Making downtown safer with cop presence
I bicycle and motorcycle into downtown daily. The most hazardous portion of my journey is as a pedestrian. I have lived in other regions of the country and have travelled extensively within North America. Successful cities have cop presence downtown. Where are ours? How can we get a cop or two to rotate manning certain intersections downtown during peak hours? This could be a great revenus source for cops — issuing tickets to jaywalkers, buses going straight while running red lights and cars not yielding to pedestrians. Cops on motorcycles, bikes, horses, ATVs, segways, anything. We really need to make downtown better for all people.
In case you haven’t noticed, the police here are dicks.
I don’t think that is an altogether fair assessment. Some cops here are dicks. Unfortunately it is one of those things where you have a few bad apples, it makes the whole group look bad.
A cop helped me after my accident. He was extremely professional and wrote a mostly accurate report of the accident. As best as he could do with 2nd hand information, I’d say. He even hauled my bike back to the station. Whenever I bump into a bike cop in Oakland I try and chat with them. They’re all pretty cool folks.
I don’t work downtown, so I have no idea what the situation is there, but we have lots of cops in Oakland. City cops, university cops, cops in cars, cops on motorcycles and cops on bikes (on nice days).
Seems like they should have a similar presence in downtown?
One way to make downtown better for all people is to quit digging it up and detouring bus routes and traffic etc. I was dumbfounded when they detoured all these bus routes onto Smithfield Street because of the new subway construction down on Liberty and then the city issues a permit to dig up one lane on Seventh Avenue, that makes it even harder for bus traffic to make their turns. How long has lower fifth avenue had at least one lane closed? Two years? PAT agreed to move all the bus traffic out of market square and moved a lot of bus routes to fifth avenue. None of those routes have ever run on 5th avenue AFAIK. The old 67 routes have all been on a crazy detour that is large vehicle unfriendly–they end up blocking traffic. Bus drivers get frustrated, car drivers get frustrated, pedestrians get frustrated.
I’m not condoning lawless driving and jaywalking but downtown traffic is a mess for many reasons, and I’m not sure flow would get better if cops where constantly pulling people over and creating more obstructions. At least, not in the short run.
I agree with dwillen. Although, I think the fact the Police have a secret club is disgusting, there is a significant amount of good cops out there.
I once had a cop in Oakland pull someone over who cut me off. Also, the cop that responded when I was tapped on Parkview was very professional and considerate.
I wouldn’t group all cops into any general category, good or bad–just like any professional, there is a wide spectrum of professionalism.
Although, after the events surrounding the G20 Summit last year, I have a hard time respecting any cops.
nick, i thought you’d mention that cop from the ghost bike memorial that pulled over the other cop for disrespecting the memorial by running that stop sign.
AH,EROK! How could I forget?!
Last August, at the intersection of Meyran and Louisa in Oakland, we held a small memorials for the man who was killed on his bike there.
Towards the end, a car ran right through the stop sign (on Meryan). A Pitt Police Officer who stopped to pay respects turned on his lights and took on after the guy who ran the sign.
Turns out that the guy who ran the sign was a city cop. The University cop told me that the city cop said something to the like of, “I know the chief, go a head and give me a ticket, he will rip it up” So, the University cop gave him a ticket.
I actually have both of the officers names written down somewhere. The university cop told me he was the first one on the scene when Ruihui Lin was killed and he took the whole matter rather personally.
He is also the reason why the ghost bike still stands there. I gave him my card and told him to call me if he heard it was going to be cut off. I was in contact with him later on that month and was told that as long as I took care of it, it could sit there indefinitely.
On a side note, I have re-painted the ghost bike 2 times, and have put new wheels on it twice as well. I am out of junk wheels to put on it, so if anyone has any I would greatly appreciate them.
I really appreciate the memorial, and I’d like to see it remain. The wheels are bent pretty bad. Sorry, I don’t have any wheels.
I have some junk wheels but they’re 26″ – does that matter for the sake of the memorial?
I’d like to know what happened with that ticket.
There are quite a few cops downtown during the rush hours.. There are a few that park their car in front of the McDonalds and stand on cushion pads in the top of the Wood Street T station.
There are also quite a few that will run the lights downtown to let traffic through.. Most times doing it very poorly IMHO.
Joe, I’m glad you appreciate it. I do my best to keep it upright and clean, but for some reason, no matter what I do people stomp on the wheels. If I get new ones on there I am going to drive U-stakes into the ground to hole the wheels in place.
I don’t know what kind of disturbed person vandalizes a memorial….
Lyle, I’ll take them if you don’t need them. I have tried to bang the ones on it out a few times and true them up a bit, but they are way past that point.
I don’t need them. I gave freeride five bucks for them for a fix-a-flat class that is done. And they’re steel, so will be harder to bend.
Awesome. The one on it are steel… this is Central Oakland–they could be milled billet wheels and some jackass would find a way to ruin them.
Could we fill the tires with expanding foam, concrete, epoxy, or some other permanent material? Would that even help?
That may be a very good idea, Dan. I’m just not sure exactly how to get it in there. I could order some high density expanding foam, but that stuff is messy.
My first thought would be to glue the tire sidewalls to the rim with some epoxy (I have a tube of this I can donate to the cause) then lay the tire flat and level on the ground (you might need something to support it so it stays level), cut a big hole (or two) out of the sidewall, and use those holes to fill it up with some soupy quickset. When that is set, patch it up by epoxying the holes back from where you cut them. You should have a tire at least mostly filled with concrete that still looks like a tire.
It will give the first guy to kick them a sore foot, if nothing else.
Come to think of it, I may have half a bag of quickset in my basement. I’ll have to look.
Put the wheels on the bike with some badass epoxy…they sell this stuff at the hardware store called JB Weld…if you put this on the wheels they are never going to come off the bike.
Stolen wheels are not the problem, its the fact that they bash the crap out of them in some drunken stupor. Ghost bike doesn’t look so nice when it appears as if its been run over by a car.
Funny you say that, Dan–the bike has actually be ran over by a car.
Greasefoot, I know JB weld. I covered the heads of the screws that hold the sign up so it can’t be removed (easily).
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