Thursday, October 27, 2005

The Block(s) is Hot.

So the NYPD are cracking down on bicycles in the Herald Square area. 34th and 6th Ave. We have gotten reports that bike cops and beat cops are making it a priority of harassing cyclists, difinitely a form of "selective enforcement," since traffic violations occur in this city every second. You can get pulled over by a cop and written a summons for not having a bell while 10 cars are parked in the bike lane, 15 chinese food guys ride the wrong way and 100 people jaywalk...which yes, is a crime. Its when these laws are enforced. Some say they think this is gearing up for critical mass tomorrow. I'm not sure. I got a ticket in that area about 4 years ago and it seemed like it was quota time when it happened. I was merely riding my bike side saddle across 6th Ave. to lock it up to a pole. Actually the cop was going to probably let me go but I was being rude and refused to show him id. He say my chain attached to my wallet and asked..."well what's that?" I think the cops just get certain time periods when they make money off bikes. Personally I feel this is just part of how the city works. For the most part, throughout the year, bikes go unnoticed even when they are run over by garbage trucks...but then once a year or so the cops check their policeman's ball fund and realize they are a little short and have to find someone to pick on. Sometimes its the Chinese watch salesmen on Canal St. Sometimes its the African watch guys with the briefcases, sometimes, oh yes it is the cars and the cops bust everyone for making an illegal turn on such and such a street, even though they wave you across the intersection. Does this change anything? Do the chinese stop selling fake rolexs to Europeans? This is not to belittle the ongoing harassment of cyclists in this city steming from critical mass. Yes this could be a reaction. So do be careful around 6th Ave. I rode through there around 2:00pm and didn't see anything unusual. Coming down Broadway I saw a messenger who was about to loose his hat out of his bag. I rode along side him to alert him. He said, rather frantic..."running from the cops." I said..."red light?" He responded..."wrong way!" So keep your head up and watch for cops. The first thing to remember is Bike Cops are not your friend. Don't think. Hey we're both on bikes right? Wrong. It is the bike cops who are assigned to ticket bicycle violations. If you are stoped, don't be id, there is a good chance they might let you go not feeling the stupid assignment they've been given. It sounds like this is the real deal. There is a good chance the cop won't show up in court and the sentence can be reduced or dismissed. My cop showed up and there was a whole line of bikers waiting to go before the judge. I lost and paid the fine. I guess it wasn't my day. Here is a posting on Craig's list sent from Dan WARNING ! LOOK OUT FOR COPS!! TICKETS ARE FLYING!! - $30

New York's Finest are swarming Sixth Avenue today handing out tickets to bikes. They'll get you for going the wrong way, riding without a bell, riding without reflectors, and their favorite, not riding in the bike lane.

Higest concentration is in the 20s, 30s and 40s. Every damn block, there they are. Bike cops and regular beefy beat cops. I saw at least 10 different groups of cops pulling people over.

I got a $30 citation for riding on the right side of the street and while I was waiting for my ticket, they pulled over two other guys. The cop told me it's an operation running through tomorrow (Friday).

If possible, stay the hell off Sixth Ave. If you must, be careful. Riding the wrong way is $150.

One cop made some cryptic comment about how if I didn't like a ticket, I should think about who to vote for next month. "I'm not telling you who to vote for, I'm just saying," the cop said. What, is Ferrer some big bike advocate? Strange.

Anyhow, BE CAREFUL. It's a WAR ZONE.

Here is what the messengers say on the NYBMA website:

Heightened ticketing
The NYPD is ratcheting up their ticketing policy, ostensibly in preparation for this weekend. Judith got two tickets today. One for a red light - one for not being in the bike lane. Keep your eyes open for the next few days. They've got orders from the top to ticket bikers for anything. Avoid 6th Avenue in midtown if you possibly can.

words of wisdom. Maybe they are gearing up for the weekend.
Remember kids...Al Qeada hates our freedom and they especially hate Halloween.
and Karl Rove might possibly face any kind of inflated terrorism alert is likely at anytime with no likely credible source, at least that the public will be told about.

Happy Halloween!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

On the right side of the street?? Isn't that were your supposed to ride? Especially on a two way street.

5:32 PM  
Anonymous lpq said...


7:28 PM  
Anonymous moocow said...

On a one way street you are allowed to be in either. And I find traffic going my speed I ride the lane. either side.

7:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm not sure about NYC law, but NYS law does not require cyclists to ride in the bike lane.

10:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

edit: nope, turns out I was wrong above. Well, that's what's wrong with bike lanes...

10:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm Chinese and maybe I just didn't get the memo, but was I supposed to ride a delivery bike the wrong way or sell fake rolex watches to Europeans? Or could it be that you're just a fucking racist asshole?

11:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

oh snap.


12:31 AM  
Blogger Michael Green said...

uh, wait a sec? I'm a rascist because I say Chinese people sell fake rolexs on Canal Street? Isn't that an observation? I don't care what they sell...I was making the point that they are harassed at random. One day Canal Street is vibrant place to buy stuff, and yes it's mostly being sold to European tourists..Then next day they have to close all their shops cause of some NYPD target Canal Steet Day...Just like harass the cyclists day and make some extra money for the cops. Did I say all Chinese sell fake rolex's on Canal Street and they are stupid? No. I didn't. I'm sorry that you were offended.

12:33 AM  
Anonymous snag said...

i was also confused and a little put off by your "chinese food guys" comment. are you angry and delivery guys who live off tips to feed their families? car parked in the bike lane- yeah, pisses me off. 100 people jaywalking- yeah... whatever. but bicycle delivery guys? what's your beef? i see a lot of white, non-delivery guys go down the wrong way of the street... funny how when someone non-white does something wrong its SO much more visible.
i'm having (and have always had) issues with critical massers getting all bent out of shape because they're being arrested for shit. (the majority of them white). yay, now you know what it's like for the rest of us.
i'm just glad whities have the cash to fight in court... lucky you.
-on the moon

(stay safe friday night, ride proud, have fun, fuck the cops, fuck bloomburg, kiss your local chinese food delivery guy) see you there.

1:09 AM  
Anonymous penny farthing said...

i think "chinese food guys" are guys who deliver chinese food. take a chill pill, folks, and focus on the main point: cops are needlessly cracking down on cyclists.

11:21 AM  
Blogger mrRed said...

this is really just beyond annoying and a form of yes, selective enforcement. I wonder if there's any legal leg to stand on when it comes to selective enforcement of one vehicle type over another. Are constitutional rights being denied by targeting one type of vehicle over another??

Just a thought.

as far as riding outside of the bike lane goes, the law is fairly loose in this aspect and should be able to be fought fairly easily. there have been stories of some bikers getting off due to their explanation of an upcoming turn, and legally you should be able to get off if there is an overabundance of cars parked in the bike lane.

Thanks for putting this up, i knew that'd it see some more exposure here. Anyways, ride safe this weekend and i'll see y'all tommorow at la calavera.


9:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey chill out - for the past two years I've been wrapping my bike in plastic bags and hanging two or three from the bars as a disguise - never busted during cm once!!

2:36 AM  

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