Thursday, August 28, 2008

This Just In: BSNYC Nabbed by the Cops!


If you read this blog regularly (or at all for that matter), you know I can be highly critical. However, like most critics, it appears that the person most in need of criticism is myself. Just as Eliot Spitzer pledged to root out corruption yet used governent funds to pay for sex, I myself am guilty of violating the very ideals for which I supposedly stand. Yes, I, who have lambasted bike salmon and bike lane squatters on this very blog, was just written a ticket for running a red light on my bicycle. So in the interest of both purging myself and serving as a role model to others (it's OK to do bad stuff and benefit from it as long as you say you're sorry afterwards--just ask David Millar) I present to you my story.

It was a morning like any other (you might also want to play this for ambiance) as I approached a major intersection. While I generally wait for the green here, this can sometimes be very irritating, as the big rigs turning off the avenue together with the line of vehicles always waiting to get into the car wash on the corner as well as the general impatience of the drivers behind can make waiting at this light a particularly stressful affair. As such, when a window presents itself I will occasionally run the light in order to make the left onto the avenue. Which is what I did.

Unfortunately, this morning I did so right in front of a police cruiser. Here is a diagram which should help you visualize the situation:



The police car is represented by the Police, which is fitting because there were actually three officers in the car and it's entirely possible the one in the back seat smoking was Stewart Copeland. I am represented by the guy in the chicken suit, and the car wash is represented by the movie "Car Wash." As you can see, I'm in the process of making a left turn onto the avenue, only to encounter the police car on my right, at which point one of the officers (not Stewart Copeland judging by the sound of him) bellowed at me through the loudspeaker that I "have to stop and wait like everybody else."

He had a point, but I didn't hear anything about pulling over, so I not-so-subtly altered my course and made a quick left onto a side street:




The police car continued through the interersection, and the car wash didn't move at all, so I figured I had gotten away with a simple scolding--until I heard the sound of a siren behind me:



The officer in the passenger seat leaned out of the window and demanded my license. I panicked briefly, since while I do have a USA Cycling racing license I don't actually have a state-issued license to operate a bicycle. But then I realized there was no such thing and that he meant a driver's license, which I do have, though it didn't really seem relevant since I wasn't operating a car. In any case, after briefly considering telling him I didn't have one and giving him a made-up Social Security Number and Fat Cyclist's name and address, I decided the consequences of getting caught in such a lie probably weren't worth it. "Are you going to give me a ticket?," I asked, as though this might help me decide whether or not to proffer the license. "Yeah, I'm going to give you a ticket," he replied enthusiastically. "Awesome!," I exclaimed.

As I stood there waiting for them to run my license, I felt that feeling of anger and shame that only the guilty truly know. I wanted to argue, but there really wasn't much to argue about. I'd run the light and they'd watched me do it. "Aren't you afraid of getting killed?," he asked when he finally emerged, studying the Ironic Orange Julius Bike and noting its color on the ticket. "Death doesn't scare me," I wanted to say as I dragged on an imaginary cigarette and took a swig from a bottle of Clorox, but instead I explained that, while I wasn't about to argue with him, sometimes riding a bicycle among cars necessitates your following your own rules. Of course, while this may be true, when you're talking to a cop it's about as sensible as saying you were only selling that bag of weed because you needed the money, and this was probably not the time and place to discuss the prejudices and shortcomings of the New York City traffic infrastructure. As we talked further he revealed that he's a stickler for traffic rules and that he's one of the few cops who will actually write people tickets for jaywalking--because it "annoys" him. By this time, Stockholm syndrome had begun to set in, and despite the fact that I was about to be on the receiving end of a hefty fine thanks to him I suddenly found myself admiring this guy, since handing out summonses to people who annoy me is a personal fantasy of mine.

At any rate, I took my lumps, and I tried to look on the bright side. It had been years since I'd last gotten a red light ticket on my bicycle (oh yeah, I'm incorrigible) and between that one and this one I'd probably gotten away with running thousands upon thousands of lights, so even though my wallet had just taken a hit I figure I've saved somewhere in the neighborhood of $4,000,000. (Or about €7,000.) And that's not even factoring in train fare! Also, while getting a ticket sucks, it's also much better than getting hit by a truck (or getting tackled and arrested). And, perhaps most importantly, it finally convinced me not to bid on the Allen Ginsberg bike from yesterday's comments, since I can no longer afford it.

I reflected on all of these things as I continued on my way. Did I run any more lights? Absolutely not! Well, that's not entirely true. But I checked really carefully for cops first--and I've already recouped the fine.

171 comments:

Anonymous said...

podium!!!

Barkernews said...

i have no life!!!!

regular guy said...

ha ha! red light ticket! ha! glad the cops are out doing their job. good for them

nolucker said...

4!

wishiwasmerckx said...

Just out of the medals. Hope somebody tests positive so I can move up a spot.

mendacity said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

OBAMA

Anonymous said...

I have no nuts. Mazal Tov!

Anonymous said...

top ten...bonked on the sprint

shouldn't have fofonov'd last night to relieve stress

Anonymous said...

Winner!

Anonymous said...

No dope here, just luck of the refresh.

Living in the country I too run red lights. This is mostly because they are activated by sensors in the street that won't pick up bikes - I refuse to 1) Wait until a car shows up to trigger the light, or 2) waddle, straddling the top tube, over to the cross walk button only to reverse-waddle back into the street and then wait for the light to change.

Anonymous said...

big deal. i got an open container ticket a block away from where all the bums drink on the street all day long without any word from the cops. three cops? probably training. you were an easy target. get over it. see you at court.

Aldin McGroin said...

Suckers.

Boz said...

Livin' on the edge, stickin' it to da man. All fun and games untill someone gets a ticket.

wishiwasmerckx said...

Snob, since this encounter with New York City's finest did not end too badly for you, I guess that I can cross of the name "Abner Louima" from the list of suspects as to your true identity.

Anonymous said...

Show me the ticket. Sheriff Andy, Deputy Barney, and Aunt Bea surely just saved your scrawney life.

