The Morning News: Meet the Seattle Cop Who Writes Way More Tickets to Bicyclists Than Any Other

Comments

1
Everyone loves a guy that can spearhead a massive boondoggle but shame on you if you want to raise minimum wage.
2
@1

What does that even mean?

@ Officer Mulkey

Good on you! About time bicyclists were asked to follow the rules of the road like the rest of us. Know how to avoid his citations, scofflaw cyclists? How about just obeying the laws? I frankly don't understand why you're allowed to rude the streets without license plates, turn indicators and so on.
3
I'm pro helmet, and I support helmet laws. But enforcement needs to be fair, and if only one cop is citing bicyclists, and it's almost exclusively for helmets, that's just harassment. If you're going to just focus on one infraction, running stops signs and red lights is the thing.
4
LOL @ Seattleblues... Clearly he didn't read the article.
5
Sorry- ride the streets. Though 'rude' describes you beter than ride come to think of it...
6
@4
Actually, already Mile High, I did. The SPD has no issue with the citations. And as noted, following the laws will magically protect idiot childrens toy 'commuters' from what you stupidly call harassment.
7
SB, if you did, you wouldn't have phrased it the way you did.

Caught in another lie. LOL
8
@7

Oh. I see. You are that stupid.

License plates, turn indicators, appropriate night lighting and insurance as well as the road taxes motorists pay OUGHT to be the law. They are not what the good officer was writing citations for, because it' s currently legal to operate a bike on the roads without any of that.

Now, smoke your 4th joint of the morning jand relax, Mile High.
9
Officer Mulkey must have been the motor officer I saw writing up an aghast cyclist who'd run a red light on 3rd Avenue last winter; they mostly cite autos using 3rd Avenue during rush hour, but bust errant bikies and jaywalkers, too. "I'm saving the planet by riding this bike, and you're busting me for running a red light?" (A verbatim quote - howls of derisive laughter from the pedestrians on the sidewalk.)
10
Not surprised about the negative numbers on Sawant. Those who don't play nice with the establishment, get trashed by the establishment and their surrogates in the press (Seattle Times & Publicola) For background, check out what happened to McGinn.

It seems dumb to poll the entire city, for someone who is running in a district election. But it adds to the "negative" branding of the socialism, which pleases the establishment.
11
LOL @ SB. The article wasn't about any of that. It was just helmets.

Now, go back to your imaginary black wife and imaginary Italian villa - or wait, are you "working" at your imaginary business? Whatever the thorazine allows you to pretend is real.
12
I'm not as surprised about the negative numbers but the Ed's favorability comes completely out of left field. He has dragged his feet on affordable housing and police accountability, and brought us Bertha. He only represents downtown interests.
13
Zip lines are almost as stupid as seattleblues.
14
I hope this means we get another 100+ comment post from Herz about how stupid helmets are.
15
Helmets are smart. Helmet laws are stupid.
16
Aren't helmets the seat belts of bikes?
17
How does Murray have 70% approval and Sawant 40%. Sawant brings us $15 an hour and pushes for a lot of progressive legislation while Murray does what? Tries to take credit for minimum wage increase? A few rainbow crosswalks at $6000 each? Kow towing to telecomm and not even trying to get municipal broadband?
18
I love sawant because she makes boring people angry. the social justice is just icing on the cake.
19
I must have missed something in that helmet article. The guy says he doesn't wear a helmet, there's a fine for riding a bike without a helmet,and he gets a bunch of tickets. Seems pretty obvious to me.

Frankly I appreciate the cops writing tickets to bikers that i share the road with. They're supposed to follow the same laws as cars and motorcycles, so yes they must stop at stop signs and lights.

I saw a biker get a ticket for running a stop sign a while ago, and it was pretty funny. The cop started the whole thing by simply saying that he needs to stop at the sign, after the biker nearly ran over a pedestrian crossing the street. The biker then started yelling at the cop about 'momentum' and pretty much opted into the ticket.
20
The best way to avoid a ticket is to follow the traffic laws. I think we need a special emphasis task force to nip our local cycling community into shape.
21
@SB, from your comments in the past, it is obvious you have no concept of the experience of riding a bike in a city. And that's the biggest problem: our current traffic laws and infrastructure are created by people with no understanding of how a cyclist experiences and operates in traffic.

If our city was laid out and our traffic laws created by folks who had never ridden in a car, let alone drive one, it would be a clusterfuck. And that's what we have w/ bicycles: a clusterfuck. (and No, sweet cheeks, riding a motorcycle is not the same.) Just saying "Let them all obey the laws we already have" is the way of the lazy idiot, who wants to project the image of intelligence, but doesn't want to learn anything beyond their own assumptions.

