Local Connection: Bike citations - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Local Connection: Bike citations

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

It never ceases to amaze me how often with government, one hand doesn't know what the other is doing.

The latest example involves the city's effort to encourage people to ride bicycles. 

The city's king street bike way - the green lane - has signage that seems to direct bicyclists onto the wide sidewalk fronting the municipal building.  The Hawaii Bicycling league says that's the safest place to ride, because otherwise all those bikes would be forced into traffic.  

But all of a sudden police stared ticketing riders for riding on that same sidewalk.

We reported that ten people got tickets in one day, and it wasn't just chance - the police department specifically chose to target that 100 foot stretch of sidewalk - and with citations, not just warnings.

Last I checked, the police department is a city agency. If the Mayor has a goal to encourage bicycling, and it seems to be a major goal, you would think the police department would be on board.

We may have a simple failure in communication, but given all the publicity, police wouldn't know aware that the city is trying to encourage bikes, not punish riders.

This may sound like a small thing, but as we've seen on the Mainland, police departments that are not in tune with the civilian leadership can develop practices and policies that actually harm more people than they help.

Let's hope that in the future…our police leadership and elected city leadership work harder to stay on the same page.

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