Anonymous said...

I smell Bacon!

nars said...

isn't there a law in some cities that bikes can use red lights as if they were stop signs?

ant1st said...

First!
(without running any lights!)

Judi said...

I can't believe a NYC cop has nothing better to do than give a guy on a bike a ticket for running a red light.

%$#@^ cops.

I once got a ticket in SF for the same thing but it never got paid.

Judi said...

P.S. BSNY - I don't recognize any of these commenters.

ant1st said...

Last time I ran a light in front of a cop all I got was a little honk of his siren. He could probably tell by my unshaven legs and mountain bike shoes that he had no chance of catching up to me.

Ivor Biggun said...

Stick yer hands up ya bum!

Anonymous said...

I've gotten these tickets as well. But never pay them. I always go to court and explain to the judge that I was on a bike. He normally laughs then yells and tells me to get the hell out of his court. Just curious, for make and model, did the cop write "ironic orange julius"?

Critical Ass (formerly Bikeslob) said...

Snob,

I don't think that was Sumner/Copeland/Summers in that cruiser. I'm pretty sure it was
these guys.

BD said...

This needs to be made into an epic movie. BSNYC needs to be possibly played by a young Marlon Brando or an old Harrison Ford.

Make it a trilogy. It'll be better than LOTR.

ka_jun said...

Awesome graph...thanks for the soundtrack...here's my contribution to RTMS: The Happening

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s3Nu8qddDfk

Woooop! Woooop!

BTW, figured out your secret identity, Mr. Modine

http://bikeblog.blogspot.com/2008/07/party-with-actor-matthew-modineyes-he.html

Anonymous said...

Bad boys, bad boys, whatcha gonna do? Whatcha gonna do when they come for you?

Anonymous said...

i heart you.
j

f said...

fuck cops. the cops stopped my girlfriend on the sidewalk while some homeless piece of shit was drinking on our porch. cops don't have anything better to do. White kids on are easy targets. they have homes. they have money and typically don't resist. the people that have been through the system 50 times arent going to be on the radar anymore. i dont know how many times i have called the cops about shit on my block with no response. as soon as my girlfriend rides on the sidewalk there's a fucking APB out. fuck the cops

Adam said...

Too bad it wasn't for speeding. I think that if I ever get a ticket for speeding on my bike, I'll frame it.

I also think that you should come up with some great excuses to use instead, like: "I was afraid for my life" or "this is a track bike, so it doesn't have brakes and I can't stop" or "I saw someone committing a crime, so I rode through the light in pursuit! Unfortunately, it was a false alarm." Worth a shot I guess...

blueturtle said...

Should he read this blog, Sting is now capable of revealing your true identity. You'd best hope he doesn't demand sexual favours to keep it quiet. I hear he takes a while.

CycloneCross said...

Judi, Yeah, it's truly unfortunate that the officers just allowed all the crime in NYC to continue unabated while issuing BSNY a ticket...

dddishman said...

i got pulled over in LA for ashing a cigarette out the passenger window of my friends car. They said i was throwing flaming objects onto the street. cops.

Mark said...

Wow, I am surprised that they interrupted their habitual noshing of donuts and coffee to come after you.

At least you didn't tell them someone stole your weed and you want to file a report!

I have yet to see the police on my commute, however, I take all back roads that are within a few miles of D&D and Starbucks.

Anonymous said...

Summonses!!!

broomie said...

I'm glad they didn't see you toss your camera with it compelling images of parked cars and butt cracks.

Judi: surely you remeber me? BTW, your photo reveals a serious tri faux pas, you are riding in a SLAM position with a bento box. TSK.

Anonymous said...

some dumb fucking cop on a scooter was at the light right before the brooklyn bridge. i rolled up next to him so i was in the left lane to hit the bike lane going to the city. i looked over my shoulder and this fool was literally on the left side of me as i was turning into the ramp leading to the bridge. i looked at him like "wtf." i think he actually got on the ramp as well but i never looked back. i love it when cops california roll through stop signs too. almost hitting you. i love to yell when that happens. they arent in much of a position to say shit after that. i agree with the f bomber. fuck cops.

Anonymous said...

cops are such d-bags

Rich said...

I rarely comment but I have to say, that vacation must have done you some good. You've been on fire since coming back.

Self-appointed expert on the subject said...

"...about as sensible as saying you were only selling that bag of weed because you needed the money."

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA...jezus, that's fucking funny!!!

d-a-n-i-e-L said...

I can't believe you actually stopped. Last time they tried to ticket me I kicked it into high gear and went the wrong way down 43rd.

The Woulfes said...

nice one...i suppose not being a dick is the best way to handle it, but acting like a total deuchebag and getting tazed sure would make for a much better story...and what, no pictures of the cops? Should have followed that idiot's directions from yesterday and "Watched For Cops" (double underlined for effect)

Polygraf said...

Fight it, likely hood of the cop showing up or remembering is low, lucky you did not get points taken off your license which recently happened to a co-worker, 2 tickets-red light and riding on the sidewalk, three points off his license- little out of proportion eh,
go ray kelly!

g said...

At least the RTMS is more accurate now.
And, given the climate of the cop-cyclist relationship in and around NYC at the moment, you were smart to yessir, nosir his ass.
Just sayin'

CycleSpawn said...

Yeah, how dare they bust a road user for violating a law. Who'da thunk it could happen?

Really, you guys, it's pretty absurd to get upset about a ticket for a blatant violation. It's really easy to see why non-cyclists hate us so much.

Now if they'd just start writing tickets to the bike salmon and all the idiots I see flying down sidewalks . . .

snappergrass said...

I got one in 1990 in Palo Alto, CA for running through a stop sign. Officer Friendly waved to me from where he was standing near the intersection, where he was writing a ticket to a fifth grader.

areuPake? said...

cyclespawn, I defiantly agree with you that it is ridiculous when people complain about getting tickets after blatantly violating the law. Although I don't think this is what snobby was doing. He was just entertaining us with his story. I do think the certain laws should be changed however ... Idaho slow and go here we come.

