Cops Ordered to Cite “Scofflaw” Cyclists

Police in Brooklyn have been told to be more active in stopping and ticketing cyclists who violate traffic laws. Areas targeted for special emphasis include Brooklyn Heights and other brownstone neighborhoods, as well as hipster havens like Williamsburg.

New York Post: Brooklyn bikers, beware!

Officers throughout the borough are under orders to target rogue cyclists flouting city traffic laws — particularly those riding on sidewalks, running red lights and zipping down streets the wrong way, police sources said.

The Post quotes a “police source” as saying this is to be a continuing effort, “not a ‘crackdown’ with quotas.” Caroline Samponaro of Transportation Alternatives, a cyclist advocacy organization, said the organization “welcomes” enforcement of traffic rules for bikers, but hopes cops will still focus on slowing down speeding autos.

Addendum: Maybe the cops should deputize this guy.

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  • Bongo

    I’d be happier if they’d target the “new” electric bikes that so many chinese restaurants seem to be using. Any way you cut it, these are motorbikes. They don’t belong in the bike lanes or on the sidewalk.

  • x

    it’s about time. They need to receive fines for their lack of compliance to the law.

    Walking home from the subway, I have seen bikes crashed into one another or bike running over pedestrian, simply because the bicyclist was going the wrong way.

    Those delivery guys are particularly bad, sometimes riding on the sidewalk at ‘full’ speed.

  • David on Middagh

    Not to defend unsafe biking speeds, but I think we all sorta know why food-delivery guys ride on the sidewalks.

    If I have to spell it out: The street rules have been optimized by the Dept. of Transportation to balance two goals: motor vehicle throughput, and motor vehicle storage. Even where curb-to-curb width would allow two-way motor vehicle traffic, the street is often made one-way, which I guess increases car speed (= throughput), and which certainly allows car storage (parking) along the curb. In this city, an incredible amount of public, near-curb asphalt footage that could be used for delivery-bike two-way traffic has been sacrificed to the medium-term storage of private property.

    I’m at Hicks & Middagh. Any delivery guy coming to me on a bike from a Henry St. restaurant is going to have to return-trip either on the sidewalks, or by going a block out of his way downhill on Hicks, then crossing the construction site on Poplar, then going back uphill a block on Henry. (Unless he wrong-ways it on the street.)

    I don’t even get delivery these days, but you see the problem.

  • Reggie

    Okay, it’s a troll-like comment, but it would be fine with me if the headline read, “Cops Ordered to Snipe ‘Scofflaw’ Cyclists.”

  • william

    Will cyclists get tickets for wearing spandex clothing in Orthodox Jewish neighborhoods?

  • Lee

    homer’s trolling again, be careful…

  • AEB

    But, William, spandex was de regueur in old Cracow, birthplace of so many fashion-firsts….

  • Lou

    This sucks but it will be short lived as are all sudden punitive ticketing waves. The cops should have better things to do. Seriously.

    When its warm I ride my bike to work pretty much every day. How about ticketing some jaywalkers? A whole lot more Jaywalking going on than biking. We just cover more ground quicker so running that red light just happens faster that a jaywalkers stroll. Walking Scofflaws have had their way long enough! That’d fill the coffers pretty quick. Or maybe enforce some car traffic laws? Like speeding on the BQE or West Side Highway?

  • william
  • AEB

    Oh, lordy! Save us from fundamentalist puritanism! In fact, save us from fundamentalists.

    Why must the bar be so frequently lowered to appease their totalitarianism?

  • Bongo

    @AEB. Agreed. “…the obedience of fools and the guidance of wisemen.”

  • David on Middagh

    William’s link is to old news that we don’t need to rehash.

  • william


  • william

    Let’s see how many red sports bras get citations this Spring. Ha.

  • my2cents

    I hope they target the a**hole track bike crowd as much as the delivery guys, who probably get the ticket citation taken out of their meager pay.

  • nabeguy

    Ticketing? Are you kidding me?. Given the that the most egregious offenders of these laws are simply plying the delivery trade of the restaurants they work for and are highly unlikely to pay these fines, the only effective manner of curtailing their activities is to deny them their mobility. Ticketing is one thing, but the only way to put some teeth into these laws is to enact a policy of on the spot impounding. They can build a separate shed at the impound ot just for bikes…or rent my garage. There’s room in there for a good 200 bikes.

  • WillowtownCop

    Most cops won’t write delivery guys. Most don’t carry (or don’t have) legit ID and it’s too much of a hassle to figure out who they are in broken English. Also, we order food too- no one wants spit in their lo mein.

    Targets here will be yuppies in silly outfits on $900 bikes. There are quite a few summonses that can be given for bikes (bike on sidewalk, no bell, no reflectors, no light after dark, all moving violations that apply to cars). The way it usually works is you start out getting either just one or even a warning and the louder you scream and curse about your rights and being harassed, the more tickets you get. My record is 9.

    As far as on the spot impounding, it’s already up to the cop to seize the bike and voucher it as evidence. It’s generally only done if the scofflaw has a warrant or was a really huge jerk.

  • Arch Stanton

    “$900 bikes” That’s cheap, more like $2,900 these days…

  • David on Middagh

    I’ve tried to get by with $400 foldable bikes, but they wear out. $900 is really more of a starting point (for collapsible bikes), though I still haven’t brought myself to cough it up to replace the last “cheapie”.

