Meade and 39th — it's a trap!
“The policeman told me, ‘You are (riding) a bike and need to follow the rules of the road, and you did not stop at this four-way,'” said Anna Grace Carter.
She received a ticket that read “Civ. 22450(a) cvc stop sign.”
Anna Grace Carter: “It felt like he was just trying to make money, this was not for my safety."
Carter, 27, from Kensington, was riding her bicycle at 8:35 a.m. on Friday, March 24 to get her morning coffee at Dark Horse Coffee Roasters. As she crossed the intersection of Meade and 39th “… instantly he is behind me and I’m like Whaaaaat?” she said. “I never saw him [coming].”
She said Officer R. Thomas rode a motorcycle and pulled her over instantly, “like he was hiding by that shrubbery and white fence,” as she pointed to the houses and the apartment around the corner from where she was stopped.
“If there are zero cars at the stop sign, I’m not going to stop because it takes a lot more power to stop,” Carter said, “especially going uphill on Meade.”
She said she slowed down to about seven or eight miles per hour and knew because she monitored her speed with an app on her Apple watch. She added that the police officer disagreed and said, “You didn’t even slow down.”
“I was really upset by the way it was handled,” Carter said, “it felt like he was just trying to make money, this was not for my safety; there were no cars around.”
Shortly after receiving her ticket, she called her husband. He immediately posted about the incident to his social media. “I’d thought I’d share that the police are hiding out here (Meade and 39th) regularly and watching the stop sign. Make sure you stop all the way,” her husband warned. Others agreed and responded that Kensington and Normal Heights are hotspots for bicycle infractions.
Jean Zagrodnik, 62, from Normal Heights, approved of cops handing out tickets to bicyclists that do not abide by the law. “From what I understand, there are other places that have different rules that allow bikes to slow down and pass through stop signs without actually stopping,” she said. “If that were the law here, I would be fine with it.”
Zagrodnik was referring to the “Idaho stop.”
In 2010, Jason N. Meggs, from University of California, Berkeley, did a study on the Idaho stop. A portion of it read: "Idaho presents a natural experiment to test the safety of relaxing requirements due to its state law allowing cyclists to yield rather than come to a hard stop. Comparison cities lacking the law were sought, and Idaho fared best for overall bicycle safety, 30.4% better than the closest match. Bicycle injuries declined 14.5% the year after adoption of the law. Interviews and a survey were conducted and all indications were that the law has been beneficial or had no negative effect, encouraging additional states to follow."
“They are trying to pass the law now (in California),” said Carter’s husband, “just like in Idaho.”