TJ said...

not related to this blog, but bsnyc might like this

http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=459283

Anonymous said...

Long time lurker, first time poster. I commute through London, and don't jump red lights (often). I was once given a ticket for being in front of the white stop line, despite being actually stopped and not running the light. My mistake was exactly as you so well described - I tried to explain to the officer exactly why I was safe up in front of the traffic, and that I wasn't in anyway endangering anyone or about to proceed until I had a green light. Sadly, he told me he had no discretion and got a colleague to write me the ticket. While his suitably embarrassed subordinate did this, the senior cop proceed to demonstrate his lack of discretion by letting several people off with a warning. They however were smart enough to apologise profusely rather than attempt reason.

I was in a foul mood that day when I got to work.

In other news, I was staying in Brooklyn last week with friends. Imagine the thrill knowing that any one of the cyclists whizzing past me on the busy streets could have been RTMS. After about the fiftieth time I stopped flagging them down and asking.

Also, from running round Prospect Park late one morning I was forced to conclude that New York City has some sort of generous well funded training program for road cyclists. Certainly plenty of them seemed not to have to go to work.

Rob

Todd said...

Bummer to hear about the ticket. I got busted by a motorcycle cop and 10 months later was able to weasel way into being found not guilty.

Court Appointed AA said...

I got a DUI last fall, so consider yourself lucky RTMS...

PDXer said...

Been reading this blog for a while, but this is my first comment (yeah, hooray me; moving on).

I have only two questions: (1) how much was that ticket and (2) how can i give you money to run reds in NYC?

Anonymous said...

...if you were doing research towards a potential blog about traffic enforcement and bicycles wouldn't that ticket be a tax deductable expense ??? check with your accountant.

Tammy Thomas said...

Stewart Copeland never would have caught up to you if you had legs like this guy.

db said...

Areyoupake?: Idaho law says that you have to come to a complete stop at a red light. If there's no traffic in the intersection or about to enter it, then you can proceed. So, unless Snob put his foot down and looked both ways (can't tell from the story), he still would've received a ticket.

A rolling stop, which I'm guessing is the case here since commuters hate to lose all of their momentum, is not legal at stoplights. It IS legal at stop signs, again providing that there's not imminent traffic in the intersection.

Katherine said...

Getting pulled over by Johnny Law...you rebel you...

What a stupid way for the popo to spend their time and our resources.

Anonymous said...

If there weren't so many cyclists in this city dive-bombing through intersections & crosswalks against the lights, going the wrong way, etc., then likely no-one would be bothered by those of us who cautiously skip through a red light when there's nobody near enough to be inconvenienced.

Those Idaho laws are a step in the right direction, though in NYC--where you can't make a right on red like in the rest of this state--it won't happen anytime soon.

Anonymous said...

A cop once wrote me a ticket for going through a red light – the irony was that the light was green! It was a ticket trap and the pig was ticketing anyone and everyone who came by on a bike.

Despite the low fine (he gave me a ‘failure to yield’ instead), I chose to fight it since – hell, it was a green light after all and how could I (not) yield to non-existent pedestrians? Everyone in the court room was there for some bicycle-related infraction. Every time someone had the same charge I had (“improper use of bike/skate”), the officer said “Your Honor, I cannot recall the incident.” In other words: ‘Your Honor, I’m going to stop here and not commit perjury despite issuing a false ticket in violation of the law.’ I’m still hoping one day that Internal Affairs investigates Officer Polshek’s tickets against cyclists. He’s just another Pogan.

Not all cops are bad, but the one’s who are ruin the reputation of all others. After that incident, I had a really poor view of our police and since then little has changed that view. When I got hit by a car and cops witnessed it, I asked them repeatedly to issue the driver a citation – and they didn’t! Despite my injuries, all they did was take an accident report and left it at that. And enforcement of bike lane infractions has been at roughly uhh... 0.0%. That’s not protection, that’s putting a section of the population in danger.

Anyway, more pertinent to your case, remember that the burden is on the officer to *prove* you’re guilty. Such traffic infractions are hard to prove without a confession. When I went to court, every defendant who simply said ‘that’s not what happened’ and argued such marginally convincingly was let off without a fine. Any defendant who said ‘yes your Honor, but...!’ was given a fine.

Ihed said...

Dear Former Bikeslob,

Are the cops like that in your "bad" part of Park Hill?

Gordon said...

"since handing out summonses to people who annoy me is a personal fantasy of mine" Really got me today!

Glad to hear one of New York’s finest is doing his job.

Anonymous said...

running lights an bike salmon-ing half a block instead of the 3-block-rie-around are a fact of life in nyc.

Chuck Norris said...

I know he isn't complaining about getting the ticket.

But those of you who are arguing that the cops should be up to something better than issuing tickets to cyclists are babies. It's not like a homicide division police stopped him for the hell of it. That is a large part of the reason that cops are on the road, and they are obligated to enforce the law. Period. Cautiously going through a light is pretty subjective, and if you allow for that type of law-breaking, then you need also allow some space for those drivers who "cautiously" talk on their cellphones, park in the bike lane at three in the morning and there are not many bikes on the road, and "cautiously" run lights/signs themselves. Quit crying about it.
Cops do have some room to use discretion, but the cop did nothing wrong by issuing a ticked for someone who is legally obligated to follow the rules of the road.
Someone said on these comments awhile ago, should they be better harassing people in low income neighborhoods?
Get over yourself. Your interactions with the law are few, in the grand scheme of things, and if you break the law knowingly, you ought to pony up the money when you're caught in the act.
WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHH

ant1st said...

Snobby - since you are such a wreckless and dangerous cyclist, you should email andrea peyser and apologize for endangering her life.

areUpake? said...

db, thanks for the info. I actually didn't know you could go through a red light at all, I was referring to the rolling stop sign. I now more that ever wish I was in Idaho

Anonymous said...

RTMS, maybe she could take on your case:

http://ca.youtube.com/watch?v=EvimrOmjtnk

cornhole said...

i just figured out that the f bomber works for 50kamonth and thinks he gets paid by the fuck.

sorry about your luck but you just got fucked.

frilly said...

