Where do bicycles belong? At the back of the trolley

San Diegan cyclist FO wrote to us describing an encounter he had with a self-described off-duty “federal officer.” FO described himself as a fairly new resident to San Diego and still learning how to get around San Diego by bicycle. His destination this morning required him to use both his bicycle and the San Diego MTS trolley.

FO stated that he was considerably flummoxed when he got accosted by a trolley passenger. The passenger stated that “bicycles belong at the back of the trolley.” Fred responded by thanking the passenger for his advice. The passenger wearing a knit shirt, a baseball cap holding a small child responded, “that’s not advice, that’s the law!” FO responded again by thanking him for his concern. Getting more visibly agitated, the passenger stated, “it is not my concern, it is a fact.” He went on to say, “I’m a federal officer and it is the law that your bicycle goes in the back.” FO said, “I always follow the rules, but I didn’t know where to put it.” The passenger said “it is posted everywhere.” FO said he appreciated it but didn’t see the signs and that he would put his bicycle in the back from henceforth. Before leaving the trolley, the passenger stated that the law was there to protect passengers, not bicyclists.

While it is difficult for us to assess whether this passenger was indeed an off-duty law officer of some sort, this type of interaction with members of the community is neither positive nor fruitful. Here at Bike San Diego, we have begun to reach out to various governmental and law agencies in an attempt to create a meaningful relationship that all bicyclists can benefit from. San Diego can be a perfect bicycling mecca, and having positive interactions with all members of society will certainly ensure that it remains as such.

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