On-Duty State Trooper Caught on Video Saying He Doesn’t Care About Bike Lanes [Updated]

The cyclist remains calm while the trooper’s tone teeters toward confrontation.

Update, Friday, 12:08 p.m.: 

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.

Previously:

A video uploaded to YouTube on Thursday reveals a Massachusetts state trooper stationed at Longfellow Bridge rudely refusing to hear out a worried citizen’s very reasonable concern about a State Police SUV that’s parked in a bike lane on a heavily trafficked portion of the bridge.

“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.

When the cyclist first explains the situation, the trooper dismisses him by saying, “Remember when you were a kid and you could ride your bike anywhere you wanted to—on the sidewalk?”

The cyclist remains calm and repeatedly tries to inform the trooper of the dangerous situation the SUV is creating. At points the trooper’s tone teeters toward confrontation, such as when he asks why the cyclists didn’t take the issue up with the trooper in the SUV.

We reached out to the person who uploaded the video, who declined a request for an interview.

“The video speaks for itself,” he wrote in a message.

We reached out the State Police, and were provided the following email response:

The State Police are aware of the recent interaction between a cyclist and a trooper on the Longfellow Bridge. The complaint intake officer in our Division of Standards and Training located a written transcript of the video on reddit and posted a comment asking the cyclist to contact us to discuss the incident and, if he wished, to file a complaint. As of close of business Thursday he had not contacted us. The incident remains under review by the department. The department will have no further comment while that process is ongoing.


Chris Sweeney Chris Sweeney, Senior Editor at Boston Magazine csweeney@bostonmagazine.com