April 2, 2013 Honorable Scott Waguespack 32nd Ward Alderman 2657 N. Clybourn Ave.

Chicago, IL 60614 Dear Alderman Waguespack, Thank you for sharing the concerns you’ve heard from constituents regarding people on bicycles ignoring the rules of the road. With the increase in bicycling, this matter is more important than ever before, and we support improved enforcement of bicyclerelated traffic laws, and indeed all traffic laws. Below, please find our comments on the lack of traffic enforcement in Chicago – for both bicyclists and motorists – and our recommendations for how to move forward. Prioritizing Traffic Enforcement Enforcement of traffic laws –in concurrence with the City’s existing engineering and education efforts– is the most powerful way to influence safety on Chicago’s streets. But Chicago’s current enforcement efforts have limited impact. People’s behavior in traffic –whether on bicycles or driving cars- could be improved by an increase in routine enforcement by the Chicago Police Department (CPD). Routine enforcement does not imply a “crackdown” on bicyclists, nor does it imply that police should prioritize cyclist traffic violations over other types of traffic crime. Rather, it is the engagement of a standard ticketing procedure by police officers when they witness egregious offences from people on bicycles. Our expertise on this issue comes not just from our work with the cycling community, but also from years of consulting work at the CDOT Bicycle Program, where our staff has coordinated with CPD on a number of initiatives including:    Developing and implementing enforcement training programs for officers that target motorists who endanger cyclists in traffic Coordinating targeted Share-the-Road enforcement events that address specific bicyclist behavior, as well as that of motorists and pedestrians Establishing a procedure for CPD to record “dooring” crashes so the City could track them when the State was not doing so


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Advocating for a standard ticketing procedure for bicyclist moving violations and the issuance of a General Order on such procedure–which, to our knowledge, has never been issued

We know firsthand about CDOT’s enforcement-related efforts across agency lines over the years. But CDOT is not a law enforcement agency and there are many barriers to an effective enforcement program that are out of CDOT’s control. If the City wants to increase compliance with traffic laws, these issues must be brought to CPD. Barriers to enforcement Both the Municipal Code of Chicago and the Illinois Vehicle Code afford people on bicycles all the same rights and duties of motor vehicle drivers. CDOT uses one of the largest bicycle safety education programs in North America to make Chicago cyclists aware of the rules of the road. CPD is legally empowered to cite bicyclists for traffic infractions, and there are sufficient bicycle patrol units to carry out enforcement on a multi-modal level. Despite this, there are procedural disincentives for Police officers to issue tickets to bicyclists. The Illinois Bail Rule requires officers to confiscate driver licenses when ticketing any person for a moving violation, or bring them in to post cash bail. Considering all of their other responsibilities on the beat, this requirement impacts an officer’s decision to pull a driver over for a traffic ticket –and the situation becomes much more complex when the offenders are on bicycles and even less likely to have a driver’s license. Bringing a cyclist into a police station creates many procedural challenges (e.g., hours taken out of their day, liability issues if the bicycle has to be transported, etc.). In cases when cyclists do not have a driver’s license, but are able to provide another form of ID, some officers issue an Administrative Notice of Violation (ANOV) in lieu of a moving violation. In our experience, most police officers are aware of the challenges, but not of their options. As a result, they do not prioritize this type of enforcement in their day-to-day work, and thus errant cyclists do not perceive any consequences for their actions. Also, if officers are not currently prioritizing motor vehicle violations, it seems unlikely that they’ll prioritize those of cyclists. Strategy for improved enforcement A simple ticketing procedure for bicyclists’ traffic violations would be relatively simple to establish, and we recommend that the City support CPD in this process. Anecdotally, we know the ANOV strategy mentioned above is already being used by many officers and it is the simplest procedure for officers and for cyclists, thus we


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would advocate for this strategy. CPD would, of course, conduct a legal analysis of the state and local bicycling laws within a routine enforcement framework, before formally adopting a procedure. Once adopted, steps should be taken to integrate it into officer training materials and issue a Department-wide general order. The general orders remain on record so that Sergeants can refer to them whenever necessary to answer questions from officers on the beat. In order to do this, CPD will need encouragement and support in the following forms:  Aldermanic and Mayoral support. In the broad context of law enforcement and the many challenges CPD faces, it is understandable that bicycle safety would not take top priority. Policymakers can make it clear that this facet of traffic safety impacts everyone and that there is a demand from the public to address this issue. Interagency support. CDOT, Corporation Counsel, and Administrative Hearings all have an interest in the success of this effort. It is recommended that these agencies be engaged to conduct a legal analysis, address the increase in bicyclerelated hearings that will have to be processed. Community support. Active Trans is known for its work to educate people about bike-related traffic laws and safety. With an effective enforcement program in place, our organization could be a valuable partner in increasing compliance with bicycle-related traffic laws. As a voice for the cycling community, Active Trans can also help build acceptance of this initiative among the cycling community.

It is imperative that any resulting initiatives are carried out in a balanced way based on real safety outcome goals, as opposed to a “crackdown” targeting one specific transportation mode, which could hinder the City’s efforts to improve safety on Chicago’s streets. Active Trans would be pleased to discuss this issue in greater depth, and to participate in any discussions of this matter with CPD. Sincerely,

Lee Crandell Director of Campaigns

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