Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Air Quality District says 'Drive a Car'

Here's a memo from the San Francisco Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD), which is tasked with improving air quality in the SF Bay Area:

The memo from Human Resources officer Michael Rich informs employees:
It has come to the attention of the human resources office that some employees may be riding their bicycles in the course of their work duties. While biking to work is an option that the District supports, employees are not to ride their bikes in the course of their work duties.

"The potential for serious injury is much greater riding a bicycle than driving a car in the event of an accident. Until further notice, employees should not ride their bicycles in the course of performing their work duties.
This isn't some kind of hoax, is it? Who distributes paper memos anymore?

Read more about this Bikescape.

Update: Mark Stosberg received a response from Mike Rich and posted it here. Mr Rich writes, in part: "When it came to my attention earlier this year at our employees were riding their bicycles in the course and scope of their employment, it raised a concern because it is something that we were not aware was occurring and that we had no program set up for." If the Air Quality District needs a "program" for every work activity, I don't think it sounds like a great place to work.


Anonymous said...

This is not good but the situation in St Louis is worse: Cyclist told to get off the road and ride on the sidewalks by the Police for "impeding traffic".
It looks like local passivity is finally catching up with the apathetic cycling community. A bad situation is getting worse.
Stay safe,

Fritz said...

Jack, I'd be interested to hear of any resolution to the Webster Grove incident that you mentioned.

bikesgonewild said... is micheal rich simply ignorant or overly concerned by our litigious society ?..., gung ho in webster grove...

cafiend said...

If your state or local jurisdiction has laws that allow cyclists to use the road (I don't know that this is a universally accepted principle), carry a copy of the appropriate documents so you can cite them to an officer improperly interfering with your right to ride. Do so politely, giving as full a citation as possible of the laws in question. That way, if the officer continues to harass you, you have the strongest possible position in any resulting legal or disciplinary action.

It has to happen at street level, on an incident-by-incident basis. Cyclists must educate themselves and then be ready to educate law officers and other road users.

New Hampshire and Maryland both published little digests of bike-related state laws. Check your own state for similar handy resources.

Anonymous said...

Carrying a copy of relevant laws is nice in theory but not effective. Showing these laws to police officers before, I've been told:
1) "I do not have time to read that",
2) "I am the law".
3) "I don't care what the laws says, I care about law enforcement".

The one I have yet to hear is "where's the proof that those words are the law".

Suggesting that it is the duty of cyclists to spend time and energy to educate law enforcement is too often self-defeating and a waste of time. Shameful but true.

Concentrate on riding safely,

bikesgonewild said...

...i have to agree...cafiend's idea is good in theory but i'd even add another line to jack's dismissive list, "ya, well take it to can discuss it w/ the judge"...

...oft times even a friendly cop will see your behavior as trying to show him up...despite your intent...