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Friday, February 15 , 2019, 2:38 pm | Light Rain Fog/Mist 54º

 
 
 
 

Letter to the Editor: Fiesta Bike Ride Takes Disruptive Turn

Sunday was what apparently has become the annual Fiesta Bike Ride, the goal of which is to cause as much traffic disruption and road rage as possible.

Hundreds of bicycle riders — most without helmets, of course — ride through Santa Barbara taking great pleasure when going through red lights and screaming at those in cars who try to legally use the roadway. We found ourselves on State Street a couple of years ago when this event broke out and had to stop in the middle of the lane while bicycle riders whipped by us on both sides, slamming their fists into the sides of our car as they passed.

On Sunday, we happened to be at the intersection of State Street and Las Positas Road as these riders went by. In a constant stream, they rode through this major intersection while ignoring all red traffic lights and raising their fists while screaming at drivers who tried to cross. As horns blared, the riders became even more belligerent in their instance that all traffic should come to a complete halt for them.

I called 9-1-1 to make a report, wrongly assuming the police would care. I was told, “We are aware of the situation,” and, “There is nothing we can do about it.” When I told the operator that if I drove down State Street and ran every red light I would get a ticket. Her response was, “There is nothing we can do about it.”

It would be fascinating to know how many reports were received by the Police Department. Having now experienced this event twice, it seems obvious that someone is going to get hurt, while the Police Department’s policy is to know and ignore. It’s a policy that says if one person breaks the law, there will be a penalty, but if hundreds do the same thing at the same time, we’ll do nothing.

Some journalist should do an article on this event, which seems to be a growing Santa Barbara tradition. Just Google it. How many people took part this year? How many more were there than last year or the year before? How many calls were made to the police? Were they any incidents (such as car damage) or injuries? Who was held responsible — the rider, the driver, or the police for intentional lack of law enforcement?

I’d be fascinated to see a really good investigative article. I’d also love to see the police policy of “we can do nothing about it” put into print.

Ellen Parton
Santa Barbara

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