Former mayoral candidate, cycling advocate cited for failing to use bike lanes

Published: Nov. 17, 2015 at 9:24 PM EST|Updated: Nov. 24, 2015 at 9:24 PM EST
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LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - A former write-in candidate for Louisville mayor and long-time bicycling advocate who is also opponent of Mayor Greg Fischer's efforts to make the city more bike-friendly was cited over the weekend for failing to use a dedicated bike lane while cycling in Old Louisville.

According to his citation, Jackie Green, 62, was riding a bicycle south on Third Street at Kentucky Street shortly after 9 a.m. on Nov. 13. An officer with the Louisville Metro Police Department said several cars were behind Green waiting to pass. The officer said he pulled up next to Green and instructed him to use the bike lane for his own safety and the safety of others.

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The officer said he later witnessed Green traveling south on Third Street at Lee Street, and he was still riding in the left driving lane. The citation states Green rode through a red light before the officer stopped him.

According to the citation, Green said he did not observe the red light because he didn't want to breathe in car exhaust fumes, and he doesn't use bike lanes because they contain debris that could flatten his tires.

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Green was charged with two misdemeanors: obstructing a highway and disregarding a traffic control device.

"We'll go to court, and I suspect that the charge of obstructing a highway will be thrown out," Green told WAVE 3 News. "The disregarding a traffic light charge, we will speak to the court about what was going on there."

Green said cyclists should be paying attention to three things while on the road: "Their destination, the condition of the road surface and their fellow travelers, be it pedestrian, truck, bus or squirrel. It is those moving fellow travelers that endanger each other. So cyclists do what they need to do to be safe. If a cyclist stops at a red light with no cross-traffic coming, it's safe for them to go through the intersection."

Green also spoke out about vehicle emissions. "Years ago, (Louisville) dropped vehicle emissions testing; consequently, many vehicles are putting out things that are nasty - even new vehicles. Vehicles have the exhaust away from the driver so as not to poison them, but a cyclist sitting there with all those cars putting out noxious emissions endangers his health. It makes sense, if it's safe, for the cyclist to leave the intersection."

Green is scheduled to appear in court on Dec. 14.

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