Snobby-Good on you not to argue. An orange jumpsuit on the ironic orange julius bike might be a bit much.

Andrew said...

I can't possibly agree more with Chuck Norris. The next time one of you who routinley runs a red, doesn't stop for peds, and blatenly blows off the laws of vehicles on the road, complains about a single car in a bike lane failing to signal a right turn, etc. I'm gonna hunt you down and take away your front wheels.

You guys want to be taken seriously on the roads or continue to be treated like 10 year olds who "should be on the sidewalk"?

Snob, I thought I knew you...It's not so much that you ran the light but that you failed to see how poisitve it is that a cop saw you as a legit vehicle on the road - despite having an IOJ Bike.

A funny entry - a sad day.

Anonymous said...

The sound file was exactly the right length and mood to read the post.

Danielle in Iowa said...

I ran a stop sign on my bike with a cop right behind me. I guess I need to get one of those mirrors... At least he only gave me a warning and an erroneous lecture about how I wasn't supposed to ride in the middle of the lane (where else do you ride when you need to make a left turn?!)

crispy said...

If this has been said before forgive me for not reading through all of the comments to find it:

Any NYC police reading this (or anyone else with access to the ticket database for that matter) may now find out BSNYC's identity... how many tickets do you think were handed out to bikes running red lights on this particular morning?

Polygraf said...

Andrew and norris,
(i'm curios if both of you live and ride through an overpopulated traffic ridden city everday) until I am treated as an equal on the road, have equal access and representation I will run lights jump curbs and go down oneway streets to get home safe-period. Until a biker is guilty of mowing down and killing pedestrians, I'll exercise some common practical sense, but I aint waiting at a light next to a bus, an suv and a minicooper- I maybe a "moving vehicle" but do you really think cyclist should be subjected to laws designed for 4,000 lb vehicles, its time for a new paradigm.

TJ eckleburg said...

Is Stewart Copeland the one that looks like Harpo Marx or the one that looks like Ghost Rider Sweeney?

red light runner said...

In NYC the fine I paid for running a red (turning right on red, actually, but it's the same infraction), was $275. What's the fine for doing it on a bike?

BikeSnobNYC said...

Crispy,

That sounds like a lot of work for an anti-climax.

--RTMS

manicallday said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

I watched an idiot on a scooter run a red, nearly take out five cyclists and across the road was a marked car with four cops in it. They saw the whole thing. I bang on their window once I cross the road and they ignore me and drive off in the other direction. I guess they had more pressing things to do like sitting on their fat asses eating scones and jam (cops in London dont seem to eat donuts).

f said...

thanks cornhole. you just boosted my 401 F.U.C.K.

manicallday said...

Yesterday when I was riding home from downtown D.C. to Capital Hill I came across the craziest bike rider that I have ever seen. The guy did not believe in stopping or turning for anything. I saw him cut off pedestrians, cars and buses all within the one-mile that I followed him. The best part is that he had a whistle that he used to clear out traffic the entire way. Pedestrians would step out into the street and then scurry back on the sidewalk when they heard the whistle. Although he clearly abused his whistle, I am seriously thinking about getting one. I think that it would be a really effective tool to clear out bike lanes. Yep...I am getting one tomorrow.

Anonymous said...

polygraf

cyclist have killed pedestrians, I think a recent case was in the U.K. Too lazy to hunt down a link but they are not as rare as you think. Also, there is quite a bit of cycle/ped collisions, some leading to serious injuries.

just sayin

manicallday said...

Clearly the guy in the U.K. needed a whistle. It could have saved a life.

Jack Bauer said...

Chuck Norris is a little girl.

Andrew said...

polygraf..

I live in BOSTON, I ride bikes 10,000 miles a year. I've NEVER had an accident except with another bike (douche on aerobars) thats becuase I obey the rules of vehicles on the road - which are perfectly accpetable to cyclists

your post is silly...

1. you do have equal access to roads under the law (except highways and who wants to ride on them anyway) which is why you ARE SUPPOSED TO FOLLOW THE RULES OF THOSE ROADS

2. cyclists ("bikers" ride harleys) HAVE killed pedestrians:
http://www.thewashcycle.com/2007/02/bicycle_hits_ki.html
http://www.news.com.au/perthnow/story/0,21598,22762655-2761,00.html

so stop riding your bike like a 10 year old as your way to "demonstrate how oppressed" cyclists are and start acting like a reasonable adult

...I'll say hello to you at the next red light - and if you run it, I'll say the same shit I say to car drivers who fail to signal

Have fun inventing your new paradigm

Polygraf said...

Anon 4:19, I'm sure cyclist have caused pain, injury no debate there.
Here is my flawed but simple logic: if a twelve year old hipster commits murder he's going to juvy(unless he's black) if 16yr old commits the same crime he's prosecuted as an adult. Cyclist should not get fines for traffic infractions equal to cars, we should go to cyclist juvy where downhillers get roadies for bitches and the yard is segregated into sections for hipsters, roadies ect.....run with it.
Or how bout citations, reasonable 15-$20 fines but $125.00 bucks plus points off your license?

Very slow day at work, now i will leave, blow thru some lights (safely)and hopefully get home in one piece.

ant1st said...

andrew - not trying to be a dick or anything, but where I live (atlanta) there's this (foot) race every year on a highway. They close it down for the entire day, so cyclists can go out and ride it after the race. It's some of the best riding I've ever done. The turns are very gradual and so are the hills, the lanes are wide, you have on-ramps to get up to speed. It's actually pretty awesome.

Andrew said...

don't forget to complain like a pussy as you do it:
"whaaaaa your car weighs 4000 pounds!"...
"whaaaaaa you're blocking my access"...
"Whaaaa...we need a new paradigm!"

John said...

Someone should give a ticket to the 10 thousand jaywalkers that walk into the new puke green bike lanes on broadway in the high 40's. People act like its a promenade strolling their baby stroller right down the middle of the bike lane. Unfortunately I hit a guy a couple of weeks ago, because he popped out of the scaffolding and I did not see him, but I was not in the wrong. He did not look and was crossing in the middle of the street.

