Alexandria police ticket bicyclist $91 for stop sign violation

Alexandria police are stepping up efforts to stop bicyclists who fail to follow traffic laws.

Bicyclist Eric Margry was recently ticketed by police for not stopping at a stop sign. He says he slowed down and checked to make sure it was safe before turning at an intersection, but he admits that he did not come to a complete stop. Police issued him a $91 ticket, the same penalty for drivers.

"The fine, I think the punishment doesn't really fit the crime. Obviously, every bicyclist slows down and looks at the intersection before they go through. Otherwise, they're gonna get run over, and that's not a good solution. That's definitely a punishment," said Margry.

Police say the $91 punishment is determined by the state, not by police. They say more residents are complaining about out-of-control bikers not stopping at signs and running red lights.

"I've lived here for 17 years. I obviously ride my bicycle, but I've watched unlawful, reckless and rude bikers come through here for 17 years. I've been flipped the bird. I've been cursed at as a pedestrian, and the people here have had enough of it," said resident Hal Hardaway.

A spokeswoman for Alexandria police says police warned about 300 bikers and issued 24 tickets over the past week.

"Because bicyclists are being treated as motor vehicles with having to obey the same laws, they are getting the same fines," said Crystal Nosal with the Alexandria Police Department.

As for Margry, he wants more yield signs in replace of stop signs, but police say bicyclists need to take that up with the agencies that determine traffic flow.