Clueless Cops

So yesterday one’s virtuous self was pedaling down Walnut Street on the sixth day of Bike Month on the way to the Little Old-Timey Library With the Date Stamps You All Wish You Could Play With In the Sky That Time Forgot (one’s token literary reference) when one was nodded to cheerily by a short but burley Cincinnati constable on the people’s very expensive constabulary two-wheeler. HE WAS ON THE BLEEDING SIDEWALK! Bicycle cops on the sidewalk. DCI ambassadors on bikes on the sidewalk. Drug delivery dudes on bikes on the sidewalk. Foolish librarians such as oneself and colleague Scripsi (who was actually ticketed for being on the sidewalk on his bike) out in the traffic amongst the lumbering Metro buses and evil SUV texterdrivers. What is with this city? IT’S BLEEDING BIKE MONTH! Can’t we get it right for thirty one days? How are we ever going to educate the horrible, and one truly means horrible, greater Cincinnati tri-stateland motorists about the rights of cyclists when THE COPS ARE ON THE SIDEWALK?

On the way into the Mercantile Library Building one encountered a Kitty’s Koffee-toting kop on foot, so one asked in one’s politest way just exactly what was the deal with his cycling colleagues on the sidewalk. Did that mean it was ok for all cyclists to be on the sidewalk? The koffeekop said we would have to ask a higher authority. He wouldn’t venture to say. Koward. Kraven. We were probably extra indignant because last Thursday, on National Bike Month Eve, at a meeting in the West End, one posed the same question, even more politely, to the three constables there to meet The People, and were told that they weren’t up on those cycling laws.

-Nemo Wolfe

Published in: on May 7, 2009 at 3:22 pm  Comments (8)  

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8 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Ticketed (with a head injury) for riding on the sidewalk after colliding with an SUV who had just run a stop sign (who wasn’t cited): $100
    Having that go on my record as having been an uninsured motorcyclist: priceless

  2. This always bothers me. There are lots of cops and ambassadors on bicycles in Downtown and Over-the-Rhine, but like you pointed out, they’re often on the sidewalks. They more so than anyone else need to be making the effort and setting the example. If we could change their behaviors I think it would be a big coup for the Cincinnati bicycling community.

  3. Roxanne Qualls is the pointperson on Complete Streets and she cycles. She needs to be involved.

  4. I was yelled at for taking a right turn at a redlight while riding my bike by a bike cop who was riding ON THE SIDEWALK, at night, without a headlamp.

  5. Has anyone reached out to DCI and CPD directly about this? You raise excellent points, and I have a feeling this issue hasn’t even crossed their minds.

    Thanks for bringing up this really important point!

  6. If individuals don’t want to make themselves conspicuous with questioning the notoriously touchy CPD, maybe Queen City Bike could do it as an organization? DCI, who are simply trying to keep Downtown civil, will probably be a little flustered, but we can send them this thread.

  7. Please know that Ron Mabry, Director of Ambassador Services for DCI, is addressing the concerns expressed in this blog. DCI’s bike ambassadors are trained in bike safety and laws, though it sounds as if they have been observed doing otherwise. We always appreciate direct feedback so that any issues may be addressed immediately. In the future, please call Ron Mabry’s cell at (513) 383-5075.

  8. It’s the police we’re really concerned about. They’re supposed to be irreproachable and exemplary, and they’re neither. The Ambassadors are doing a service. It might be nice, though if they would help put a little pressure on the police to set the best possible example.

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