A video uploaded by a YouTuber last week shows a Massachusetts state trooper stationed at Longfellow Bridge rudely refusing to hear out a cyclist's reasonable concern about a State Police SUV that was parked in a bike lane on a heavily trafficked portion of the bridge.
The Longfellow Bridge is currently undergoing maintenance. There are two bike lanes, one on either side of the bridge. The cyclist who made the recording observed the police car on the other side of the street in the bike lane that travels in the other direction. Due to where the officer positioned his car, cyclists were forced to ride into oncoming traffic in order to avoid the police car in the bike lane.
The trooper's response to the concerned cyclist was shocking:
“We don’t really care about these bike lanes. It’s pretty much the locals. This bridge is state…We don’t really care about the lanes, that’s for Cambridge and Boston people,” the trooper says, seemingly unaware that he’s being filmed.
The State Police issued the following updated statement, noting that they will “counsel the trooper who spoke to the cyclist about the proper way to respond to concerns raised by members of the public.”
After reviewing the videotaped interaction between a bicyclist and a state trooper that occurred Tuesday on the Longfellow Bridge, it is clear that the trooper’s statements regarding bike lanes and cyclists are wrong. Contrary to the tone and content of those statements, the State Police are concerned with, and have a responsibility to protect, the safety of bicyclists. As such, we have a duty to ensure safe conditions along any open bike lanes on roads under our jurisdiction. Earlier this year the Department issued a training bulletin reminding troopers of the rights and responsibilities of cyclists. That bulletin was re-issued this morning. Furthermore, the Department will reiterate to those troopers on the bridge Tuesday our responsibilities to bicyclists, and will counsel the trooper who spoke to the cyclist about the proper way to respond to concerns raised by members of the public.