Perhaps you read about it in the paper, or perhaps you found out Thursday. Tempe Police Department is stepping up enforcement on bicyclists. The police department issued warnings on Thursday, and I believe that this is the proper thing to do after a big change in enforcement policy. However the officer dispatched to monitor University Drive’s south sidewalk might as well have issued citations.
The officer stopped me, and I heard the end of his warning speech to the person he had stopped before me. He then asked me and the other bicyclists he’d stopped if we could read the “Ride with Traffic” sign before us, and told us to read it aloud in front of him. We were informed that the citations for this offense would be $150, and he said something to the effect of “I’ll bet you kids can think of better things to spend $150 on.” To my silence he said to me, “Oh, are you financially independent?” We were then allowed to go.
As I said, for the police to spend time issuing warnings of a policy change was noble, but to send an officer who simultaneously demeaned the bicyclists nullified the public relations entirely. I hope that in the future Tempe Police Department will give more thought to who they select to be the face of the department on jobs like this.