If anyone wants to witness clueless pedestrians, I urge you to take your bike down broadway between 50th and 40th.

Anonymous said...

They have tazers, why don't they use them !

TheRubb said...

Since Angelenos have recently discovered the subway long-buried beneath their city, the pedestrians flooding out of the train stops have been interrupting traffic flows as pedestrians ignore the walk/don't walk signals. So cops have now been writing tickets to anyone who leaves the curb after the "don't walk hand" begins to flash.

manicallday said...

Andrew, maybe it is time to start living. I ride probably the same distance as you and only been hit once in the past 15 years, which came to be my fault because I passed the car on the right. I really don't think that stopping at every light is practicable in every circumstance. I would rather risk clearing an empty street than riding with traffic. If you never seen someone get sucked under a car and dragged for 20' then you would understand the point.

Andrew said...

thats very nice ant1...
what's your point?
lets see...

365 days a year the all of the highways around Atlanta are open to cars...
1 day a year one of the highways around Atlanta is closed to cars for a few hours which makes them nice to ride on

nah you're not being a dick - I just couldn't be more worng about the highway thing.

Thanks!

Andrew said...

start living?!!!! ohhhhboy runing a red light is surely LIVING!

going the worng way? LIFE TO THE MAX!

I can't wait to hop a curb! whooohoowee!

Explain how obeying the rules of the road is in any way related to the poor sucker who got dragged:

"too bad for that guy..if only he had failed to yield for some pedestrians during his time on earth, he might still be here"

You fail to see how its practible in every situation? are you high?
when you drive your car, and its late at night and no one is around, do you fail to see how practible it is to stop at a stop sign?

Andrew said...

practical damn it!

Critical Ass (formerly Bikeslob) said...

Ihed,

No, the cops in Park Hill don't look like that. They look more like this one. This cop keeps hassling me on my bike for running lights and stuff, but I always get out of the ticket. I have to follow him to this maintenance shed in City Park Golf Course and do all this weird role playing shit before he lets me go.

Anonymous said...

The police were set up in Boston this week, in the Kendall Square area, ticketing cyclists as they ran the red lights. I mentioned it to a few non cycling friends, and their response was usually, "good". And I understand their point, but as they went on to say, "you know, cyclists want to be treated like cars when it suits them and pedestrians when it doesn't." And I just thought, no, I want to be treated like a bike. You've put these fancy (dangerous) bike lanes in Cambridge, but you don't ticket drivers for parking in them. If you want us to obey all the rules that motorists follow, okay... I'll ride in the middle of the lane and make it impossible for you to pass me (the entire lane is mine, not just 2 feet to the far right of it). Moreover, when we stop at red lights, I'll wait for it like you, and when it turns green, you'll have to sit your ass behind me till I get going--which will never be as fast as you.

manicallday said...

start living?!!!! ohhhhboy runing a red light is surely LIVING!


No. This is about you as a person. You are way too concerned about what other people do. If I clear an empty street then what do you care? It really isn't that serious. Worry about yourself and you will be a lot happier.

going the worng way? LIFE TO THE MAX!

I can't wait to hop a curb! whooohoowee!

(Exactly! It is fun!)

Explain how obeying the rules of the road is in any way related to the poor sucker who got dragged?

(Because that is what can happen when you ride in traffic. You have to evaluate the risk. If crossing an clear intersection means that I engage less traffic then the answer is obvious.)

You fail to see how its practible in every situation? are you high?
when you drive your car, and its late at night and no one is around, do you fail to see how practible it is to stop at a stop sign?

(I fail to see your point here. In your hypothetical it wouldn't matter because the roads are empty. But a car is considerably different than a bike and presents a greater degree of risk. And on my bike I can stop turn and avoid dangers than in my car. You really can't compare the two.)

Andrew said...

dude...

your post speaks for itself

please stay out of my neighborhood...

...I have a child.

manicallday said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
manicallday said...

What does you kid have anything to do with this? And why can't I come in your neighborhood? It is because I am Black right? Knew it.

Andrew said...

5:11
you're on the right track...

I do make cars wait for me when I'm changing lanes to make a left and when there is no place to get over to the right etc. etc.. And I do it non-chalantly and I would say 99.9%of the time there is no problem - thats the way its supposed to work. And the .01% of the time? I let people know the score. I don't like bike lanes either - but we're no obliged to ride in them - cars are obliged to keep out of them. Want cops to write tickets for cars in bike lanes? Call them - I do it in Brookline regularly - they always come and they always write the ticket.

BTW - the law says you can take the lane when you need it - take it when you need it.

Coo Kid said...

Maybe you should get some lessons from this guy:
http://newyork.craigslist.org/brk/bik/817171655.html
a great deal $30 per hour to learn how to ride "Fixed" from a 3 year vet!

manicallday said...

"I'm currently limiting lessons to two people per session, but exceptions can be made."

Don't tell me that this guy makes more than me. What the hell? I should have just skipped law school and rode a fixie for the past 3 years.

bk jimmy said...

In the case of traffic (and other) laws there are customary acceptable margins of bending the rules. On the highway you generally don't get pulled over until you're at least 10 mph over the limit. Plenty of pedestrians cross mid-block or against the light without getting in anyone's way. And lots of cyclists go through red lights when there are no pedestrians or cars.

This isn't just lax enforcement, it's an unspoken agreement designed to keep things running as smoothly as possible without undue risk to anyone. Can you imagine if all the rules were strictly enforced? Nobody would get anywhere.

There's a happy medium somewhere between the letter of the law and the intent of the law. When things get out of balance, as they have here in New York, with arrogant pedestrians, self-serving cyclists trying to emulate YouTube alleycat videos, and borderline-psychotic Access-A-Ride drivers all doing whatever they want, then, well, unfortunately for those whose infractions are miniscule by comparison, the cops are understandably going to start cracking down on all kinds of things.

