NYC is back on the ticket blitz
Well, it looks like Mayor Mike Bloomberg is a shoe-in. Big Business and Luxury Housing trump all. Hope I will still be able to afford to live here in Williamsburg Brooklyn as 20 story condos are begining their construction towards new levels of height. The harassment of Critical Mass may have been put on hold during our most festive Halloween ride but the recent ticket blitz on bike riding has not stopped. I guess this issue hasn't made the press, so it won't effect the Bloomberg vote. Some people believed the lull in arrests at critical mass was an action to not make bad press this close to the election. I'm not sure I see the point. Bloomberg has never had to answer for his attack on civil liberties and is constantly silent on any of the Police's tactics towards protest or celebrations of the bicycle. Why, now would he care if the NYPD is making it a mission to ticket bicycles for anything they can think of...things that normally they have never been concerned with. On Tuesday, I got an email from a woman that got a ticket...here is what she wrote:
"FYI--It seems the ticketing blitz on 6th ave that started the day before critical mass last week may not be over yet. I got one thismorning at a little past 10am on 36th & 6th for failure to ride in the
bike lane... was then apologetically told by the cop to plead not
I intend to follow what happens to this woman's case, who has assured me she will follow the police's advice. So what is this all about. Why are the police now targeting bike riders on their daily commute and messengers for doing their job? These are not tickets for aggregious actions like riding on the sidewalk, Not Riding in the Bike Lane??? and of course this brings up all the issues of the lack of bike lanes and the cars who constantly sit in the places the city seems to want us to go. Do you ride on streets without bike lanes so that you can move more freely. If you are riding in the bike lane and their is a grocery store semi truck parked there and you go around it, do you get a ticket for riding in the street? Then if you argue with police they threaten you with other tickets like not having a warning devise or not having a tail light. Also if you go to court the judges are hardly sypethetic. They see hundreds of cases like this every single day. The best you can hope for is a reduced fine, not to mention the money you've lost by taking time out of work. How is this helping the city besides paying a pety fine? Will this make you a better bike rider? Will the streets be less congested of traffic with bikes in the limited bike lanes. This is clearly an attack on bike riding which stems directly from the police trying to crack down on critical mass, a monthly ride that the police have no control over. I'm sure the belief from the NYPD is to tarket bikes and make it harder and more annyoing for people to choose this as a form of transportation. This campaign must stop. Bicycle riding should be encouraged. It's cleaner, makes less traffic and good for people's health. Bloomberg should be akin to this having made the ban on smoking and made a huge donation to one of the top schools of public health...Hopkins in Baltimore. The police should be ashamed. I think they don't feel good about what they are doing judging by the way this one cop told the woman to plead not-guilty. This is clear evidence that the individual officers are basically being told to do something they wouldn't normally be so into. Transportation Alternatives is reporting on this issue and you can read about it in their Nov 2nd E-bulletin Jon Birdseye sent me this email on Tuesday:
"Just thought you might like to know that the NYPD is ticketing bicycles on 2nd ave in the Village. A friend just got a $40 slap for not riding in the bike lane. For everyones reference the laws pertaining to bikes in NYC are (from the TA website):
¤ 4-02 (a) - Compliance with and Effect of Traffic Rules
The provisions of N.Y.C. Traffic Rules are applicable to bicycles. These provisions include all traffic controls for motor vehicles including pavement markings, signs and traffic signals.
¤ 4-07 (c) - Restrictions on crossing sidewalks
3. Driving bikes on sidewalks is prohibited unless sign allows or wheels are less than 26 inches in diameter and rider under 14 years of age. See also Administrative Code ¤19-176.
¤ 4-08 (e) - Stopping, standing and parking prohibited in specified places
9. Parking, standing or stopping vehicles within, or otherwise obstructing, bike lanes is prohibited.
¤ 4-12 (e) - Driver's hand on steering device
Drivers must have at least one hand on steering device or handlebars at all times.
¤ 4-12 (h) - Reporting accidents by drivers of other than motor vehicles
Riders involved in accidents resulting in death or injury to person or damage to property must stop and make a report to the Police Department.
¤ 4-12 (o) - Use of roadways
1. Bicycles are prohibited on expressways, drives, highways, interstate routes and thruways unless authorized by signs.
¤ 4-12 (p) - Bicycles
1. Riders must use path if provided except for access, safety, turns, etc.; 2. Other vehicles must not drive across bike lane except for access, safety, turns, etc.; 3. Bicyclists may ride on either side of a 40-foot wide one-way roadway."
When the police target the critical mass it's one thing, but when they are bringing it to the streets of our everyday commute...we have an even bigger problem.
Please make your complaints heard and send me all info on those given tickets for riding a bicycle.