posted by slow and roll | April 3, 2008 11:07 AM

The Subject @56: Evanston runs north/south. Did you make a turn onto 34th, hence "heading east"?

And I wish people would stop referring to this bicyclist as having run a "light". There's no light there. It's not a dangerous intersection or busy street, except for bikes and peds.

Posted by DOUG. | April 3, 2008 11:09 AM


I suspect that you don't understand how the precinct system is set up. Cops in fremont don't respond to "Drug call's" in Ranier Valley.

And I find it HILARIOUS, that all you whining pissy little bitches on your childrens toys are complaining about getting caught doing something illegal, and suggesting that the cops go after DRUGS!!!!

Well, try to remember that bullshit the next time you start whining about victimless crime, legalizing drugs, etc...

Fuck you

Posted by ecce homo | April 3, 2008 11:11 AM

I agree w 54. You look like a tool. Bikers often feel superior to others even though they are wearing tights and cleats that make them walk like they have been on the business end of a glory hole.

Posted by el Rutherford | April 3, 2008 11:17 AM

Wow, last week the SPD whines about not having enough officers to keep the public safe, (and I agree with them, to a point) and we see published reports about the SPD blowing off most non-violent crimes, (well, ma'am, sorry you were burgled but we're stretched to the limit and we're not going to do a damn thing about it even though you have a picture of the perp and fingerprints all over the house...) and then we get reports this week of the cops keeping busy handing out tickets to bicyclists and harassing music venues for being too noisy...yes, bad bicyclists need to be punished and clubs shouldn't be too loud but frankly I'd rather see the cops spending a little more time patrolling the streets and investigating and arresting thieves, vandals and drug dealers than ticketing bad bikers and hanging out at Chop Suey.

Posted by michael strangeways | April 3, 2008 11:18 AM

I spend as much time on Slog as anybody making fun of the bike fascists and their inordinate demands for lane space (and I will repeat again just to annoy them - "road diets" are fucking idiotic), but this is an equally ridiculous waste of limited police resources.

We've seen stories lately about how the cops won't even investigate hit and run drivers when witnesses give them the license plate, or about how they can find the time on 2nd and 3rd shift to go harass Capitol Hill clubs for being too loud, and the law and order schmucks posting here can say this is an effective use of resources with straight face?

Wow, just wow.

Oh, and Ecce - you're still a loathsome piece of shit (sorry to the rest of y'all for feeding the troll).

Posted by Mr. X | April 3, 2008 11:20 AM

quilsone; precinct coverage area would make it very unlikely a fremont cop would go from the north to the south to respond to a call. and given that there is a fixed amount of officers per precinct they arent likely to leave their assigned precinct unless it made logistical sense or another officer required backup.

Posted by Bellevue Ave | April 3, 2008 11:21 AM

@74 - OK, Michael, we just typed basically the exact same post at basically the exact same time. Scary....

Posted by Mr. X | April 3, 2008 11:22 AM

Its like everyone drank a big heaping cup of retard this morning.

I love these bicycle chats.

Posted by Rotten666 | April 3, 2008 11:25 AM

OK #70, maybe we should all start driving and riding our bikes like you do. Next time I'm rolling up to a stop sign in my car, if I *feel* like I'm being safe and it's a generally low traffic sign and it's 6am, therefore even less traffic...I guess since I feel ok about it, I'm going to just drive through that stop sign. If I get a ticket, oh well! I'm not going to whine about it! Being the responsible minded person I am, same goes for stop lights. Because hey, as long as I feel like I am doing it safely, it is totally ok. SWEET!
I think from now on I am going to pick and choose what laws I will follow. Killing someone? Now that is a huge offense so I'll probably not partake, being that I am responsible. But driving through red lights, oh hell yes!

Posted by D | April 3, 2008 11:27 AM

@78 - Mmmmmmm. That's some tasty retard. You know, I rarely have a second cup on non-bicycle chats.

Posted by Mahtli69 | April 3, 2008 11:27 AM

when is the crackdown on crazy transients crossing against green lights, just strolling into traffic, daring you to run them over?

bcuz they're a bigger hazard than bikes.

Posted by max solomon | April 3, 2008 11:27 AM

hey poe,

go fuck yourself...

lovely thought to laugh at a violent death

you an annoying little faggot who thinks he's clever

Posted by hey poe | April 3, 2008 11:28 AM

and you know why they can do this in the north precicnt area? because the focus of the north precinct doesnt revolve around violent crimes. no, the biggest problem up north apparently is drug dealing and prostitution.

Posted by Bellevue Ave | April 3, 2008 11:32 AM

#83 - good point. The north precinct officers could also be repsponding to helicopter noise complaints....

