Meanwhile in Berkeley: Excessive fines for various biking-related violations around campus are the latest thing to upset the student population, according to the Chronicle. In a town generally supportive of anything not powered by dead dinosaurs, UC Police have even welcomed freshman Devin Shoop with two $220 tickets since classes started in September: one for locking his bike to a railing (because a nearby bike rack was full, obviously), and the other for rolling a stop sign. What's more is Shoop, who we assume doesn't drive a car very often, will have to attend traffic school to prevent a moving violation from showing up on his driver's license.

Because cars and bicycles receive equal treatment under California Vehicle Code, UC Police can push the higher fines. Shoop's illegally-locked bicycle, for instance, was cited under part of the vehicle code that "outlaws parking on public property without permission" rather than a typical Berkeley City parking ticket which Shoop guessed runs around $60. His two tickets for biking and parking around campus are equal to what he would have been fined had he been speeding along the 580 in a pickup truck full of unlicensed radioactive material.

On the other hand, as is so often the case with these things, the cyclists aren't entirely innocent: many of the outraged students were cited for pedaling through dismount zones on campus. Some might call this reckless and disrespectful to the pedestrians on foot, but bike enthusiasts insist it wouldn't be necessary if the bike lanes around town were laid out better. They even held a "protest ride" through the dismount zone earlier this month, hoping to inspire the city and University to plan new bike lanes, but if recent backlashes against Critical Mass in the Bay Area and elsewhere are any indicator - then they probably pissed off a lot of pedestrians who were just trying to get to class.