Study: Chicago police tougher on bicyclists in minority areas

Chicago Police officers write up cyclists for riding on sidewalks in Black and Latino areas far more often than they do in predominantly white communities, a new study found.

The Chicago Tribune reports that the study that was published in September by Transportation Research Part D found that between 2017 and 2019 the rate at which officers were writing tickets was eight times higher in Black neighborhoods and three times higher in Latino neighborhoods than they were in white neighborhoods.

Jesus Barajas, an assistant professor at the University of California, Davis who authored the study, said the results highlight the fact that there are fewer bike lanes in minority neighborhoods than white ones as well as suggests police treat people in minority communities differently than they do in white ones.


"In neighborhoods where there’s a lot of policing going on, one more excuse to stop people is the fact that they’re riding their bike on the sidewalk where there’s no bike lane," he said.

Chicago Police spokesman Tom Ahern defended the department.

"CPD works with residents in our communities to identify areas where bicyclist and vehicular traffic safety could be improved, said spokesman Tom Ahern. "We do not target individuals based on race or community."