Posted by where is jeannie hale? | April 3, 2008 11:37 AM

oooh, if you go the crime data map you can obviously see that the only district that really sucks up north in both violent and property crime is around the ave. based on the likelyhood of a major crime happening in the north precinct in areas where they are likely to occur and when they are likely to occur, the stretching of the police for was probably pretty small.

Posted by Bellevue Ave | April 3, 2008 11:38 AM


Posted by Mr. Poe | April 3, 2008 11:39 AM

For those bemoaning some perceived "uneven enforcement" of traffic laws weighted against bicyclists at the expense of automobiles - you should sit inside my office, where practically every weekday morning motorcycle units spend roughly three hours pulling over speeders coming across the Aurora bridge up into Fremont/Wallingford. By my thoroughly unscientific count, they must get about 20 or so during that period - and it does occur at least three times a week; in fact, they're doing it as I type this.

Posted by COMTE | April 3, 2008 11:45 AM

The world is divided into those who think they are right.

All this bickering, speechifying and all the ad hominem attacks in the world won't significantly change the opinions of those already entrenched in their myopic assessments of humanity (with particular regard to the bicycle-riding segment).

This thread is now about tacos.

I like mine with guacamole.

Posted by Dingus Khan | April 3, 2008 11:45 AM

Matthew, that's just wrong. Most, not simply a majority, but MOST cyclists also have a car which they pay full insurance for and which also covers them on their bike. Interestingly enough, they pay the same amount even though their primary vehicle of choice has virtually no chance of physically hurting a motorist.

This is not to excuse red light/stop sign runners. The uncertainty that comes with that has a pretty negative impact all around regardless of what you're driving.

Posted by Citizen Gregg | April 3, 2008 11:46 AM

On staffing and emphasis patrols: The cops who complain about under-staffing are rarely the same people who make decisions about emphasis enforcement.

Jonah wrote a story about police officers responding slowly because they lacked resources. This is a story about SPD brass and/or the city responding to citizen complaints.

Without talking to a single bike-ticketing officer, I can guarantee they'd rather bust violent criminals or solve crimes than deal with "I know which laws I have to obey" bicyclists.

Please don't confuse the SPD with the cops who follow its orders.

Posted by six shooter | April 3, 2008 11:53 AM

Ha ha.

Posted by Nelson | April 3, 2008 11:58 AM

@90 - Are you sure? There are cops and there are traffic cops. For example, any cop who rides a motorcycle exists for the sole purpose of giving tickets and controlling traffic. Traffic cops are rarely understaffed because they generate revenue which pays their salaries.

Posted by Mahtli69 | April 3, 2008 12:00 PM

I also like my tacos with guacamole. I'm vegetarian, and the combo of guacamole and spicy fake meat is near-magical.

Posted by David Schmader | April 3, 2008 12:02 PM

@90: So this is likely a response to citizen complaints? A citizen like, oh, maybe Suzie Burke with Mayor McCheese on speed-dial, sitting in her red-doored tower high above that intersection, steamed that she can't control all of Fremont?

Tacos: Chicken with cilantro.

Posted by DOUG. | April 3, 2008 12:09 PM

Ecce @37, maybe you can use the floor lamp that's currently lodged in your ass.

And to The Subject - my sympathies, regardless of anyone's take on SPD's priorities or lack thereof. Getting a ticket sucks, even if you're guilty of the offense. Go to the court date-- maybe you can at least get the fine knocked down.

Posted by Joe M | April 3, 2008 12:10 PM

Breaking news! Derrick Ito eats cheezeburgers!

Posted by SpandexBallet | April 3, 2008 12:10 PM

His name is ecco homo, @95, not ecce. He gets very angry when you get it wrong.

Posted by tsm | April 3, 2008 12:13 PM

Don't assume people are anti-bike / pro-gas because they are angry at the cyclists that don't obey traffic laws. I'm more afraid for the life of the cyclist when they do stupid things, and believe me I see it all the time.

Posted by Todd | April 3, 2008 12:14 PM

both cyclists who were ticketed this morning and wrote about it here have demonstrated they acted safely. bikes not coming to a full stop are different than cars not coming to a full stop. (blowing through a busy intersection is different altogether.)

similar behavior for a car would include:

1. not stopping at the stop sign, but stopping slightly in front of it so you can see around the corner. i was pulled over for this once. even though i stopped, it was not soon enough.

2. turning while peds are still in the crosswalk. peds have to be a full lane away, or not a all if they are on your side of the street.

3. illegally passing a bicyclist. most cars illegally pass bicyclists when they pass them on the road.

