An excerpt from the report above tells an ugly story about a bicyclist:
Because bicycles and their drivers are neither licensed or required to display a license plate it makes delivering a lethal dose of hot lead easier than even doing a ‘drive-by shooting‘.
And because bicycles (unlike automobiles) are often allowed to approach pedestrians on trails, sidewalks in parks and on MUPs (as was the case in this instance) shootings by gang members are made easier.
- The Alleycats (BeezodogsPlace)
But even more disturbing is the practice among cyclists here in Chicago of the Alleycat Race. In these events cyclists essentially employ all the techniques required to ‘get from one side of town to the other as quickly as possible‘. Isn’t that the perfect description of how to flee a shooting scene on a bicycle to return to your home turf?
No Licensing No Identification
The Urban Cycling Community in conjunction with groups like Active Transportation Alliance have made it perfectly clear that they do not intend to have bicyclists be licensed to use their vehicles. This means of course that the kinds of training that motorcyclists, motor scooter drivers and even cars and trucks is not required of bicyclists.
And add to this fact that because the bicycles and their drivers are visually anonymous, committing a crime is made easier in terms of fleeing the scene. There are no license plate numbers to see and remember to help in tracking down the shooters.
- The Fallacy of the Bicycle As ‘Basic Transportation’ (BeezodogsPlace)
And in fact anyone who is riding around without a license plate on a car would attract attention. But this is not the case with bicycles. They are treated as toys despite the supposed intention to have them considered basic transportation.
People of Color Are Experiencing These Armed Cyclists
Just a few months ago a member of the Chicago Police Department was gunned down in the street by three shooters approaching on bicycles. This sort of thing would not be tolerated on the North Side of the city.
Just imagine how the press would deal with a shooting like that of the 10-year old boy had it taken place on the ‘606 Trail‘.
People need to know that even a bicyclist is not above the law. We need licensing and we need a means of identifying those who are licensed by means of a vehicle tag.
StreetsBlog Won’t Carry This News
You are unlikely to see this information carried on StreetsBlog. Because it happened yet again in a neighborhood of color, and because it reflects poorly on the Urban Cycling Movement it will be ignored. But you should not allow them to do this. Make them respond as if this had happened on the ‘606 Trail‘ and not amongst everyday people in black-and-brown communities.