Sunday, September 25, 2005

Police POLICY fails to protect guide dog from bike on crowded sidewalk threat

Here is what the problem looks like, a bike, violating the State's Motor Vehicle Laws, riding on a crowded sidewalk in Central Square, on Mass Ave near Inman St, right outside City Hall, and only yards from the Police Station.
The bike comes up from behind a blind pedestrian using a guide dog. This "team" does not have the same "ability" as other pedestrians to jump aside, to avoid the danger. The bike rider believes he alone, should decide how much risk the blind pedestrian with guide dog should be exposed to.
Seniors, and persons with disabilities have repetedly testified in meetings and hearings that they do not want to be subjected to this danger time and again. We want the bikes off the sidewalks.
The City Coulcil plays the same "claim and blame" game, passing the buck to the City Manager. In a meeting last winter on the "4 Polint Of Safety" where the Police Commissioner's asigned City Attorney speaks for him, the City trys to limit risk, whild advocation more propaganda, ie more "education for the public." No ordinance is ordered by City Council to require the Police to enforce the Motor Vehicle Laws and protect seniors and people with disabilities from risk and unnessary danger, thereby denying their right to safe access to sidewalks, accessible pedestrian ramps and crosswalks.
City Council Holds another "Talk Show!"
On Wednesday, September 20, at the joint committee meeting re "bikes running red lights," deputy Superintendent Robert F. Ames presented information, a "report", claiming that bikes running red lights was still a problem, but they had succeeded in reducing "crosswalk" violations. No report on violations of bikes blocking the accessible pedestrian ramps was made, even though I brought this complaint to the Mayor, and then the City Council two years ago. On June 30, 2005, I photographed a police assignment enforcing the Motor Vehicle Laws in Central Sq. they stoped cars, but not bikes. The crosswalk and accessable pedestrian ramps were continually blocked. A blind person using a whits cane "ran into" a car blocking the accessible pedestrian ramp, after negociating his way around biks stopped on the crosswalk, and he went the wrong way around. NO ONE OF THE OFFICERS CAME TO HIS AID!!!
How many books are there?
When I raised this point during public comment, Deputy Superintendent Ames replied that the individual officers were to blame, and that they should ticket the bikes violating MV laws. However, is this really the truth? Isn't it true that when the officers were assigned to duty in Central Square, the officers were issued the "book" that is for cars and NOT the "book" that is for bikes? Isn't it true that police on bikes are issued the "book" that has violations for bikes? Isn't it true that officers assigned to foot patrol are issued neither of these two books? They are issued books for parking? Why didn't Deputy Superintendent Ames explain this to the City Councillors? Isn't this the REAL policy of the CPD and the City?
Washing their hands!
Why didn't the City Councillors ask questions that would reaveal the problem is with the practice and policy of the police? Has the city council used the public input and concerns to develop questions that would help them "get control" of the police policy? Or do we live in a police state where the City Councillors are helpless elected bystanders, forever wringing their hands, or should I say, washing their hands?


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