Bikers Say They’re Being Targeted Unfairly

BROOKLYN, N.Y. (1010 WINS) – With more bike lanes across the city and more cyclists using them, police are now cracking down on cyclists for violating traffic laws.

Police issued a department-wide order that officers should also look out for bikers who ride down the wrong way on city streets, ride past red lights and ride on sidewalks.

 LISTEN: 1010 WINS’ John Montone reports

With the crackdown coming, many cyclists think they are being targeted for the wrong reasons.

“It’s kind of insulting that the police would pick us out and want to ticket us,” Brooklyn cyclist Mike Green said.

He said the idea of cops issuing tickets for bikers who don’t like waiting for the red light to pass is preposterous.

“That’s like getting people to stop jaywalking. It’s not really the same thing [as cars stopping at red lights],” he said.

Even the bicyclist blogosphere is enraged with the oncoming crackdown.

“If you’re really concerned about public safety, there are other things other than bikers that you should really be focusing on,” cyclist blogger Tyler Reed from Red Hook said. “The citywide speed limit is 30 mph. I’m guessing if you go out here on Jay Street, you’re going to find a ton of cars going well over that.”

Reed said bikers are good citizens and that cops need to go after cars instead.

“You’re biking down a bike lane and they [drivers] don’t think to look behind them when they’re turning so they’ll cut you off,” said Reed, who has also been the victim of being ‘doored.’ “There was a car parked in the bike lane and I had to go around the car and the driver opened his door not expecting me to be coming around and I went right into his door and fell off.”

The NYPD issued a statement saying that its officers will also “visit merchants to remind them of the applicable rules and regulations that apply to cyclists making deliveries.”

In addition to merchants, the statement said officers would also focus on people who use bikes to commit crimes such as stealing cell phones from unsuspecting victims.

As for bikers, it’s still disconcerting.

“So now there’s this crackdown,” cyclist Anita Sing said. “They’re gonna start pulling cyclist over for things, like Mike said, that don’t necessarily make sense.”

More from John Montone
  • Bobby Joe

    Enough with the crying bikers. Unless you are working for a living, you DO NOT belong on the streets with the cars. We have a beautiful bikeway along the Hudson and throght Central Park. Your crying somehow caused our city managers to ruin Columbus Ave (and other main roads) with an idiotic bilke lane that eliminated the use of 2 lanes causing delivery trucks and garbage trucks to take up a third lane leaving onlly 1 lane for through traffic to move. The recent snow storm exacerbated the problem, no biles on the street but traffic brought to a standstill eliminating cleaning capabilities. City Officials, WAKE UP!!

    • Michael H.

      I disagree. Biking is a legitimate form of transportation and should be encouraged. Alongside this encouragement we must see enforcement of traffic laws on bikers just the same as we see them being enforced on motor vehicle drivers. That is the only fair and decent way to share the roads of NYC. We all must live and abide by the same rules.

    • Jocelyn

      Right on, Bobby Joe! There are tons of city parkways where bikers can ride safely. I ride one myself in Battery Park. Why the hell is this myopic administration clogging up our already foul roadways by creating bike lanes? Unless you can create a no-vehicle zone all across the city (which is stupidly impractical) and only allow bikes and pedestrians, there is no place for bikes on NYC’s roads!

    • Jerome Hartzog

      I have a right to ride on the street, not on the side walk, and no the wrong way. I also have a right to keep riding if there are no cars coming regardless of what the light says.

  • Fred

    Bikers have violated traffic laws and disregarded pedestrian safety for far too long. Their day has finally come.

  • john campo

    We all drive, walk, bike, skate, hop, skip, and ignore others.
    All have to get tickets equally of none…
    When was the last time you saw a J-walker in NYC?
    Please !!! It is a birth right to J-walk in NYC.
    You can’t use excuses to solve a problem and the bike seems to be a easy target right now. We are basically all lazy, but on a sliding scale Bikers are a little less lazy then others.

  • Paul

    Bicycles are subject to all the rules contained in the Vehicle and Traffic Law. They should be required to register their bikes, display a license plate, and carry State ID cards. The State is looking for revenue. There’s an untapped well.

  • M.S.

    As a biker who is trying to be safe and obey traffic laws on a daily basis, I find it insulting that most people in this forum think bikers are a menace to traffic safety. If any one of you tried to ride your bike for one hour on the city streets, you would see that bikers should not be targetted in a crackdown to make our streets safer. There are an entire host of people NOT following traffic rules that make the streets unsafe for EVERYONE. I believe that bikers who don’t follow the rules should face consequences but specifically targetting them is WRONG. There are cars and pedestrians blocking the bike lane and injuring cyclists every single day. There are automobiles KILLING pedestrians and cyclists every day. Bikers should not be the target here.

