I'll post any responses I get.
Date: Wed, 20 Sep 2006 22:29:58 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: strange police behavior
I ride my bicycle everywhere and tonight as I was riding west on W St, a police car pulled over to within a half-foot of me, slowed to my speed and drove parallel to me for two or three seconds. It was very peculiar and felt somewhat menacing. I wouldn't write you for such a small matter, except that this is the second time a police car has buzzed me like this.
I have always had pleasant, professional interactions with the Sacramento police. Since I am entirely bland-looking and ride sedately, I can't imagine what professional purpose is served by driving so close to me for so long. Perhaps there is a good reason for the officer to do that, and I would love to know what it is. Without knowing a good reason, it feels like the officer is just bullying a cyclist by edging her back into door range.
I know that the city of Sacramento believes in alternate modes of transportation and wants to support her cyclists. Is there a way to remind our police force that cyclists are not secondary users of our roads and that their purpose includes supporting bike riders?
Thanks for your attention,
I don't expect anything to come of it. My councilman will write me back, because he is conscientious like that. The other three? Don't know. Can't think what they could really do about it either, except maybe a one-liner in whatever internal newsletter the police department puts out, saying 'be nice to cyclists!'.
I guess I just have two more thoughts. My sympathies have always been with bike activists, because it is an environmentally kind mode of transportation. But riding my bike exclusively for two months gives me a whole new understanding of the fervency behind bike activism. It genuinely feels like people driving cars are willing to be careless with our lives. It is hard not to get angry and strident over that.
Second, I am the fortunate of society that this is the type of complaint that I have about our police force. I usually like and trust authority. I want it to live up to its privilege.