Friday, June 4, 2010

Cop Nearly Kills Me

I was riding my bike on Chicago Ave. just past Linden St., taking the lane because that stretch of Chicago is narrowed by on-street parking. A Riverside Police Department car was behind me at the light. Just after we cleared the intersection, the police car accelerated until he was right behind me, made half of a lane change, and passed within about a foot or so of my handlebars. He didn't put on his siren before or after the incident. I would have moved out of his way within 50 feet or so. Anyone who's biked on city streets has probably experienced this move before.

Now, this manoeuvre is common enough among jerks in giant trucks and sports cars who think that bikes don't belong on "their" roads, but I would expect my local law enforcement officers to have some knowledge of traffic law, and a respect for the lives of those citizens they serve. Of course, it may be that cyclists on the streets around here are mostly poor people of colour (and immigrants, documented or otherwise), and so they can get away with this sort of behaviour, but it's still reprehensible. The City would obviously find it difficult to educate every Riverside driver about proper driving around cyclists, but they should at least provide that education to their police officers.

I've filed a complaint with the police department (moments after the incident- don't screw with me, I have 311!), though I don't expect much from it.

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