23 Aug 2014
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Letter to the Editor: Police Don't Know Cycling Laws

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Letter to the Editor: Police Don't Know Cycling Laws

While riding my bicycle on Benton Street on Sunday morning, September 2 around 9:45 a.m., I was passed by an Iowa City Police officer who told me "that lane's for you my 'friend'."

While there is a white line painted on the street to delineate between the main part of the road and the poorly maintained, littered, potholed and cracked shoulder (re: not suitable for riding by cyclists) there is no such indication that this is a bike lane. There is also no such municipal code requiring a cyclist to use the bike lane if there was one. Now I usually ride directly on that white line which keeps me far enough away from the curb that I actually have safe options should I encounter glass, litter, potholes or pavement irregularities.

How is "bicycle friendly" status for the City of Iowa City maintained when the police not only don't know what the law is, but use what they think the law is, or vague statute (for instance the "as far to the right as practicable" ordinance) to harass cyclists? Will we maintain this status if police are allowed to create conditions for cyclists that are specifically cyclist-hostile? The ICPD may be many things to many people. They are not our 'friend.'

Sincerely,

Donald Baxter

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