Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Loudoun Police ticket Reston Century cyclists

We heard from a Reston Century cyclist yesterday who was ticketed by Loudoun Sheriff's deputies at the intersection of Harmony Church Rd and Route 7 in Hamilton. The police were basically conducting a sting operation. See the Washcyle report for details:
Reportedly, several cyclists were ticketed during last weekend's Reston Century by the Loudoun County sheriff’s office for failure to stop at a stop sign.

The officers positioned themselves such that they would maximize their opportunity to ticket cyclists and were ticketing as many as possible for minor infractions. One rider reports that as they wrote his ticket they made comments indicating that they were irritated that the ride organizers did not hire them to manage event safety. They reported having requested that the ride organizers route the entire event on the bike trail (which ride organizers deemed far too narrow and dangerous given the number of participants). Their ticket-writing campaign appeared to have been a vendetta against the ride organizers for utilizing the roads.

So, if all of this is accurate, then it appears that the Loudoun County’s sheriff’s office decided that keeping bikes off the road was more important than public safety; they were willing to bully cyclists as payback for the event organizers, and they would target cyclists for a technicality rather than watching for cyclists and drivers who are actually operating their vehicles unsafely.

Why does this sound so familiar.
Loudoun's finest
The police were heard repeatedly referred to the ride as a race, which could explain why they expected people to be running the stop sign. Obviously cyclists should obey traffic signals, but they shouldn't be held to a higher standard than motorists, most of whom roll through stop signs. I wonder if police ticketed those motorists.

Loudoun County benefits greatly from cyclists who visit the county. Ask the owners of Magnolias at the Mill in Purcellville, the owners of Carolina Brothers Pit Barbecue (formerly Partlow's Store) in Ashburn, or the many shop owners in Leesburg if they benefit from cyclists. And yet some in the county seem to being doing what they can to discourage cyclists from visiting and spending money there. You might remember Suzanne Volpe, who incorrectly stated that thousands of dollars were being spent to promote cycling in the county, bad-mouthing cyclists during her campaign. Is it time for a boycott?

Labels: ,

What do the ride organizers say about the request to stay on the WOD?
The organizers realize that it is unsafe to have a large event like the Reston Century held on the W&OD Trail. The trail is already congested in many places and there is a great deal of bad behavior by cyclists, many of whom ride too fast for conditions, passing when other cyclists are approaching, passing too close, not giving proper warning, etc. Having this an other major rides on the road makes the most sense.
Sorry, I should have been clearer.

As an experienced cyclist, it's obvious to me that putting the entire century on the WOD is a terrible idea.

Did law enforcement request that the Reston Century organizers put the century on the WOD only?

If so, there needs to be more communication between cyclists and law enforcement regarding what is and is not safe, IMO.

I think Loudoun officials have made it difficult for organizers of rides in the county to hold the rides on the road. They require expensive electronic signs The police generally want bicyclists on the trail. One can only assume they think that's where bicyclists belong and conversely that bicyclists don't belong on the road. I'm just speculating.
Just wow...I remember this being an issue when I did the Tour de Cure a few years ago.

Contrast this to Arlington where we get a police escort for the start of the Freshbikes rides in order to keep things safe and controlled.
Contrast this with Arlington where the Freshbike's ride get a police escort for the 1st few miles so things are orderly and safe for both bikes and cars...
Also (according to what the police told my friend when he got his ticket that day), unless you put a foot on the ground, they don't consider a cyclist as having come to a complete stop. So track standing or inching along at .1mph doesn't cut it in their eyes.

Post a Comment

Contact FABB via email: info@fabb-bikes.org

Subscribe to the
FABB e-newsletter

Subscribe to posts:
[Atom 1.0] or [RSS 2.0]

  Bike to Work Day 2015 at Wiehle Station

  Transportation choices

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?


February 2007
March 2007
April 2007
May 2007
June 2007
July 2007
August 2007
September 2007
October 2007
November 2007
December 2007
January 2008
February 2008
March 2008
April 2008
May 2008
June 2008
July 2008
August 2008
September 2008
October 2008
November 2008
December 2008
January 2009
February 2009
March 2009
April 2009
May 2009
June 2009
July 2009
August 2009
September 2009
October 2009
November 2009
December 2009
January 2010
February 2010
March 2010
April 2010
May 2010
June 2010
July 2010
August 2010
September 2010
October 2010
November 2010
December 2010
January 2011
February 2011
March 2011
April 2011
May 2011
June 2011
July 2011
August 2011
September 2011
October 2011
November 2011
December 2011
January 2012
February 2012
March 2012
April 2012
May 2012
June 2012
July 2012
August 2012
September 2012
October 2012
November 2012
December 2012
January 2013
February 2013
March 2013
April 2013
May 2013
June 2013
July 2013
August 2013
September 2013
October 2013
November 2013
December 2013
January 2014
February 2014
March 2014
April 2014
May 2014
June 2014
July 2014
August 2014
September 2014
October 2014
November 2014
December 2014
January 2015
February 2015
March 2015
April 2015
May 2015
June 2015
July 2015
August 2015
September 2015
October 2015
November 2015
December 2015
January 2016
February 2016
March 2016
April 2016
May 2016
June 2016
July 2016