4. speeding.

basically, when operating a vehicle on the road, you adapt to a common-sense approach to certain rules. you can understand if you get a ticket, but still think it's stupid if a sting is set-up for it.

can you imagine a speed trap that ticketed drivers for going 1 mph over the limit?

Posted by infrequent | April 3, 2008 12:26 PM

Whatever. I am a far more mannered bicyclist than a lot of my friends, which is unfortunate I guess. The stereotypes are not inaccurate. I try to promote my style of riding amongst my friends though.

I don't weave through traffic, I don't jump around, I signal, I stop or do whatever is necessary to avoid pedestrians, I stop at stoplights, I often stop at stop signs.

But I have blown off stop signs. I've also called out clear to other cyclists.

It's not going to change. If you hate cyclists, well fuck you, it's a war out there and we're taking casualties, but so is everyone else. I drive a lot too, needless to say I don't use my car as a weapon of intimidation. That's far more of a shithead move than rolling through a stopsign.

I mean, what are you going to really do about it? If you're one of these nuts who hates bicyclists then fine keep on keeping on.

OTOH, I won't complain about getting a ticket for blowing off a stop sign. If heavy enforcement of road laws against cyclists was a price we could pay for respect for cyclists and enforcement of driver's anti-cyclist behavior I'd be absolutely down for that.

Posted by daniel | April 3, 2008 12:33 PM

Every time a cyclists blows a stop sign God kills a kitten. And then Derrick Ito puts its deep-fried corpse on Ebay and one of you idiots pays $500 for it.

True story.

Posted by Laws are HAAAAAARD! | April 3, 2008 12:40 PM


Thank you for having some sense. It's about the spirit of the law vs the letter of the law. Bikes are somewhat different from cars. For a cyclist, momentum is paramount and being able to roll through a stop very slowly at less than 5mph seems pretty safe to me.

Idaho has *gasp* written a law specifically for cyclists at lights and stop signs. It is as follows:

"(2) A person operating a bicycle or human-powered vehicle approaching a
steady red traffic control light shall stop before entering the intersection
and shall yield to all other traffic. Once the person has yielded, he may
proceed through the steady red light with caution. Provided however, that a
person after slowing to a reasonable speed and yielding the right-of-way if
required, may cautiously make a right-hand turn. A left-hand turn onto a
one-way highway may be made on a red light after stopping and yielding to
other traffic."

Not the same thing, but progressive none the less.

Posted by Sir Learnslaot | April 3, 2008 12:43 PM

This would probably go down easier if SPD made a visible attempt at similarly cracking down on cars for the minutia of offenses their drivers repeatedly ignore.

Posted by Dougsf | April 3, 2008 12:44 PM

#93 "guacamole and spicy fake meat is near-magical."

Hell yes! As a fellow vegetarian, I marvel at the selections of faux-meat for my tacos. Yet, I always seem to go with regular smart-ground, go figure.

We use a special taco-sauce from PDX, though.

Posted by Dingus Khan | April 3, 2008 1:00 PM

I use to ride through that intersection every day, now as the trail is open again I go UNDER the bridge! The last time there was a cop perched at that intersection, with the cop watching, I made sure to stop with a trackstand and look both ways, the cop actually NODDED at me...which I presumed meant I was free to pass, a trackstand was HIS acceptable means of "stopping"? I'm not sure what method the other cops consider a stop (I doubt they commute by bike) would I have to stop such that I put my foot on the ground or is a wobbly track stand stop ok? a slow roll but with good look to the left then right then left again...? God knows WHAT the generic cop's standard is. And the cops, before, only ticketed those coming towards them, not going the other way as they would need to give chase. So...I wonder, if you could out run the cops? When they ask you to pull over, say...if you just keep going, their fat asses can't outrun a bike.

I only wish there were cops at that intersection the day I was brake checked by some prick who was cut off by a car in front of him, the driver was pissed off so he tried to get me to hit him by stopping short. Or the times cars run up that block the WRONG way to take a right to get on the bridge...or the illegal left turns.

oh yeah, they're only out there on days it isn't raining.

Posted by won't ride a fix | April 3, 2008 1:01 PM

im going to go eat a small child. im that fucking hungry.

Posted by derrickito | April 3, 2008 1:06 PM

A lot of crime happens at night, Schmader, so cop coverage that would troll trouble neighborhoods at night are re-allocated elsewhere. I understand getting on SPD for not trolling obvious crack-dealer spots like the 4th/Pike bus stop... but cyclists ignoring traffic laws (despite their constant bitching about disrespect from motorists) are a problem that should be addressed. If you're gonna damn the man, don't be a hypocrite. Demanding better coverage for law enforcement entails that, as a citizen, you respect the law in the first place. Your commentary entails you think cyclists shouldn't be punished for their misdeeds.

