Friday, October 18, 2013

Bored Boston Cops Taunt Bicyclist

north station 9A friend who lives in Brookline bikes to work every day and reports he got hassled by some apparently-bored Boston cops recently:
After cresting the hill and crossing Washington street in Brighton, I began pedaling to build up speed for my mile descent to a steep climb over a bridge before leaving the main roads for the bike path along the Charles. I had noticed the Boston Police Department paddy wagon turning behind me on Washington street.

As I cruised slightly behind the pace of traffic I was cut off half way down by a driver who exited a side street without stopping. She was talking on her cell phone, her hand blocking her view of me. Moments after the cut-off, the police siren chirped several times behind me. I instinctively slowed as the street signs reflected the the flashing blue lights. I felt a sense of happiness thinking that maybe the officers had seen the woman pull into traffic while engaged in probably a very important call.

I was astounded when a voice over the loudspeaker summoned "Cyclist on the blue bike please stop!" I did as I was told as the paddy wagon pulled along side me. Still talking through the loudspeaker the driver and his smiling partner admonished me publicly for exceeding the speed limit by 6 miles an hour. He continued "You are required to abide by all the laws of the road just like an automobile. "Don't shake your head when someone pulls out in front of you when you are exceeding the speed limit!"

I felt the heat in my face and I imagine my mouth was open from the shock. The smiling officer rolled down his window and took a drink from his standard issue large Dunkin regular. The driver turned off the loudspeaker and asked if I understood. I didn't answer immediately because I thought it was a joke and my brain was short circuiting. "We don't have a problem do we?" he asked. I quickly responded "absolutely not".

They pulled away with the smiling officer never removing his gaze from me. I watched the light turn green and began the climb up the hill that I had hoped momentum would make vanish.
As Casey Neistat demonstrated in New York City, police often seem more concerned with the needs of the big polluting metal boxes than keeping the humans on the bicycles safe:

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