    Sure, you can get great used non-foldable bikes for much less, but if I can’t easily get it down the stairs & out of the building, it’s not going to be used, so what’s the point?

  • Eddy de Lectron

    Willowtown was referring to the bikes “yuppies in silly outfits” are riding, those bikes are very expensive… the silly outfit alone can easily cost over $500

  • WillowtownCop

    My bike, which works perfectly, was $70 at Target. Buying expensive equipment doesn’t make you good at something. And if you only spent $70, it wouldn’t need to fold because you could lock it outside, no one would steal it, and it could easily be replaced. As far as the outfits are concerned, I don’t really understand going somewhere and not being able to go inside the store, bar, restaurant, etc. because you have ugly exercise clothes on. What’s wrong with jeans?

  • eg

    . You’re missing the point about ticketing delivery bikes or others riding carelessly. They run into people and knock them over, causing injuries. As far as I know, walking people don’t cause injuries to others. You have to go into the restaurants and speak to the owner. He has to control his people.

    . As to the Hasidim on Bedford Avenue, well, who objects to churches requiring visitors to come properly dressed to show respect. It’s a matter of sensitivity.

  • David on Middagh

    WillowtownCop, my upstairs neighbor tried locking his bike to a sign outside the building. In a matter of weeks, the pilferers had taken enough parts to make it unridable.

    It’s always inconvenient when someone messes with your set of wheels, and a low initial price doesn’t change that.

  • Ben

    When i am headed west at 4pm on Chambers Street the sun glare in my eyes as it sets in an 8 ton SUV and encounter some Transportation Alternatives A-hole on a bike pretending he/she is some kind of veihicle doing hand signals ringing a bell, etc. I try very hard NOT to run the person down. Too many accidents bicylce riders are not cars it is dangerous to ride bikes on NYC streets.

  • WillowtownCop

    It does suck to have your things stolen- I just don’t think it sucks enough to justify spending that kind of money on a bike when you aren’t a professional. It’s turned into something people used to get from one point to another to something requiring lots of very expensive equipment that causes people to look at you and think, oh, look how healthy and eco friendly Bob is- or so he would like to think. There’s a somewhat vulgar display of insecure snobbery involved in some of the get-ups and rigs I see. It usually goes hand and hand with a rules don’t apply to me kind of attitude.

  • Jorale-man

    WillowtownCop is 100 percent right. That class of bike riders unfortunately gives a bad name to a lot of us who just want to go out for a casual ride on a weekend or run an errand in the neighborhood. Go to Prospect Park in the summer and they’re speeding through in big packs while talking loudly to each other. And don’t get me started on bike stores, which unfortunately cater to their silliness while ignoring the average person who just wants to buy a simple inner tube.

  • Bongo

    @WillowtownCop, your inverted snobbery is staggering.

  • WillowtownCop

    Jorale-man- I went in the bike store on Atlantic Ave right by Smith a few years ago and told a man who was dressed in the whole outfit, complete with the clip clop shoes, and strangely a cane which made me think he didn’t actually ride to work like that, that I was looking for a bike, something in the $200 range. He snorted at me. I’ll never forget how rude he was. That’s how I ended up at Target for my bike.

    It’s seems to me that the new preferred mode of transport for limousine liberals is the stupidly expensive bicycle.

  • daily cyclist

    I am a daily bicycle commuter from the Heights to mid-town (around 7 miles, depending on my route) and use what Willowtown Cop would probably consider a stupidly expensive bicycle.

    I did it because:
    – I was raised to purchase the best quality of anything I could afford, and I saw no reason to make an exception for my daily transportation
    – I wanted something utterly reliable that would not end up in a landfill in a year or two
    – department store bicycles have their place, but for everyday use like mine gets, the idea of reliable brakes, excellent tires and a comfortable saddle and internal gearing designed for city conditions did not seem like silly luxury

    I don’t quite understand the “limousine liberal” comment as it pertains to cyclists.

    I do stop at all lights though I will often make a turn or continue through a red light IF NOTHING IS COMING and I feel exposed where I am stopped. I never ride against traffic on a 1-way street (or otherwise) and never ride on sidewalks (I’ll walk my bike if I need to go against traffic for a half block). So I’m fairly obedient to traffic laws — probably more than most. I have to say, cyclists are probably no more reckless than cars who fail to signal turns, or pedestrians to walk against lights without looking, or any other of the thousand dangerous and illegal behaviors made constantly by any user of our streets and roads (and I have never seen a cyclist knock down a pedestrian as some of the comments above suggest occurs with some regularity).

  • David on Middagh

    WillowtownCop, the next time you need a sub-$200 bike, if you decide to get better quality than what you have, try a used bike rebuilt by Recycle-a-Bike down in DUMBO.

    Bike shops who actually service bikes (unlike WalMart/Target I’m guessing) probably don’t want the cheapie they just sold to come back, falling apart but still under warrantee. Bicycle Habitat in Manhattan stopped carrying the bike model I bought new from them because it simply was a pain in the butt to fix and keep in adjustment. Now they carry more expensive versions that they can stand behind.