Murder, Meth, stabbings, shootings, and burglaries abound; but we’re going after Bicyclists!

In yesterdays printed version of the Times-Standard Eureka Police Chief Andrew Mills wkids on bikesas reported to be taking an “off the wall” proposed ordinance to the Transportation Safety Commission that would criminalize riding a bike on any city sidewalk. This, in effect, will make most of our kid’s outlaws for being safe. Most parts of the City don’t have bicycle lanes and riding on the side walk is the only safe way to travel. Take, for instance, California Street from Wabash to Harris Streets. You’d have to be nuts to let your child ride in the street along that path!

Our first thought was “what the hell, this got to be a joke”. With all the crazy crime going on in this town, this becomes a priority for the EPD? The TS set us all straight by quoting Mills as saying “We are serious about this.”

According to the California Office of Traffic Safety, Eureka was ranked No. 2 out of 94 similarly sized California cities for total fatal and injury collisions, No. 1 for pedestrian collisions, and No. 8 for bicycle collisions in 2011, the most recent year the statewide numbers are available.

“We are going to correct that by outlawing people riding on sidewalks anywhere in the city,” Mills said.

Right! Just how many fatalities have there been because of a bicycle crashing into a car or truck and killing the driver? How is it that our children safely riding on the sidewalk causes accidents?

This just seems like more of the misdirection we have now come expect of this Murl Harpham protege.

What wasn’t included in the reporting was the well known fact that alcohol and drugs are a major factor in these bicycle and pedestrian fatalities. On top of that, Eureka drivers don’t seem to recognize that they have to share the road with other modes of transportation. Many of our staff have had near misses with Eureka drivers that almost have a “road rage'” mentality when they encounter bicyclists.

The ordinance will also allow leniency for children riding on sidewalks, especially in neighborhoods, Mills said. “It will be at officers’ discretion for small children,” Mills said. The first penalty for riding on the sidewalk or violating a traffic law will not change, but the ordinance proposes that officers be able to seize an individual’s bike after the second citation or warning. .

So if a hard ass like Jones or Sanchez sees your kid riding on the sidewalk again they can seize their bike! After all, this failed concept has worked so well with criminalizing skateboarders. Every kid with a skateboard feels like a outlaw in this town.

bike riding outlaw

We can only hope that this “boardwalk bike riding outlaw” will be one of the first to have their bike seized!

We suspect that Mills was approached about this “non-issue” by one of the local crony’s, who like many Eureka drivers, is angry about bicyclists. Instead of trying to criminalize non-polluting forms of transportation, maybe this city could engineer some safer thorough fares for bicyclists. But wait, that would mean Eureka would have to have an intelligent and responsive council, which isn’t going to happen as long as the Brady Bunch is in power.

 

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16 thoughts on “Murder, Meth, stabbings, shootings, and burglaries abound; but we’re going after Bicyclists!

  1. This is sad, I had hopes for Chief Mills, but this is idiotic, unless it’s a stunt to look tough to backers but knowing that it would never pass.

    There are enforceable laws now for idiots riding unsafely, but many good citizens carefully negotiate the no bike paths, crowded parking lanes, narrow streets and have to decide whether the unpopulated sidewalk is safer, and it often is. I do and when I see a ped I stop and say hi, excuse me etc, and I don’t ride fast on any sidewalk, but ride there I do, it is a far safer alternative than bumpy narrow streets with impatient drivers, I am the one whho has to make that judgement, several times each block.

    Oh, and the crosswalk drainage gate bumps, that is actionable too, not meeting any safety standard from here to Africa.

    If I were hurt because I was intimidated by this law and attempting to be complying with it I would certainly find the most ridiculous personal injury lawyer I could and sue their/your/my collective pants off.

    No lights, riding the wrong way and unsafely on a sidewalk, those are enforceable now and give plenty of discretion to the overwhelmed patrol officers.

    Do the new Chief and the city a favor and put this thing down, now.

    Focus on burglaries and hard drug sales

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Many of those I see riding on the sidewalk, and not riding a bike safely, look like they are on meth, so maybe it is a proactive way to address a part of the meh problem. But as for kids, they should be exempt.

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    • no way, this leaves a campaign, probably with quotas or some clear path to advancement for patrol officers. They have laws now with discretion up to the officers, as it pretty much is, but with some bs campaign they will be harassing all manner of old people like myself who don’t dress ‘nicely’ and you would call me a tweeker and all manner of names, yet I am a business and home owner, don’t even smoke pot.
      If I am riding dangerously and oblivious to pedestrians and going the wrong way and acting dangerously, sure, stop me, yell at me, but don’t take money or my bike, that’s just stupid and undercuts public relations with the EPD..as if it could even lower.

