So It all began the other Friday when after a busy morning of work I went to grab a bite to eat. My usual pizza joint was packed, so I skated down to Queen St to grab a far less superior slice from another place. After getting my lunch, I skated along Queen St. then up my street. As I pulled up to the curb in front of my house I turn around and there was a bicycle cop asking for ID. "Did I do something wrong officer?" I ask. "Can't Skateboard on the street" she says, "It's illegal".
Remaining calm I ask her how this can be as I have skated in the city for almost 20 years and there has never been a problem. "Well I guess today is not your lucky day then" she says as she pulls out her ticket book. I continue to ask questions about why I would never heard of this or why would nobody have mentioned it to me before as I skate by cops all the time. To which her reply was "Well I guess you are just too dense to figure it out then. You skaters kids are all the same".
She kept on with her attitude and I told her she had no right to judge me or try to belittle me. She tells me she can do whatever she wants. I try to reason with her as she is writing up a ticket explaining that us going through this process is not fair as this is my means of transportation and nobody was put in harms way from me riding a skateboard on the street.
Turns out she had been following me from Queen St. and stopped me right as I was about to go in my house. She mentioned how I was all over the road on Queen St. I told her I was in the bike lane and she says "You couldn't have been in the bike lane on Queen st, because there is no bike lane on Queen St." "Well where do the bike go then?" I ask. "On the road" she says "to which my reply was "I was where the bikes go on the road then". "Well you cant be there" she says. Apparently skateboarders are supposed to skate on the sidewalk as I was told by this officer. Seems odd because when I got kicked out of a public park for skateboarding, they told me to skateboard on the street.
I ask her if this is the best use of her time considering there is a park close by where people smoke crack all the time, on my street cars often get broken into on the regular and shitty graffiti gets done in the alleys. She tells me to tell her where that is happening and she will check it out. Frankly that's not my job I told her and to spend 1/2 an hour chasing me down and giving me a ticket/lecture for me riding a skateboard on the street is pretty crazy.
So when she wasn't seeing it from a priority perspective I tried to explain to her how this was going to be a huge waste of tax payers money. I told her I am going to fight the ticket, beat it and continue to skateboard to work everyday I can for the rest of my life. This kind of ticket is going to make a judge angry as stupid stuff like this is what backlogs our court system. I know this as that is what the Judge said the last time I was charged for skateboarding on the street. "Failed to turn right when overtaken" was the charge last time I was taken down by 7 bike cops for skateboarding on the street. And that ticket was thrown out in a heartbeat. But that's another story...
So for a $125 ticket how much is it going to cost the city to deal with this? The officers time, a Judges time, crown attorney, bailiff and all the people and expenses incurred for me to get my moment in court, only to be thrown out. And if it isn't thrown out, I want to ensure that it costs the city much more that the ticket I was given.
I could just pay the ticket and be done with it, but now it is a matter of principal. Somebody needs to talk to these cops that hand out these quota filling tickets as there are bigger problems to deal with. Toronto is pretty much the hub of Canada and our city does so little to support skateboarding it is ridiculous. But that is another story...