|Weston cops: Stay in yo' lane, don't play no games|
Plantation mom and triathlete Molli Serrano survived pancreatic cancer but never stopped riding her bike. She once participated in a 62-mile race with a portable chemotherapy pump. But she really started making headlines in May, when a Weston cop pulled her out of a group ride and gave her a ticket for being outside the bike lane. The BSO deputy said he had singled her out of the group of 30 cyclists because of her purple pancreatic-cancer charity jersey. She got a $65 ticket.
Weston has long been a cycling destination in Broward. The city's long, winding roads beckon cycling groups with dozens of members. And the bike lanes are nice, too--they show that the city welcomes cyclists.
Except when it doesn't.
Florida law says that when a bike lane exists, cyclists have to stay inside it. "For a casual rider, that's not a problem," says Barry Katz, the president of the South Broward Wheelers. "But when you get a club out there with 50-60 people, it can be a problem."
After Serrano got her ticket, rumors spread like wildfire that the city was out to get cyclists. "Bike lane wars reach Weston," read a Sun-Sentinel headline. "Since February 1, three cyclists have gotten tickets... many more have received warnings," the article read.
Early this year, the city had received complaints about cyclists hogging the road, and asked BSO to crack down. Katz says today, it's still "the single largest issue" facing cyclists in Broward. "It's very difficult for a cyclist to get justice," he says. So how many more people have been fined?
None, it turns out. Nobody has gotten a ticket for avoiding bike lanes since the spring, according to BSO records. But the fear and warnings continue to spread. And that's probably just what Weston and its less cycle-friendly residents wanted.