Appropriately named bicycle courier Matt Ryder knows the rules of the road, though he hasn’t necessarily followed them by the letter of the law every single day.
Ryder, 23, is one of 590 bicyclists given warnings by police since May through a City Hall initiative called “Give Respect, Get Respect” officials hope will change attitudes by Center City commuters on two wheels, four wheels and two feet.
“They should crack down on jaywalkers, too, and cabs. They should use equal discretion with all vehicles, not single out bikes because it’s trendy or popular,” said Ryder, who has been stopped several times for violations but has always received a warning. “I was pulled over in the first wave of crackdowns when DiCicco and Kenney had that reactionary bill. That didn’t last for too long and I don’t expect this will, either.”
Deputy Mayor for Transportation Rina Cutler said all commuters on downtown streets are being warned or ticketed if they don’t follow traffic laws, but the figures from May through last week either support Ryder’s notion that bicyclists are the main target or show bike riders follow traffic laws the least.
Cutler insisted every mode of transportation is targeted by the initiative.
“It’s our way of getting folks to be aware they’re not the only users of the roadway,” she said. “We made a conscious effort to really try to do some pubic education in advance of trying to do some serious enforcement.”