Dear Penn Public Safety,
This evening at approximately 9:00 pm on 45th street just south of Chestnut, I was riding in the bicycle lane when a uniformed University of Pennsylvania security officer came riding in the bicycle lane against the flow of traffic. I hope I don’t have to explain how dangerous this is.
I have been a cycle commuter in Philadelphia for six years. I am a member of the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia and I take pride in my identity as a cyclist. I like to believe that my choice to ride instead of drive helps alleviate pollution and congestion problems in the city, and I make a point, however difficult it may be, to demonstrate good cycling etiquette on the road. Nonetheless, I am constantly exposed to carelessness, aggression and abuse on the roads which puts my life in danger every day. Both on campus and off I am acutely aware of the tensions present between pedestrians, cyclists and motorists.
I like to believe that the University of Pennsylvania is making a positive impact on the community that I have called home for the better part of a decade. However, it absolutely destroys my spirit to see university representatives blatantly disregarding the rules of the road. Cyclists have it so hard in this city because really, everybody hates us. I want to believe that at least we cyclists are trying to do our part to better the circumstances, but when even security and law enforcement refuse to respect the road and their fellow cyclists, I simply lose hope.
Here’s to hoping tonight’s incident was no more than an oversight.