Sunday, April 02, 2006

Arrest Those Damn Bikers!

Wouldn't it be cool if our local media would write stories about things like this ... Cyclists being ticketed for ... gasp! ... get this! ... CYCLING! Geezum Crow! Where do these degenerates get the nerve to exhibit this kind of obscene behavior in our North Country?

Matt ;-)
Is It Even Legal To Cycle In Albany?

This evening about 35 bicyclers showed up for the monthly "Critical Mass" in Albany. Expecting to enjoy a ride with our friends, families and kids, we started biking down Madison. We made it, really, 50 feet before an Albany police officer stopped in front of us to halt the ride. [WHEN THERE ARE NO BIKE LANES, a biker has the right to take up an entire lane of traffic, so assumingly our 35 bicyclists may legally take up one lane as there is no bike lanes and it would be dangerous and illegal to ride on a sidewalk (obviously).]

Anyhow, the officer claimed that we cannot take up a lane of traffic as we ride on our bikes. As he flipped through a "rule book" it was apparent that he didn't know one way or the other. The officer claimed that we could discuss it with him and that no one may leave, or he would have to call for backup. (Thirty minutes of trying to reason with this person) Not really knowing what legal ground he had for stopping us from biking, he called for 2 cars for backup.

Several people left believing that this "discussion" was not going anywhere and more unreasoning and angry cops were on their way. The majority of us did then leave for the rest of our bikeride (10 minutes of frustrated biking over Lark and up Central Avenue in one, legal lane). We got the call that there was one confirmed ticket (for one person who presumably tried to reason with the police officer and took the brunt for the rest of us). Thank you!

Then, one police car did the same thing and stopped in our lane with lights a cirkus-like. As people biked past him, he picked one person on their bike and dragged them across the four lanes to the other side of the road (fortunately there happened to be no traffic passing!) Then, being among the few who passed the officer's nice-cop pleads of "C'mon guys, I wanna talk to you" we split up and went different ways. If anyone has any info on tickets/arrests and pictures, please post them.

Albany is BIKE-UNFRIENDLY. We have to do something about it! The cops want to flex their muscles but bicyclists are not breaking any laws!!!! We ARE traffic, it's time for the Albany police department to recognize that!


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