      Yet right now EPD rarely bothers even obvious tweekers riding their stolen kid’s bike around at night with no lights…they are way too hard to catch, the only ones EPD will catch especially with dept pressure are the good citizens, some people coming home from a job or event…it won’t be the burglars and drug dealers we all see as well.

      This is another hippie kicking ban the bums maneuver..that shit never goes out of style for weak no answer officials trying to deal with mad scared noisy homeowners. This I blame partly on Lost Coast Outpost for exaggerating and giving voice to all the fear mongers, and there are plenty of them.

      My guess is that he keeps getting shelled with this ‘ban the bum’ crap at the prayer breakfasts.

      Surely he is responding the Easy Answers From Stupid People again..

      It’s sad, I had hopes for Mills…now I give him a year at most.

      Feel good bullshit..’DO Something!!!!’™

      Liked by 1 person

  3. So far it’s just dysfunctional business as usual in this town. I sure miss Garr.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You might remember Garr Nielsen had his own proposal to make his presence known shortly after he started here: Aggressive enforcement of abandoned car ordinances in Eureka.

      Not that we didn’t already have ways to deal with abandoned cars. I reported four of them myself. Nielsen’s proclamation resulted in at least one non- abandoned trailer (mine) getting tagged.

      No hard feelings on my end as I know every new chief wants to come up with something significant to show they’re the new boss and taking charge, so it’s not just a Chief Mills thing. Unfortunately, for some reason sometimes the things they decide to focus on seem a bit strange.

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    • Oh, and just as an aside, even Chiefs that have been here for a while come up with some weird things.

      I recall Chief Ray Shipley jumping on the bike lane bandwagon making a public statement that Eureka P.D. would be enforcing violations of cars in bike lanes very strictly. He went on to say if a car was found driving in a bike lane, the driver would be ticketed.

      Unless I’m mistaken that’s contrary to the state’s vehicle code. Cars are supposed to pull into a bike lane on their right prior to making a right hand turn, assuming my recollection is correct.

      The reasoning being that by moving into a bike lane you put any potential bike riders to your rear where they aren’t likely to run into you, or you them, by waiting til the last minute to cross through the bike lane.

      I almost sent a letter to the editor in on that one but never got around to it.

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    • There was a public outcry about all the abandoned vehicles. Bicycles on sidewalks, not so much. Oranges and apples. Aggressive enforcement of codes on the books doesn’t seem that far of a stretch. Pushing new and unnecessary codes is a little different. As a libertarian, I would think you’d be against this new regulation. Especially the seizing of property!

      Nice that Garr didn’t have your vehicle impounded. If it was a bike, Mills would impound it after one warning!

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    • JP wrote, “There was a public outcry about all the abandoned vehicles. Bicycles on sidewalks, not so much. Oranges and apples. Aggressive enforcement of codes on the books doesn’t seem that far of a stretch. Pushing new and unnecessary codes is a little different. As a libertarian, I would think you’d be against this new regulation. Especially the seizing of property!

      There’s some public outcry against careless bike riders as we’ve seen in the Lost Coast Outpost and even here. I don’t consider this a comparison of oranges vs. apples.

      I may not agree with this new code. I’m simply pointing out what might be the motivation for someone like a new Chief of Police coming up with a policy to show the city (and its council) they’re taking care of things.

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  4. Murl jr. deserves the TEx dumb ass of the weekend award!

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  5. A little kid riding their bike along a section of sidewalk where there are no driveways is one thing. Adults on bikes zipping along the sidewalks, crossing driveways and intersections at high speed (sometimes, it appears, without even looking) is another thing. The former should be perfectly legal, the latter not.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. For those without quality health insurance, for those with health insurance but high co-pays/deductibles, for those with Medi-Crap, for those not wealthy, idiotic bicycle riders are a serious health threat. And it’s not like the legal system is going to do diddly when they hurt people. Good luck getting the bicyclist/the bicyclist’s parents to pay bills at all, let alone as they accrue.

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  7. I don’t understand why a child is safer riding on the sidewalk but an adult is safer not riding on the sidewalk.

    This can’t be about the safety of bicyclists and reducing the number of bicyclists injured on Eureka roads. If it were, they would promote more bike paths where bicyclists aren’t on the road.

    In my experience as a driver, the biggest safety hazard is poor visibility due to cars allowed to park too close to intersections. The second biggest is speeding.

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  8. The purpose of violation-inflation has always been revenue enhancement, rarely public safety. Cyclists are easy targets.

    Otherwise, there would be a city-wide 25mph speed limit that would end most injuries and fatalities in one of California’s most dangerous cities to walk, bike or drive…(Eureka).

    Liked by 1 person

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