A bike is neither a pedestrian nor is it a motor vehicle. It is its own type of vehicle and deserves its own set of infrastructure and laws. Created by those who actually ride a bike, duh, and anyone who doesn't should be treated like flat-earthers. Until that happens, we're just go to have to wallow in the stupidity and anger created by shoe-horning every kind of traffic into the car model.
22
How about whipping our local driver community into shape? All the time motorists violate stop lines and cross walks, block the box, make illegal right and left turns... Bicycles are low impact, and everyone riding one is saving the city and state major bucks in reduced wear of our roads. It is time the automobile drivers dropped the attitude that roads are meant for them.
23
How does Ed Murray have 70% approval and Sawant 40%? Every time such numbers are reported by Sawant hating rags like Publicola, and its spinoff, Erica C. Barnett, who hate Sawant you will see such numbers. Fortunately, people in Sawant's district as well as huge numbers of people in other districts and beyond love Sawant. The between Sawant and Banks will also come into sharper focus after the primary when people realize that not only does Banks not support rent control, she doesn't even support linkage fees, which were endorsed in Seattle Council Resolution 31551 on October 20, 2014 in a 7 to 2 vote (Rasmussen and Bagshaw opposed), and scheduled to be put into effect next month. Though linkage fees were recently placed in a lockbox until dust from the HALA Report recommendations settles, the fact that they are supported by a super majority of the council indicates Banks is not living on the same planet as the council with respect to affordable housing. Of course, it is always possible that Banks turns out to be flipflopper, in which case--if she wins--we would get ourselves another Sally Clark.

In addition, Ed Murray's purported 70% approval rating will likely drop like a rock once SF residential neighborhoods wake up to the fact that they have been massively upzoned. The mayor and the HALA committee have reeled back from CALLING it an upzone after the leak to Danny Westneat, but allowing triplexes, stacked flats, courtyard housing, etc. throughout all residential neighborhoods of Seattle is still an upzone in the same way that you can put lipstick on a pig and call it Monique, but it's still a pig. I predict that if this HALA report recommendation stands, developers will zero in on the cheapest housing they can find, e.g., in Southeast (D2) and far North Seattle (D5), and gentrify the crap out those neighborhoods as fast as possible. They are at present the last bastions of lower middle class owned homes, and displacement of people of modest means and POC will be massive, if for no other reason than 20% of these homes are rentals.
24
For all you know, Mulkey could have lost a love one due to a speeding, out of control cyclist not yielding to them while walking through a crosswalk http://madisonparkblogger.blogspot.com/2…, lost a child when their mother took them out for a bike ride in a rear-wheel bike carrier without a helmet and another cyclist's unexpected swerve caused the whole contraption to topple over, or have suffered several traumatic scenes of scooping broken bicyclists off the street only to hear a dr say "if he had a helmet he might have lived, but now we're just contacting family to see if he was an organ donor with what is still salvagable".
25
Hilarious…helmets are the equivalent of seatbelts. Somebody tell the flatlanders of Europe! As for obeying the law(s), one should. And, a helmet is a very simple addition to safety.

But please be advised, if being a “scofflaw cyclist” is the surest way to the ER, the second surest is being hearsome cyclist…both will get you killed.
26
Has anyone at any time been issued a fine (up to $5000) under Washington State's Vulnerable User law? Ever?

27
Excellent point SRotU, that cyclist who knocked the crosswalk-using pedestrian unconscious surely is a candidate for a harsh penalty like the VUL (which applies to bicycle vehicles too, btw).
28
@22 haha spot on. Coming from the east coast, all of you - yes - every driver in Seattle and in this thread - are bad drivers. Bad at parallel parking. Bad at changing lanes on the highway. Bad at checking your mirrors and meeting eyes with bicyclists, motorcyclists and pedestrians. You treat parking garage exits like on-ramps to highways, and roll right into cross walks while complaining about bikers cutting you off in the cross walk out of the corner of your mouths. All while fast-lane coasting at 55 miles an hour talking on your damn cell-phone and smoking a cig.

And as a Seattle biker, I wear a helmet, stop at lights and stop signs when it is SAFE TO DO SO, always pull priority and will get in front of a line of cars - sometimes into the crosswalk - to create my own "green box" as to not be run over, always signal and have lights, etc.

And considering the vast number of other bikers I see doing the same things (plus the massive numbers of bikers in this city...with only one cop writing a few number of tickets) any arguments of "aggressive and non-follow-the-rule-type bikers" is pretty unfounded.

Drivers (myself included) rarely follow all the rules. Like ever. I routinely go 5-10 mph over the speed limit, California roll-through the sign-less intersections of North and West Seattle, etc. etc. So let's not act like drivers are holier than thou.

Also - it's a good day when you can wake up to a Seattleblues rant. you can almost smell the bullshit in the air.
29
The bicyclists should look at the practical and useful side of a helmet. Wearing a helmet makes the biker more difficult to be identified, That way if they are caught on camera after mowing down a pedestrian and pulling a hit and run they have a better chance of getting away with it.
30
@28:

That's flat-out mendacious! You hardly EVER see Seattle drivers smoking!

