Bike Bust goes Ballistic. Arts Advocate Activity Adds Alliteration Angle!

This post qualifies as a report on life and culture in Portland because it involves both an arts advocate and a bicycle.

This morning, Jessica Jarratt, the new Executive Director of Portland’s Creative Advocacy Network and a friend of Culture Shock, was commuting by bike to her job in the Pearl District. She pedaled her way right into a sting operation by riding through a red light at the corner of NE Broadway and Flint.

Quite rightfully, Ms. Jarratt was pulled over by the cops. What should have been a routine citation escalated when she was asked to produce an identification card. When she questioned whether she was legally required to carry such, the police officer decided she was causing trouble and slapped the handcuffs on her. She reports that the cuffing was painful and left red marks on her wrist.

Jarratt says that she has no intention of disputing the citation and $240 fine, but she has filed a complaint about the way she was treated. A more complete report of the incident can be found at the Bike Portland blog.

I understand that the police have a tough job and that the underlying goal here is to prevent tragic accidents. I also know that Portland is full of bike riders who routinely flout the rules. But really? Is this the way we want Portland Police to be handling traffic violations? I'll be interested in how this incident plays out over the next few days.

On Facebook, where Ms. Jarratt first reported the incident to friends, she later posted this video of how police in Denmark handle biking violations, suggesting that it might serve as a training video for Portland cops:

Speaking of bikes, Powell’s Books is bringing David Byrne to the Bagdad Theatre on September 30th to talk about his book “Bicycle Diaries.”


Anonymous said...

I swear, Scandinavia does everything better! Did you know Swedish women are guaranteed like 16 months maternity leave no matter where they work?

MightyToyCannon said...

I know! But conservatives make it out to be the worst thing that could ever happen to us.

Unknown said...

Love the hugs. But did the Scandinavian bikers check for their wallets afterwards?

Stephen said...

I am proud live in such a bike positive city & I admire the bike culture. I own a bike, that I ride, but I don't commute on (I ride the Yellow Line). My bike is a Schwinn Tourister 1972. That being said...
most bikers in Portland are out of control in flaunting the law. I manage 2 downtown businesses, & I have to dodge bike riders on the sidewalks of downtown Portland several times every day. At my business on SW Park Ave, the sidewalk has been severly narrowed because of construction & the bikers ride at full speed on a sidewalk just big enough for 2 pedestrians & they yell- "on your left!", as if the pedestrian should accomodate the biker! It is illegal to ride a bike on downtown sidewalks, & I would really love to see riders ticketed for doing so. But... I would never wish for them to be harrassed or roughed up. I am sure we will hear more about this incident. I would be very open to being hugged by a Scandinavian policeman, for any reason. I really appreciate the alliteration in your title, & I always aprreciate your quality posts on this blog & on MightyToyCannon, I remain a fan.

MightyToyCannon said...

Stephen, like you, I appreciate Portland's bike culture, long may it grow and prosper. Having said that, I'm completely with you on the biking on the sidewalk thing. I especially hate it when I'm walking my dog and a bike zooms past, narrowly avoiding colliding with us. I know that Portland's serious biking community works hard to foster responsible and safe biking.