    • John

      Sorry, M.S.: Bikers are an actual menace to pedestrian and traffic safety in NYC. You might be a super law-abiding biker, but a lot of them knock pedestrians over (esp. the elderly), cause cars to swerve to avoid them because they are not in their lane or are not following traffic rules. I myself have been the subject of unfair biker rage thrice in the past few weeks, twice as a pedestrian and once as a car driver. I know many other people who have too. The city should absolutely target bikers and force them to abide by the laws.

      • james

        I agree with John I walk everywhere in Manhattan and during the last couple of years have been hit twice by cyclists and had several close incidents – I have witnessed 5/6 other pedestrians hit by cyclists. From my experience a large percentage of cyclists are responsible my incidents were the fault of messenger bikers ignoring red lights and going the wrong way down one way streets. Cyclist should be registered and have to carry insurance.

  • Michael H.

    I’m all for bikers’ rights in our fine city, but there is most definitely give and take. They want their bike lanes, we want them to follow the rules of the road. A red light means “Stop”. I’ve lost count of the numbers of times I am trying to cross only to have a biker screaming at me to get out of his/her way. I have made it my business to hold fast and if I get hit, so be it, I had the right of way. It’s even worse when I am driving and I almost hit somebody blowing through a red, only to get flipped off or curse out.

    Hey, if you want to be my hood ornament, that’s fine by me. It’s not my damn fault you’re an irresponsible prick.

  • Roger

    Bikers keep complaining about people who jaywalk. Look, there is a huge difference between a human crossing a street a street against the the walk sign and a person on a solid metal bike zooming through a red light. Your bike is a missile moving fast, a pedestrian crossing the street is not!

    • Way Cup

      Beware the missile when you are jaywalking.

  • The Good Samaritan

    The police need to ticket all bike riders that break the law.

    They are a menace

    The Good Samaritan has spoken

  • It Is About Time

    It’s about time that the bike riders are held responsible for their actions. They have been given traffic lanes and space in the city to ride responsibly and yet still feel that they can do whatever they want and wherever they want. They ride the wrong way and on sidewalks and run red lights. Make them get a license and face the appropriate fines for acting irresponsibly.

  • Just sayin'

    I can’t wait for the uproar when the NYPD targets jaywalkers.

  • Battery Park City

    It’s about time someone cracks down on these bike riding animals that have no concern about any regulation or people on the sidewalk.

  • Flynn

    Let’s make a deal, bikers: You don’t want to stop at a red light? Then when you get hit by a car, you or your mourning family don’t get to sue. Oh and you pay for any damages to the car.

    If you’re cool with that, then vaya con dios.

    • John

      Flynn, I am with you. Bikers can’t have it both ways! They are the most irresponsible on the road anyway. It’s insane to have carved out so many bike lanes in the city when traffic always crawled along unmanageably even before the lanes went into effect. Not to mention the considerable problems that pedestrian face now due to these wild and often-times rude cyclists. Get rid of the bike lanes, I say!

  • mark

    NYPD with it’s head up it’s ass? How shocking!

  • Doris Grayson

    Bikers ride down Jay St in Brooklyn ignoring traffic lights and people trying to cross the street. They have been close to hitting me more than once. No whistles or other warnings from them. Not fair to pedestrians to allow them to continue.

  • Avid Biker

    A bike is considered to be in the same class as an automobile. If you are not fat and overweight, you do realize your bike can easily get up to 30mph. Bikers need to follow the same law as automobiles and that is the law. Its obvious that bikers are being targetted (and rightly so) because bike lanes are new. Citizens need to be educated and shown enforcement otherwise there will be utter chaos. I am a biker myself and have always waited at a red light even if it was perfectly safe to cross. If you do not like these laws, then voice your opinion to your lawmakers and stop crying foul. I think it is very fair.

  • Biker


    • boogie25

      I am a biker and an auto driver. Both need to be held responsible for their actions. There are many bikers who simply do not follow the rules. There are also many drivers who do not ‘share the road’ as they should. Violators should be held responsible on both sides. It makes perfect sense that there is an uptick in enforcement for bikes as the bike lanes throughout the city, for the most part, are new.

    • TT

      Biker, you are absolutely right that bikers should be allowed complete freedom to run red lights and get themselves killed. They should be allowed to add to the city traffic nightmare.

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