But, in all seriousness, check out the number of out-of-state plates on the roads the next time you're out-and-about, and THEN come back to us with how "every driver in Seattle...are bad drivers". The problem isn't so much drivers FROM Seattle, but the sheer intermixing of drivers from, well, just about everywhere, all trying to use techniques and practices based on what was considered "normal driving" wherever they came from; and believe me, they're NOT uniform.
31
@2, 5, 6, 8:

LOOK, THERE! EVIL PURE AND SIMPLE!
32
As a transportation safety researcher, I can say there is no valid reason for ticketing a cyclist.

-Bicycle helmets barely work even in the best conditions. They do pretty much nothing to protect cyclists from the thing that kills most cyclists (cars).

-One car breaking a traffic law is more dangerous than 100 cyclists breaking traffic laws.

MADD estimates the average DUI recipient has driven drunk 80 times before receiving a ticket. And these officers are prioritizing writing bike helmet tickets? Until all drivers are obeying the law all the time, there's no logical justification for ticketing cyclists. Cops giving tickets to cyclists are wasting limited resources that need to be put towards public safety.
33
@32 As a Bullshit researcher, I can say with certainty that you're full of shit.
34
Wait a minute, he issues an average of 124 tickets to cyclists a year. Why that is a little over 2 a week! The outrage! I have to sit down. Why this has given me the vapors! I declare...
35
Haha @30 - I think it's more of the DEVIL'S WEED!!!!

Yeah - kind of a good point until you realize that this isn't a metropolitan mecca (yet...thanks Amazon...) and you really don't have that many out-of-state drivers.

I-5 is not the I-95 corridor - the N-S highway that literally has NO driving that is NOT in a metro area of another state...Norfolk, Wilmington, B-More, DC, Trenton, Philly, NYC, New Haven, Providence, Boston, Portsmouth, Portland and THEN your in Canada. You will be on the road in Jersey and somehow only see PA or DE plates.

Seattle's driving woes unfortunately doesn't come from people from Idaho or Oregon. It's Washingtonians and people from BC (I'll try and dig up this study to link, but it stated that even though Washington residents only make up 1/3 of all destination spending in the state, they make up almost 2/3 of all in-state travel to those destinations...meaning most drivers are from in-state).

Y'all are terrifying behind the wheel.
36
http://www.deanrunyan.com/doc_library/WA…

Page 8 - prepared for Washington Tourism Alliance in 2012...so I guess that data might be different now...but it can't be off by a 1/3 in just 3 years.

I knew I had this thing in my bookmarks somewhere.
37
@35:

I beg to differ. I drive between Ballard & Capitol Hill straight through SLU (and frequently downtown) every workday, and I would estimate that currently roughly 20% of the vehicles I see around me carry out-of-state plates; and while a good portion of those ARE from OR & BC, the overwhelming majority aren't. If I had to take a guess, I'd have to say in the past year or so I've seen plates from just about every state, except perhaps HI, with CA, MT, TX, GA, MI, OH & NM being fairly common.
39
I do think one officer, representing .05% of SPD, writing 25% of all cycling tickets written by SPD is pretty ridiculous. That does not represent effective policing, even if you are are for a crackdown on cyclists. It's a waste of his time and all our money.

Anyways, according to my own observations most folks on bikes are reasonably law-abiding, at least as much as the average driver or pedestrian is. I see drivers run stop signs every single day, and drivers running reds downtown is a frequent enough occurrence that I don't trust the green light until I look for cars. Of course I see cyclists doing the same, but it's not like people are blazing through reds on a regular basis (really, that's not happening).

This is just how the road works. Most people break the laws they think they can break. Some go further.

One thing I know for sure: I would never, ever drive to work during rush hour. You'd have to be nuts to do it. Riding a bike is clearly a better way of getting around town (assuming you have the ability to do so, of course, and most people do).
40
This fucking town. I worked with cory a long time. And I have never met a more hardworking fair and considerate person in my life. And yet the vitriol and poison I've seen on the comments would be sickening if they were not so laughable. Washington state is one of the few states that require people over 18 to wear helmets. One of the reasons there is no federal helmet law is because many studies show that these laws discourage bicycle riding and that if you really want safer roads, you need more bicycle riders not less. www.seattlebikeblog.com/2013/06/04/feds-…

But to me this isn't about cory wearing a helmet or an over zealous cop. Its systematic to Seattle that enforcement of the law applies to a certain portion of the population. You think the skewed demographics of the town happened by coincidence. Blue collar jobs used to be respected here and you've forced everyone that doesn't fit a certain profile out.

One more thing. Cory isn't hiding behind some fucking screen name (looking at you that numbnuts seattle blues)he doesn't have some bullshit dotcom job and doesn't plan on getting a service job relying on tips from asshole brogrammers. He's a messenger out in the rain and snow everyday and traffic everyday, trying to make a living in a mall that thinks its a city.