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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on May 24, 2011 11:46 PM. The previous post in this blog was Hail, hail, the gang's all here. The next post in this blog is Meltdown ooze dripping lower at Fukushima. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

A new kind of traffic trap

We're all familiar with speed traps in hamlets like Dundee. But just down the road in Amity, they've got another kind of trap -- a stop sign trap for bicyclists blowing through town on an organized charity ride. On this one, we declare complete neutrality.

Comments (16)

Amity police issue $4,000 in tickets to cyclists
I have just one question:

Why so few tickets? (4000 / 317 = 13 tickets)

There must have been hundreds of violators. Or were there only 13 riders that day?

Thanks
JK

Portland could use a public official with a back bone.

I love it. They have nothing to complain about.

Interesting that the comments section below the article is running about 90-10 in favor of this tactic. I wonder if Scam Adumbs and his bikies understand how far from the maintstream they really are.

And how many "California stops" do you make every day, JK? Are you going to lie and tell us "none"?

As for Amity, bicyclists have to obey the laws too. No sympathy for those bicylists.

What Gordon said. It would be helpful if the police put more effort into the more important and more difficult task of getting motorists to comply with the law.

"Buh buh buh... look at the motorists!"

I never do California stops. I'd be just fine with a cop following my car all day. The "every driver is a scofflaw" line is just as stupid as the "every cyclist is a scofflaw" line.

I lived in McMinnville for many years. It was very well known that when you see that first "Speed 30" sign coming southbound through town, that you better be doing 30. Not 32, not 33, but 30. That first intersection on the left, the road leading to the high school, more often than not had an Amity cop doing a speed trap.

And I don't blame them, since traffic on 99W drops off significantly south of McMinnville compared with north (about 1/3rd to 1/4th). 99W south of Amity all the way to Corvallis is a racetrack, with Rickreall and Monmouth being mere speedbumps.

The bicyclists have no right to complain. They broke the law, they were not being "unjustly stopped". Don't like it? Don't ride through Amity next time. I'm sure they won't mind.

Go to any intersection and watch autos "stop", a large percentage roll through. if everyone played by the rules, autos and bicycles and stopped completely, yet took the turns correctly on who goes through first, autos would hate it. the extra time it takes a bicyclist to stop put their foot down, and then get up to speed would add agonizing seconds to auto traffic. Motorist would wine and scream about this.

The vast majority of cyclists ride with safety and smoothness of traffic as a priority.

i ride bicycles and drive (alot). By far the largest group of hazardous road users are autos with people not paying attention. It is very difficult to ride a bike and not pay attention.

Welcome to Amity. Now get your hands up!

Snards - I wasn't suggesting every driver is a scofflaw. I was merely suggesting that JK is :)

The comments section (similar to bikeportland, for example) was loaded with whiny comments that go something "but, but, what about *cars* that run stop signs?"

That kind of whine never worked on the grade school hallway either, when I'd tell the teacher "but Bobby was running too! what about him? It's not fair! Waaah!"

When grownups complain about fairness, it almost always means "Crap. You caught me, and I'm going to blame it on unfair circumstances or other people".

Enough.

"Go to any intersection and watch autos "stop", a large percentage roll through."

I very much doubt that you've ever done that. It is a strawman argument.

It is very difficult to ride a bike and not pay attention.

And yet I see bike people do it every day...

...aided by earbuds, cell phones and water bottles - and, above all, the 'cloak'.


Because the "Reach the Beach" ride is a charity fundraiser, maybe the City of Amity could donate its little $4,000 bonus to the charity involved.

Ok let's talk a little reality here. In a car if you approach a sleepy intersection with a stop sign and good visibility and no moving traffic as far as the eye can see, you probably put your foot on the brake and slow down to a crawl, check for traffic, then move your foot to the accelerator. It's unlikely you completely stop the car, unhook your foot from the brake pedal, open your door and put a foot on the ground so you won't fall over, before resuming your drive. Yet that is what most cyclists have to do on a ride like this to come to a complete stop. Now, if these bicycle riders in packs were doing the same thing a car does, slowing to a crawl, just above falling over speed, and checking for traffic before resuming their ride, then a ticket from Amity was an ego statement, and not justified by cycling conduct that demonstrated a reasonable respect for the posted stop sign and intended right of way. Since there were only 13 tickets out of 3,000 riders, I suspect that we are not talking about the "almost a complete stop" riders, but rather the small percentage of riders who just blew off the stop sign. If that is the case, I hope the fines go to a good cause.


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