The Low Road

“Hey, take my dirty hakama!” (revised)


Part III: The Long Arm of the Law

Streever recalls a nightmare May 2006 encounter with a New Haven police officer, whom he flagged down after the driver of an SUV threatened him, cut him off and nearly ran him over.

As the SUV driver berated Streever for riding in the street, the cop brushed off Streever’s argument that cyclists have a legal right to the roadway, and questioned whether Streever’s bike was properly equipped with reflectors.

Here Streever made a mistake: He touched the cop to draw his attention to the reflectors (and blinking red lights) on his bike. You don’t touch a cop. “He grabbed me by the neck, choked me and threw me to the ground,” Streever recalled later.

The officer threatened to arrest him, but backed down after he realized Streever’s girlfriend had witnessed part of the incident from across the street, and after Streever identified himself as a cycling advocate who meets periodically with the mayor and police chief.

“I think the most telling thing is that [the officer] yelled at me for riding in the street — it’s a shame the police don’t understand that,” Streever lamented.

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Learn more about New Haven’s cyclists: “A Cycling Community is Born


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