I don't blame the cops any more than I do cyclists, drivers, etc. There are assholes among all of these groups. You should just try to be responsible for yourself and don't blame anyone else for your own bad behavior.

sprider said...

Too bad about the ticket, RTMS/BSNYC. In Wisconsin there is a law on the books which allows cyclists stopped by a red light to proceed before the light turns green if it's clear. The caveat is that it can only be done if there are no other vehicles in the intersection which could activate the signal, and you must pause for 45 seconds. So much for momentum.

Andrew said...

Can you imagine if all the rules were strictly enforced? Nobody would get anywhere.

Can you imagine if everybody obeyed all the rules?

Critical Ass (formerly Bikeslob) said...

manicallday said:

"Don't tell me that this guy makes more than me. What the hell?"

He's probably really, really, really good at teaching people how to get their feet in and out of toe clips.

Anonymous said...

fAWK......should have ticketed you for being verbose. I refuse to read that novella of a post. Life is way too short.

BikeSnobNYC said...

Anonymous 6:03pm,

You don't have to--that's why I also drew pictures.

--RTMS

Carlos from Philly said...

more missing images. wtf... i can't see the first diagram.

8(

bikesgonewild said...

...'scofflaw / cycling agitator bsnyc gunned down in street by nypd'...

..."mr bsnyc or as he's often referred to, rtms, once again in flagrant & callous disregard of our safe driving laws, was observed to have run a red light while riding his bicycle allegedly on his way to work...the oft maleficent cyclist chose to try & ride away from his erroneous behavior & was 'dispatched' by three of nyc's finest"...

...this is andrea peyser for the new york post online service w/ more on the story...

...officer kropke stated "when da alleged perp run da light, i's so upset, i spill my cuppa joe over the whole box a' donuts, thus fore ruinnin' lunch fer my fellow brudda officers, right...we'z all thought dat dis wuz just like da last straw by dis punk what spends all his spare time incitin' bike riders n' makin' life miserable fer guys like us, so's we did what was necesary, right ???...fergetaboudit, dis jailbird ain't causin' no mo' trouble fer nobody"...

...kropke & the other two officers are on paid administrative leave...

Anonymous said...

and we wonder why vehicalists have issues with roadies.

short hair said...

snobby, your skill with Microsoft paint astounds once again. Keep up the good work and don't let your talent fade.

Anonymous said...

I just got chased down by a bicycle cop and given a ticket for not wearing a helmet. I couldn't believe it. The only reason I stopped (i.e. let him catch me) was because I thought he was concerned that perhaps my bike was stolen and he just wanted to check the serial number or something. Boy was I dumb to want to help a cop (to think the cops actually care about bike thieves). The stupid thing was that I was on a designated bike path SEPARATE from the street -- so the safest place to ride a bike in the town -- and that we were only a block away from the recycling center that all the bums hang out around and bring loads of empty cans on their bikes (and none of them ever wear helmets). Yes, I was annoyed.

Anonymous said...

Back in the early 90's I got stopped by an unmarked cop car in the LES after I sped through a red light. Almost hot footed it (a car can't catch a bike in NYC. Now way. No how.) But then I realized they were narcs and probably thought I was a runner.

I stopped and took the ticket. Basically keeping my mouth shut to avoid any escalation...

Anonymous said...

contest it. I've beaten about 5 red light tickets now. Doesn't really matter what you tell the magistrate... just lie and lie and lie. Lying is only immoral outside of the walls of a courthouse. Inside it is required... by law even.

BTW: you can't be a member of bikeclub if you haven't gotten your redlight ticket... so yer kewl now!

Andy Pandy said...

For such a heinous crime I prescribe a public self flagellation in said chicken suit. Look on the bright side , given chicken suit and IOJB he may have opted for a full cavity search as well .And Stewie would have been in the back beating up a storm

broomie said...

Andrew:

Funniest post ever!

Tits McGee said...

I've got an important question: Why does the chicken's shadow change direction?

AnnaZed said...

Wait a minute, where's the NYT style bike thingy? I'm miffed.

Anonymous said...

Bravo on the cop handling. I was feeling high and mighty about how I don't run red lights ever until I realized I do twice a day, a block from a police station (where somehow there are never any cops around or much of anyone else for that matter).

Funny how intuitive it is to simply do what is sensible and safe when there is no reason not to, other than a traffic light. I don't run red lights, except for this one, always.

Actually I still feel high and mighty. Thing is, the traffic controls, which have multiplied along the length of my commute (in Toronto) during the last decade, are all about managing automobile traffic and risk. A cyclist has about as much similarity to a driver in a car as to a bird in flight.

Tell that to the next cop.

Mongo Pusher said...

ant1st...I too am in the ATL and have done the Hwy 400 ride. I agree...lots of fun.

Jim said...

It bears note that the cop/cyclist relations in NYC were never great, but they really went south after the big critical mass clusterf*** targeting the Republican convention in 2004. Since then it appears to have gone totally south.

Way to make your point guys, whatever it was. Do me a favor and start protesting on behalf of people in SUVs, cellphone-talking drivers and people who park in bike lanes. It's the least you can do for those of us for whom making a spectacle of ourselves is only a secondary purpose for riding.

Johnny Sprocket said...

Speaking of running lights... I saw about 4 or 5 yesterday and they were all middle-aged guys on either hybrids or commuter, mountain bikes with slicks. Just the types who bitch about everything else in life. I guess that's the only bit of rebellion they have left in their sorry, middle management bodies. Still... the fixed gear, messengers are letting the side down with their trackstanding at the lights antics !

Anonymous said...

Yo Andrew, key word in your post BOSTON...

Save the lectures for your kid.

Either come on down and learn to ride in NYC or shut the fuck up.

ken e. said...

way to go people! nice illos and traffic safety tips to boot! all you 'cars and bikes are the same' types...
it only took one pool of blood for me, automobiles are giant weapons, and should be avoided as such.

George said...

Hey, speaking of Boston - danger on the pistadex.

http://boston.craigslist.org/gbs/bik/817605788.html

Granted, no pics, and we have no idea if the seller is actually in Cambridge/Back Bay, where the greater proportion of hipsters are.

