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Paul Schimek and I were co-instructors for a Bicycle Driver Training course held at Franklin Park on Sunday, April 10, 2005. And, as we headed for home at 5 PM on our bicycles,  what did we see on Pond Street in Jamaica Plain? See the photo below:

DSCF0167wrong way.jpg (42336 bytes)

This Boston Police Bicycle Patrol officer is  approaching the Jamaicaway. He had entered Pond Street, a two-way street, from a side street to the left, and rode all the way to the Jamaicaway on the left side of Pond Street. At one point, an oncoming car had to swerve toward Paul and me to avoid him.

As we passed him on Pond Street, I called out "officer, you're on the wrong side of the street. That's against the law." I didn't get much of a reaction from him. He muttered a couple of words which I didn't understand. Then I stopped, got my camera out and took a couple of pictures. That didn't get a reaction either. He certainly didn't seem to be embarrassed.

There was no cogent reason for the officer to be riding on the left. He was not in pursuit of anyone or attending to any incident on the left side of the street. He was simply riding from one place to another, heading for the path around Jamaica Pond. Shortly after I took thephoto shown on this page, he rode up onto the curbed area in the background of the photo, and crossed at the crosswalk to the left of Pond Street. But there is another equally convenient crosswalk to the right of Pond Street.

Paul, who lives in Boston and sees much more of the Boston police patrol than I do, remarked that "you only have to follow a Boston police bicycle patrol officer for a block to see three or four violations of the traffic law."

Question of the day: who trains Boston police officers in safe and legal bicycle operation? Do they get trained at all?