Posted by Gomez | April 3, 2008 1:08 PM

"im going to go eat a small child. im that fucking hungry."

With guacamole?

Posted by Dingus Khan | April 3, 2008 1:14 PM

Well, with the Lake Union trolley having just gotten in yet another accident, I guess the city needs all the money it can get...

There was a motorcycle cop at the same intersection yesterday, sitting sneakily just around the corner, out of sight, writing tickets for people who didnít come to a full stop at the sign before turning right.

But the ironic part of the bike thing:

As far as the "deterrence" aspect of is concerned this is a complete waste of time, because in two weeks the work on the Fremont bridge will be completed and the bike trail under the bridge should re-open, taking all 95% of the bike traffic back off 34th completely when it does!

Posted by Timrrr | April 3, 2008 1:18 PM

This SPD response was by request (by me, and others), and people were lined up to thank the officers. Cars aren't the problem at this intersection, nor are pedestrians. Bikes are. Walking in the crosswalk, 90% of bikers either ignore you, or try to shoo you out of the intersection. Its either the cops, or its an iron bar I bring to work from my garage. Your choice bikers - pay the ticket, or eat the steel.

Posted by wbrproductions | April 3, 2008 1:24 PM

Timrr - the bike trail's been open for 6 months - where have you been? Maybe you should stick to threads you know something about. It does work, at least temporarily. If SPD comes out regularly, then it will work for good.

Posted by wbrproductions | April 3, 2008 1:28 PM

Whoo hoo hoo! I've actually been ran over by a bike in the past year and almost hit twice in the last week and a half. I have NO problem with them doing this.

Posted by Nay | April 3, 2008 1:49 PM

Ha ha!

Also, tacos are best with sour cream.

Posted by King Rat | April 3, 2008 1:51 PM
This would probably go down easier if SPD made a visible attempt at similarly cracking down on cars for the minutia of offenses their drivers repeatedly ignore.
Totally. Or even better, maybe if the city invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in hardware that could be installed at problem intersections that took pictures of license plates when cars run red lights. then it'd be like this morning, except 24 hours a day, and the tickets could be mailed by a robot. it would "send a message", except it wouldn't be one day, it would be a 365 day type of deal, freeing up cops to do more important things.

if only we lived in a city with that kind of parity.

Posted by some dude | April 3, 2008 2:11 PM

BTW, I only came here to monitor the flame war I knew I'd start by emailing the cops. Mission accomplished.

To those who are complaining about crimes happening elsewhere - have you contacted the cops about those specific crimes? Or are you just waiving your hands in the air and saying "LOOK AT ME, DAMMIT, MY LIPS ARE FLAPPING"?

Posted by wbrproductions | April 3, 2008 2:23 PM

BTW, Part II. The tacos at the taco truck parked at 145th and 15th NE are awesome. Get the chicken tacos w/ avocado. 4 tacos plus a coke for 5 bucks.

Posted by wbrproductions | April 3, 2008 2:26 PM

So, if I take a stick out and start beating you in the head with it, and you yelled "STOP! STOP!" and I just slowed down, really slow, but kept on beating you in the head would it be the same thing? okay? Stop means STOP!, not slow down, STOP! If you want to "share" the road with motorist then obey the rules as the other motorist are suppose to do. Break the rules, get caught, then deal with it and quit crying about being abused and picked on.

As for SPD having better things to do, this is the traffic section DOING what it is supposed to do. If you bicyclist think you are being singled out and picked on you're not. Sit on 3rd Ave in the early morning or afternoon and watch how many vehicles get pulled over for driving on the closed street and are ticketed. Or you could check out the school zones that traffic sets up the radar to catch speeders. It IS what they doÖobey the law, or pay better attention looking for patrols, whether in a vehicle or on a bike.

Posted by One Time Cop | April 3, 2008 2:29 PM

I like young boys. And Crema Fresca.

Also, I'm really fat. And 47. And live in Olympia.

Posted by ecce homo | April 3, 2008 2:37 PM

The problem with Taco Trucks is that they often don't have a vegetarian option besides a salad of some kind.

Also, I don't get on well with onions or cilantro, and many purveyors of tacos load 'em up with these items.

Every group-ride I've been on where we stopped at a Taco Truck has been followed by at least one report of diarrhea afterward. I'm not saying that Taco Trucks are dirty or vectors for salmonella or E Coli, I'm just sayin' that they don't agree with everyone.