Anonymous said...

i like andrew

bsnyc: if you can't/won't evade the cops, well, it's no surprise youre not winning any races

"Either come on down and learn to ride in NYC or shut the fuck up."

ah, transplants.

Anonymous said...

Seems to be an inordinate number posting from the scofflaw tribe....follow the rules or accept the consequences.

Critical Ass (formerly Bikeslob) said...

This is fucking bizarre. Apparently, somebody has launched an OC (Opinionated Cyclist) TRIBUTE channel on youtube. There are a few videos to choose from...I had my fill of OC after that one, which seems to be a mash-up of his "greatest hits".

karl said...

At least he wasn't a CORB: http://www.adultswim.com/video/?episodeID=8a2505951bc80ed4011be6052aad00bf

Anonymous said...

It is tempting to dismiss Andrew as a dullard simply because he has a child, but in fact law-and-order types without children are legion in New England, too. If you run a red light in New Haven, you are far more likely to be chased down by an irate, self-described cycling advocate than you are a cop. Fortunately, the self-righteous cannot issue summonses; that task is still left to the pigs.

Pai Mei said...

I got pulled over for "Cycling Furiously". No ticket though.

anon 2:11 said...

I thought it was common knowledge that you must carry a form of identification or the police can detain you until they confirm your identity. Not in the rogue world of commuting by bicycle, I guess.

The fofonov thing is over, like, not funny anymore, so sober up and get, not only some new material, but some of you own. Loser.

They make magnets, they are intended for motorcycles or, rather, they are marketed to motorcycles, but they are very powerful and they alleviate the problem of waiting for red light sensors. Just a heads up.

So I guess He Who Must Not Be Named doesn't get to complain about cyclists breaking the law anymore, well, unless he remarks on his own infraction (but in a funny way) during the hissy fit.

Whatever will he do?

Andrew said...

11:01 - I'm originally from Canarsie...I've ridden plenty of New York miles.

Whaaaa!!!! I'm from New York!
Whaaaaa!!! it's too dangerous to stop at a light!
Whaaaa!!! New York!!!
Whaaaa!! you have to LEARN to ride in New York!
Whaaa!!! its safer to ride through the lights in New York 'cause I'm afraid of the traffic!

..where should I come down to, brother?
I'll haul a can o' whup ass with me...
..but the way you babies complain I doubt I'll need the whole can.

Andrew said...

Well really now, 2:11, I'm not ready to cast stones at the Snob just yet. He admits his indescretion and he doesn't whine that it's just too "New York" in New York to follow the rules of the road. Surely he's had the night to think about the fact that we have rules on the road for predictability - which is the key to safety - and if everyone would follow them (people on bikes, people in cars, peds, vespas, etc.) the streets and roads would be much safer. Surely Snob knows that a vehicle's weight has no bearing on how severe the infraction is (you know, your $500 ticket would only be $2.50 if you just traded your hummer in for a Smart Car, they weigh less!").
Snob does more good the harm. He'll seek (and I predict find) his redemption.

bk jimmy said...

Can you imagine if everybody obeyed all the rules?

Sure, it would be a nightmare.

When the transit workers in NYC are having a pay/benefits dispute with management one of the tactics they use, less drastic than a strike, is called a Rulebook Slowdown. By exactly following all the rules during rush hour--e.g. holding the subway doors open for a certain number of seconds every single time somebody sticks their hand or bag into a closing door--it will cause rippling delays in an already over-burdened system to such a degree that the whole city will become a tied up mess.

There are laws that simply aren't compatible with the reality of a big crowded place like New York. I think that's what snobby was referring to when he mentioned "the prejudices and shortcomings of the New York City traffic infrastructure."

Anonymous said...

I received a ticket for the same thing earlier this summer. I showed up in court, and it was dismissed. But, if this guy is a stickler, that might just be a waste of time.

Andrew said...

yeah, it would be horrible if peds stayed on the sidewalk until they got the walk sign and drivers signaled their right hand turns and yielded for people on bikes and stayed out fo the bike lanes. Of course it would be even worse if cyclists reciprocated by stopping at red lights, yielding for pedestrians in crosswalks, obeyed one way signs and generally rode their bikes like adults.

it's fun to play semantics on the web...but i bet you know better than to compare my point with a "rule book slowdown"

wishiwasmerckx said...

Anon 2:11, to those who just spent upwards of $5,000.00 to get a bike under 16 lbs, your suggestion is to purchase and attach motorcycle magnets to the frame so that you can trip the sensor at red lights? You are quite the brilliant chap, aren't you? Speaking of weight, I wish that you would disappear faster than a pizza at a Weightwatchers convention.

SD said...

Law enforcement types that don't actually have a badge and a gun scare the fuck out of me. Take it easy, look out for yourself. Don't worry about what the other guy is doing so much.

And what's with how much you ride legitimizing you opinion? I'm pretty sure Fofonov rides close to 20K a year. Does that make him some kind op authority?

Anonymous said...

everyone call this kid and leave a message

the idiot who never calls me back im going to bother him until i get the bike back

if you dont want your number to show up on caller ID use *67-801 915 8066

I am posting this for.. http://www.bikehusla.blogspot.com/
Details..
http://bikehusla.blogspot.com/2008/08/gettin-ganked.html

bk jimmy said...

Andrew,

Hold on now, this doesn't need to be a case of extremes. I've already said that the egregious disregard of laws by all parties is not acceptable. Generally speaking, I agree that everybody should play by the rules.

I'm just saying that some bending of the rules is built into the system, and the rulebook slowdown thing was simply meant to illustrate that. That's doesn't mean I think that it's okay for people to ignore all the rules and be jerks.

anon 2:11 said...

People in Weight Watchers don't eat pizza at the conventions. That's just stupid. Why go to all the trouble of attending a convention just to break down right there in front of everyone and face a pizza?

And yes, put the magnet on your $5000 bike if you don't like getting stuck at lights. Who knew the snob faithful were such weight weenies? You know, not all red lights are runable. Sometimes, there are cars.

