Reporting John Montone
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.
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.”