NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — With more and more bicyclists populating city streets, a new controversy is brewing over whether the bikers follow the same rules of the road as motorists.
Do bicyclists have to stop at red lights? It’s hard to tell. In just one hour, CBS2’s cameras spotted dozens of people biking badly.READ MORE: COVID Hospitalizations Drop For 4th Straight Day Across New York State
As CBS2’s Meg Baker reported, cyclists spotted near Columbus Circle completely ignored the stop as well as pedestrians with the right of way.
“Nothing scares me more than the bikers in New York City,” said Linda Simon.
One biker was spotted peddling against traffic on Ninth Avenue, nearly colliding with a pedestrian and another biker.
“I see them all day cutting between cars, running red lights, even jumping on the sidewalk,” said Candido Martinez.
But, red may soon mean yellow as cyclists legally may not have to stop if legislation by Brooklyn Councilman Antonio Reynoso is passed.
His proposal would allow bicyclists to treat stop signs and red lights as yield signs.
“I, multiple times, have almost got struck by some bikers. So I don’t think the new law would be very helpful,” said Christin Visconti.READ MORE: New Jersey Officials Warn Storm Will Bring Dangerous Mix Of Snow, Freezing Rain And Strong Winds
When you rent a Citi Bike, the rules are written right on the handlebars of the bikes: yield to pedestrians, stay off sidewalks, obey all traffic lights, and ride with traffic.
But do the rules even matter?
“I’m in Brooklyn and I see bikers all the time running red lights,” said Waymon Harrington.
“City spent all this money on bike lanes and they’re not using them,” said Martinez.
The legislation comes as Mayor Bill de Blasio continues to push his Vision Zero plan to lower pedestrian fatalities.
In a statement, the mayor said he shares the goal of increasing cycling across the city and will “review the legislation, though our focus is on increasing compliance with existing laws.”
To be fair, bikers aren’t the only ones who create dangerous conditions on city streets. CBS2’s cameras caught pedestrians standing in bike lanes, looking down at their phones, almost causing collisions.MORE NEWS: New Yorkers Urged To Wrap Up Holiday Weekend Travel Before Sunday Evening Storm
Year-to-date, the city has given out about 80 tickets per day to bicyclists.