* said...

Blow red lights all you want - hell I'm sure all of you have done it at least once since it is completely rational in a lot of situations (unless your rationality is governed by new york state law, which I hope it isn't for your sake), but stay the fuck off the sidewalk. Jesus christ, whenever I see one of you morons booking it down the sidewalk I want to clothesline you.

Endanger yourself by running reds = YES

Fuck stop signs as well, they are not designed for a bicycle. A rolling stop makes perfect sense since you're probably not exceeding 15 mph in the city anyway.

Endanger others because you're too much of a wuss to ride in the street = NO

Riding on the sidewalk was actually banned in NYC back in the '90s because PEOPLE GOT HURT (I think even a fatality or two). Sure, there are exceptions to this, like that giant sidewalk on the Queens side of the 59th street bridge where there are no peds, but 99% of the time, stay the hell off the sidewalk. Get it? Side-WALK?

anon 2:11 said...

YEAH!

(Any Trading Places fans out there?!)

Andrew said...

ok, in the spirit of unity, I propose we all make fun of something..

http://www.rapha.cc/index.php?page=371

bk jimmy said...

Right then.

The fabric has been treated with Adamley’s bespoke ‘perspiration solution’ to make it sweat and shower resistant and the edges have been hand stitched for a luxury finish.

How functional! When wearing your silk scarf you can use that rationale to ward off accusations of pretension.

cleeland said...

bsnyc, methinks you need one of these T-shirts:

http://www.carytownbicyclecompany.com/component/content/article/46-news/97-new-cbc-shirt.html

Anonymous said...

i hope they dont boot your bicycle.

JJ said...

Some comments here do not pass the legal sniff test: whoever claims s/he got a ticket for not wearing a helmet (while riding a bicycle, I presume) must not be writing from the US, because no state law requires adults to wear helmets. See here: http://www.iihs.org/laws/HelmetUseCurrent.aspx
Next, my children, though you may have been (mis)led to believe so, US citizens are not required to carry a form of identification at all times. So it is not a crime to fail to show your driver's license when riding a bicycle. Just keeping it real.

Anonymous said...

No cop, no stop.

Anonymous said...

i got a ticket for 'rolling' thru a stop sign on my bike (so not dangerous) and i asked the cop if the price of the ticket was the same as if i was in a car and when he said yes, i said why, and he said 'emotional damage and such for the driver, if the car hits you. yeah that's right. and i don't think he was talking about my damage at all...

Bill said...

i just got one for running a red light today, and went through the same exact emotions. yes, i was guilty, but really, there has got to be some sort of different treatment. i mean, lights aren't timed for cyclists, and isn't it safer for us to get a bit of a headstart? yeah, i'm just pissy and guilty, but the bottom line is this is a terrible incentive to get less cars on the road, etc..especially when bloomy keeps pushing this as a bike friendly town. maybe this is how the guy who got a ticket for drinking a beer on his stoop felt.

Anonymous said...

As this page shows up pretty high on Google for 'red light ticket bicycle new york' I'd like to make it clear here to any other poor cyclists who get a ticket that the fee for this is $150 in NYC. I fought the ticket I got (unsuccessfully) and this is the fine I was ordered to pay. The fact that this amount is the same as a motor vehicle infraction is patently unfair. Running a light on a bike isn't the same as in a car. It's more akin to jaywalking, which never elicits a ticket.

I'm now paranoid to ride my bike in the city. After the cop pushing a cyclist off his bike got on YouTube, my guess is that cash-strapped NYC is set to have a field day writing tickets to cyclists. I wouldn't recommend breaking the law anywhere in the city right now. Never mind that you have to kill someone to get a ticket in a motor vehicle (and usually drivers just hit and run anyway). Good luck.

Anonymous said...

Dude, with all due respect, if you stopped it isn't "running" the lighbt, or eveyone who makes a legal right turn on red in states like NJ where it's allowed would be "running" the light.

As a cyclist one has to do this often since traffic signals are set up to respond to two ton buicks and not bicycles. Round here I try to hook a right and then a u-turn rather than a straight left, since it seems less blatant, but I'ver done both.

If you can clearly see you have time to do it (and the sensor'sd aren't set for yer bike) nothin' wrong with it.

But cops are morons when it comes to traffic law, and to interpretign what is safe, beyond the limits of the law, because not everythign that's foolhardy and liable to cause death and destruction are illegal -- and quite a few things that are illegal are actually quite sensible. If BikesnobNYC had waited at the light and been rear-ended by a van while patiently sitting there in the street, would the coppers be happier? You are safer if you keep moving.

-- The Lone Rider

MJ Klein said...

how fucking lame is traffic tickets for bicycles? bikes have pedals and thus, a person who rides a bicycle is a pedestrian. it's not a motor vehicle. thanks for another reminder why i'm living outside the US.

Anonymous said...

"how fucking lame is traffic tickets for bicycles? bikes have pedals and thus, a person who rides a bicycle is a pedophile."

your logic doesn't quite work.

Anonymous said...

Wondering how much a red light ticket for a bicyclist in NYC costs? It's a $190 fine.

erica said...

I ran a red light yesterday and shortly thereafter heard the sirens going. I pulled over, thinking there must be a fire or something, but no, they were for me. Thankfully, Mr. Policeman merely warned me through his loudspeaker (as he continued driving, looking at me instead of the road) that I should be more careful at red lights because running one would cost me $300. He didn't warn me that running one was dangerous, or that I could be hit... just that it would cost me $300. Thanks Mr. Policeman. Too bad yours wasn't as kind.

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samh said...

164th!

Anonymous said...

got stopped today for the same thing: running a red light. there's apparently a blitz going on against bikers in nyc lately. guess the city's down a few bucks. happy to commiserate. my bad for doing it, but still... i LITERALLY saw a dude CUTTING a lock with giant yard clippers on smith/atlantic less than 5 minutes after getting a freakin bike ticket. what's worse?

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Anonymous said...

Share the street, obey the laws.

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