Radical Bike Resources -- Advocacy -- Bicycle Civil Liberties Union (BCLU) -- ABUSE REPORTS The Bicycle Civil Liberties Union The Bicycle Civil Liberties Union ABUSE REPORT:


Date of Incident:

Date: Mon, 28 Jan 2002 13:51:24 -0800 (PST)
From: Jason Meggs [jmeggs (at-) bclu.org]
To: UCB Bicycle Subcommittee [bflores (at-) uclink.berkeley.edu],
     Billi Romain [bromain (at-) cp.berkeley.edu], boletus (at-) socrates.berkeley.edu,
     Carolyn Helmke [chelmke (at-) ci.berkeley.ca.us],
     David Campbell [dcampbel (at-) lmi.net], dma (at-) cal.berkeley.edu,
     dparajon (at-) uclink.berkeley.edu, gjhaet (at-) uclink4.berkeley.edu,
     glwaugh (at-) uclink.berkeley.edu, goluba (at-) uclink4.berkeley.edu,
     Hank Resnik [hankr (at-) earthlink.net], hgr3 (at-) uclink4.berkeley.edu,
     Imiusausa (at-) netscape.net, Jason Meggs [jason (at-) ucdata.Berkeley.EDU],
     Jennifer Lawrence [jlawrence (at-) cp.berkeley.edu], jhorner (at-) cp.berkeley.edu,
     john_ruzek (at-) yahoo.com, khans (at-) uclink4.berkeley.edu,
     meolin (at-) uclink.berkeley.edu, Greg Noblet [noblet (at-) zephyr.ce.berkeley.edu],
     oldham (at-) eecs.berkeley.edu, permaul (at-) uclink4.berkeley.edu,
     rhiatt (at-) uclink.berkeley.edu, ritabond (at-) uclink4.berkeley.edu,
     rjones (at-) cp.berkeley.edu, samp1137 (at-) hotmail.com, Sarah Syed [ssyed (at-) lmi.net],
     stoll (at-) uclink.berkeley.edu, swheeler (at-) uclink.berkeley.edu
Cc: Chancellor [calmailsupport (at-) marble.berkeley.edu],
     Lillian L. Brock [llbrock (at-) uclink4.berkeley.edu],
     Stephen Bundy [bundys (at-) mail.law.berkeley.edu],
     City Council [clerk (at-) ci.berkeley.ca.us],
     UCPD [ucpolice (at-) uclink.berkeley.edu],
     Berkeley Cop Watch [copwatchberkeley (at-) yahoo.com],
     BFBC-Talk [bfbc-talk (at-) stat.Berkeley.EDU],
     California Bicycle Coalition [cbc (at-) topica.com],
     evan payne [greenkutchluk (at-) yahoo.com], Larry Hildes [lhildes (at-) earthlink.com],
     David Beauvais [davebeau (at-) pacbell.net]
Subject: Bicycle Subcommittee: citations concern
UC Bicycle Subcommittee:
I am writing with grave concern regarding the UCPD campaign of targeting
bicyclists on campus.
The Bicycle Civil Liberties Union is still receiving multiple reports of
bicyclists being cited, often under questionable circumstances, and yet
not being informed of the existence of the bicycle diversion program
safety class.  We have repeatedly raised this concern, beginning last
Because of the officers' habitual failure to provide the required
information, some bicyclists are waiting to receive information in the
mail, but when they do, it is evidently too late to opt for the traffic
Just one such story has raised some serious questions about the true
motive of this program.
One cyclist has gone through significant trouble attempting to find out
about the class, and says that UCPD has not been answering their phone
number in addition to not having given him a flyer about the program.
He reports that when he went to walk-in traffic court, he met another
cyclist who said she had suffered the same general treatment.
In addition, he suffered confusion as to what to do because it was never
made clear to him that the program is distinct from the Albany-Berkeley
Municipal Court system (as per my understanding of it at this time).
Failing to get information from UCPD even when calling them, he waited for
notice in the mail and was surprised to see that the "not eligible for
traffic school" box was checked. Of course, the diversion program and the
traffic school program are quite separate and distinct, but the general
public is not aware of these distinctions.  Some are therefore falling
victim to that lack of clarity on the part of those administering this
campaign of selectively targeting bicyclists.
Even more troubling is the report from one bicyclist that upon receiving
his citation, he stated to the officer that what he was doing was not
dangerous and was not inconveniencing or endangering anyone.  The officer
(who had chased him down on a bicycle, even though the citee was walking
at the time) reportedly agreed, said he had been bicycling on the plaza
for at least seven years, and that the only reason they were giving
tickets was to make money.
We request that a clear report on the funding channels of this massive
citation campaign against bicyclists be provided to the public
immediately.  Is there a profit motive for UC police to be carrying out
this campaign, and to be deliberately executing it without providing the
promised information as to the bicycle diversion program option?
We would also like to know why reckless driving on campus -- which has
greatly increased in recent years, as campus used to be essentially
car-free -- is being tolerated when respectful and beneficial bicycling
practices are being targeted so aggressively and so disingenuously.
The Bicycle Civil Liberties Union believes that this enforcement campaign
has been harmful to the goals of encouraging bicycling, including the goal
of increasing bicycle education and safety, and should be suspended at
This program is discriminatory, unwarranted, and persecutive, and has not
been implemented as promised.  The time and trouble inflicted on these
well-meaning bicyclists, as well as the exorbitant fines, is a true crime.
The disregard for more serious safety problems on and around campus (e.g.,
motor vehicle behavior) further points to the disingenuousness of this
Comprehensive corrective action should be taken at once with at least the
diligence, breadth and influence of the bicycle-targeting campaign, and we
demand the dismissal (or vacating of the record, along with exoneration
and refund, for those already convicted) of all citations under this
program as well as a public apology to the entire campus and greater
Berkeley community.
Jason Meggs, Director
Bicycle Civil Liberties Union 
P.O. Box 15071
Berkeley, CA  94712-6071
WEB: http://www.bclu.org/
Office:    (510) 643-6768 (w)
Facsimile: (510) 486-1528
Pager:     (510) 720-2818
CC: Chancellor's Office
    Mayor and City Council, City of Berkeley
    UC Police Review Board
    Bicycle-Friendly Berkeley Coalition
    California Bicycle Coalition
    Attorneys for BCLU

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