crosswalk

Boulder, CO — Police in Boulder, CO are planning a crosswalk blitz next week. Pedestrians should prepare to be cited if they forget to press the crosswalk button. We wish we were kidding.

According to KDVR’s Fox31, Boulder police will be stationed at the following intersections;

Broadway and Spruce
Arapahoe and Folsom
Broadway and Canyon
30th and Arapahoe
Mohawk and Baseline

We at TFTP have noticed an uptick in stories of police brutality, harassment, and civil rights violations at crosswalks, but we are learning from Boulder’s Transportation Planner Matthew Jones the push is occurring on the national level.

However, Jones said the primary purpose for crosswalk law enforcement initiatives is educational.

We want to educate people on the safety of traveling through crosswalks as well as the intersections

Jones said such initiatives are taking place all across the nation.

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It’s something that we’re tackling here in Boulder, statewide and nationally and these crosswalk crashes and collisions are something that we deal with.

But as TFTP has recently and consistently reported, police often use a simple jaywalking violation as an excuse to conduct a stop and frisk in an attempt to find drugs, weapons, or cash (which they can legally confiscate through civil asset forfeiture laws).

As we’ve shown time and again, cops will harass, detain, even brutalize people for walking across a neighborhood road the wrong way — even if there is no traffic at all.

And while Jones and others contend that keeping the public safe while crossing the road is their primary motivation, a quick overview of the fees for violations would lead anyone with any common sense to likely conclude the effort is just the latest iteration in policing for profit.

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Here’s a breakdown of Boulder’s fees;

  1. Pedestrians and cyclists must press the “walk” button before entering the crosswalk, or be fined $50.
  2. Cyclists must not exceed 8mph while crossing the road or be levied a $50 fine.
  3. Drivers must stop at crosswalks where pedestrians are present, and give them enough time to cross, or face a $125 fine.

One would think the Boulder police have bigger fish to fry than going after crosswalk violators. After all, vehicle thefts are the highest they’ve been since 2012 and rapes, although rare, have doubled.

There are some significant declines in Boulder’s crime statistics since 2012, but police cannot take the credit for the positive numbers. Since marijuana was legalized across the state, driving under the influence charges have declined significantly.

Voters legalized marijuana in 2012 for recreational purposes. In that year there were 708 DUI arrests made. In 2016, that number had dropped to an astounding 481. And while there were 7 fatalities reportedly attributed to accidents in 2016, there were 0 fatalities resulting from alcohol consumption.

In all fairness, bike and pedestrian accidents have risen slightly, but not enough it seems to roll out a planned sting operation involving such police department resources.

Since Boulder residents have now been given fair warning, wouldn’t it be comical if absolutely no person went to those targeted intersections?

Sadly, it seems, police are more concerned with generating revenue than solving actual crimes. As the Free Thought Project reported in 2014, cops will go to ridiculous means to extract wealth from the citizens.

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In 2014, an undercover officer in New Jersey was dressed in a giant Donald Duck costume and paced back and forth on the sidewalk and street on a busy road.

Officers would then pull over drivers who failed to yield for the duck, and hit them with $230 traffic tickets. Police issued a whopping 130 tickets that day for a total take of $29,900.00.

However, some people were intentionally not stopping because the giant duck was scary. Despite the 130 tickets issues, not a single driver came close to hitting the duck.

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Jack Burns is an educator, journalist, investigative reporter, and advocate of natural medicine