Widow Applauds New Bike Safety Crackdown

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) – Cyclist safety watchdogs are applauding the news as officers throughout Brooklyn are under orders to ticket bike riders riding on sidewalks, running red lights and riding in opposite direction traffic.

 LISTEN: WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond reports

Nancy Gruskin, whose husband was killed by a wrong-way cyclist in 2009 on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, said it’s a start.

“If we are going to change our infrastructure to include cycling, this is a zero-tolerance policy. You must obey the rules. If you don’t, you’ll have a severe fine,” she said.

Fines begin at $50 for first-time offenders and patrollers will focus on places like downtown Brooklyn, Williamsburg, Carroll Gardens and Park Slope—all places where cycling is a common way to get around.

“This isn’t enough. We need to keep speaking out about it. We need to have it out there in the media and our elected officials saying this won’t be tolerated,” Gruskin said.

With that rise in popularity for cycling, Gruskin added that law enforcement seems to be taking the issue much more seriously.

“Because this movement is growing and we need to make sure it’s done lawfully,” she said.

More from Marla Diamond
  • C

    I’d like to extend my comment to Dawn to everyone else on here that are saying stopping someone on a bike that’s pretty much doing the equivalent to jwalking on a bike 9th street in Park Slope a $270 ticket. If theres some a#$ running through reds recklessly and mowing down people left and right or just dont care if they do, then ticket the h@#$ out of them. I rode in and through Park Slope a lot in the past few years and can’t tell you how many tires I went through having to slam on my brakes because people not looking and walking out into traffic against the light. Worse yet, pushing strollers out into traffic. We’ve all have to do our part to be safe. We (cyclist, pedestrians,drivers) teach our kids to respect and to look both ways, why did we stop…

  • Opus the Poet

    So, the problems of cars and trucks driving on the sidewalks and killing pedestrians has been solved? No more SUVs driving through buildings to worry about? Completely stopped the speeding down Park Avenue problem?

  • Rob

    When do they start cracking down on the dangerous drivers too? The ones that do the same as cyclists, but while operating a vehicle that almost certainly will severely injure whatever it hits instead of have a one-off chance of doing so like a bike does. I follow all the rules of the road, so I have nothing to worry about with tickets, but I’d prefer to have a cyclist run a light than a car.

    So I hope that they crack down on motor vehicles too, because the lack of pressure on those has been pathetic.

  • Dawn

    FINALLY! It’s about time the city is doing something about these cyclists. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve almost been hit on the streets of Manhattan. I hope they raise the fine to over $100.00 to teach these people a lesson–OBEY THE TRAFFIC LAWS!!!

    • C

      Dawn, have you ever ridden a bike in NYC? I suggest you do for the equivalent of two weeks. When you just barely dodge your first cab or just prick of a driver that doesn’t respect your right to be anywhere in the road. If you did ride for the two weeks and never experience trying to go around a truck parked in the bike lane, get half way pass the truck and have car speed up to about 45mph go around you by straddling the yellow lines, and bumping your arm with the mirror on the way by to get to a red light. These are only a few things that cyclist have to deal with riding in the city. I admit there are some real pricks biking around the city that should be stopped and ticketed, even arrested. I believe the adverage cyclist will run a red light, and ride against traffic once and a while, but are cautious. I’ve had pedesrtian Jwalk, jog to get out of the way of the car but stop and stroll right infront of me. How does that make any sense if we’re both going 20mph? One more thing, I hate riding in Manhattan streets. In the city, you would have the green, be about 30-40 feet from the intersection and have 20 people stroll out infront of you while having a car about 4 feet off your rear wheel honking and matching your speed. Have you ever heard of a ghost bike…most of those cyclist where following the traffic laws. People don’t tend to respect a bike. When they think of bikes, they think a $99 toy from Toy’s R Us, Target, Kmart. A real bike usually starts between $300-$600 depending on style and gets into the $12,000 and above range. (You don’t have to take word) Google it. I have 5 bikes, I’ll loan you one for the two weeks.

      To: Mrs. Nancy Gruskin, I’m honestly sorry for your loss. I used to be one of those flip them the bird guys, eat a red light, cut off a truck while doing 35mph and still am when necessity calls for it, but I’m also the guy that looks across the road to see who’s crossing, who’s turning, and where kids are before I do anything of the sort. I’m also the guy who on several ocassions, stopped to block traffic to help a mature adult reach the otherside of the road when inpatient cars on 4th ave in Brooklyn decided to peel off from the red I just ran. The people who deserve those tickets are the one who are being reckless and show no regard for others safety or well being, not the ones trying to survive.
      Don’t want to monopolize, I finish the rest of ot tis on my blog…

  • Eric Parkslope

    Theys yuppies with cycles are causing trouble for motorists and pedestrians. I hope they pay big $ in fines.

  • roger

    Mayor Bloomberg has a goal of shrinking car lanes and reduce parking in all 5 boroughs, while improving the lives of bicyclists. I think making the city more bike friendly is a great idea, but, throwing up bike lanes is not the answer. Bicyclist are zooming through bike lanes, yelling at pedestrians, and going through red lights. The new lanes have made it more dangerous to cross the street.

  • Larry Schwarz

    It is about time,I have had many close calls.I even knocked over a cyclist once in midtown,he was slightly injured.When Police showed the officer asked me if I looked.I said NO,I had the green light and the walk signal.Maybe I should have looked but did not.He took my ID for his report but told me I probably had nothing to worry about.Before somebody does get seriously hurt or killed,either a cyclist or a pedestrian,my hats go off to NYPD for cracking down on this.

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