Home-made tacos are best.

Posted by Dingus Khan | April 3, 2008 3:05 PM

Google tells me that a guy by the name of Brian Richardson uses the online handle of "wbrproductions". And he's from Seattle! Is that you, Brian?

Posted by DOUG. | April 3, 2008 3:19 PM

@119 - why do you hate authentic Mexican food?

Posted by Tacos uber alles | April 3, 2008 4:04 PM

God vegetarians are pussies. Fucking die already.

Posted by Mr. Poe | April 3, 2008 4:08 PM

Anyone else notice the unused bike trail just one block south of that location, the one with only a few road crossings before it gets to the UW from Fremont?

Posted by Will in Seattle | April 3, 2008 4:37 PM

i too need authenticity to live

Posted by azatlan | April 3, 2008 5:18 PM

#118 is NOT me.

Please delete the message.

Sock puppetry is pathetic.

Posted by ecce homo | April 3, 2008 6:45 PM

Actually it was me. I'm such a loser.

Posted by ecce homo | April 3, 2008 10:20 PM

(Sorry, this comment isn't about tacos). I'm sure I have run that stop sign on my bike a hundred times. If the cops want to tax me a hundred bucks once or twice a year for the freedom to run stop signs when it's completely safe (no pedestrians or any other cross traffic), I can live with that. I would rather pay than do a dead-stop at every deserted stop sign just to follow a rule.

Posted by yuiop | April 4, 2008 2:39 AM

A pig is a pig, and that's that!

Posted by Wendy O'Williams | April 4, 2008 8:56 AM

All you sad sacks who are so filled with glee at the prospect of a couple of bike commuters getting tickets for rolling through a stop sign are such blatent hypocrites I'm embarrassed for you. Are you always so in favor of punishing victimless crimes? No, of course you're not. Why such venom reserved for bikes?

If you had an ounce of wisdom in your heads your attitude would be more like this: "well, biking is good for the city and good for the planet and it would be better if more people did it, so we should probably cut them some slack on obeying to the letter the traffic rules that were created for cars, which are totally different in terms of the risk they present to people and property."

The only conclusion I can reach is that y'all must have such sad and frustrated lives that you can't help but take it out irrationally on people who actually deserve your thanks.

Posted by Henry Miller Lite | April 4, 2008 9:00 AM

Cyclists deserve awards for so many reasons.

Posted by J | April 4, 2008 10:38 AM

OH NO!!!

Those dangerous cyclists!


Wonder if Scuzzie Burke had a hand in this...

Posted by jsm | April 4, 2008 10:44 AM

i still feel i expressed myself well @99. but i wanted to add something that is a bit of a speculation.

it seems one of the biggest pet peeves that drivers share is the thought that someone is getting to go faster when you are stuck. it could be the lane next to you moving faster at rush hour. or a car cutting in at the last minute.

drivers will sometimes not let someone turn or into the lane they occupy for this very reason.

so, every time a drivers sees a bicyclist get to flaunt a rule and "go faster" then them, the little anger switch flips in their head. where else would all the self-righteous indignation come from? we want the other to be punished because they didn't follow the rules we follow.

but it's different for a cyclist. they have slightly different mores to determine their behavior. it's not okay to blow through a red light without slowing or checking for cars. no. but to slow at a stop sign? there are not the same dangers of a car failing to stop.

cars have their own rules, too, as i outlined @99. if the police ran a sting to catch something listed there, and bicyclists posted messages like you see here, you would laugh at them.

yes, we all know what the rules are. we also know which rules are okay to bend.

Posted by infrequent | April 4, 2008 12:31 PM

This guy is a genuine hero who is making a sacrifice by pedaling through the cold so that he can do his part to help save the rest of us from destroying our home planet. We should do everyting we can to encourage cyclists not DISCOURAGE. Shame on the city of Seattle. I am embarassed for you people and what you want this city to be.

Posted by kevin hooyman | April 7, 2008 1:17 PM

This guy is a genuine hero who is making a sacrifice by pedaling through the cold so that he can do his part to help save the rest of us from destroying our home planet. We should do everyting we can to encourage cyclists not DISCOURAGE. Shame on the city of Seattle. I am embarassed for you people and what you want this city to be.

Posted by kevin hooyman | April 7, 2008 1:17 PM

I second the sentiment expressed in 133/134. Indeed, this guy is a hero for treading that much lighter on the planet. That so many of you can waste your time posting so much anti-biker venom is testament to your small-mindedness. Seattle can do better despite you all.

Posted by Sam D. | April 7, 2008 10:34 PM

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