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Defying Evidence, Baltimore PD Wrongly Fault Bicyclist in Collision

11:26 AM EST on January 30, 2014

We've seen plenty of police bias against cyclists, but this case is even more overtly unjust than what you typically see.

Click to Enlarge. The sign here clearly shows that the sidewalk and crosswalk are designated as bike routes. But a cyclist struck by a truck here is being faulting for riding on the sidewalk. Image: ##http://www.bikemore.net/blog/anti-bicycle-policing-must-stop## Bikemore##
The sign here (click to enlarge) clearly shows that the sidewalk and crosswalk are designated as bike routes. But a cyclist struck by a truck driver here is being faulted for riding on the path. Photo: ##http://www.bikemore.net/blog/anti-bicycle-policing-must-stop##Bikemore##
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Chris Merriam at Bikemore shares the details about this crash "investigation" in Baltimore:

On December 3, 2013, Henry Densmore was riding his bicycle on the Jones Falls Trail. On President Street between Fayette and Baltimore Streets the trail is on the sidewalk and clearly marked as such. At the corner of President Street and Baltimore Street, Mr. Densmore entered the crosswalk with 13 seconds to go, and a box truck accelerated into him. The truck driver stopped after the collision and admitted to illegally turning right on red.

Henry Densmore was crossing legally within a section of sidewalk clearly marked as a bicycle/pedestrian path, and the officer wrongly told him that he was illegally riding on a sidewalk. Despite copious evidence that the truck driver was 100% at fault, Officer M. Baldwin’s police report states that Mr. Densmore and the truck driver each had 50% responsibility. According to Mr. Densmore, Officer Baldwin said that the trail is for walking and the sign shouldn't show a bicyclist. He even said that the sign should be graffitied. Further attempts to engage Police higher-ups on this issue have led nowhere; it is our goal to convince the Police to issue a correction to the report stating that Mr. Densmore was at no fault in this crash, so that he can get reimbursed for his wrecked bicycle and for medical costs.

Elsewhere on the Network today: The Bike League explains the new "bike equity bill" meant to help low-income communities fund bike projects. The Architect's Newspaper shares some inspiring before and after images of New York City's "most transformative" road diets. And the Dallas Morning News' Transportation Blog wonders whether winter storms will always cripple Southern cities.

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