NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Bicycle riders in parts of Manhattan have to watch out for more than trucks and taxis.
Dangerous shards of glass have been found deliberately placed as part of an apparent bike lane backlash, CBS2’s Hazel Sanchez reported Sunday.
There’s a dangerous battle brewing on the brand new city bike lanes on both sides of the Village.
“It’s awful,” one person said.
The NYPD is trying to track down who has been spreading shards of glass on the newly painted lanes on 12th and 13th streets.
Cyclist Abraham Grandsoult, a courier, said he’s confident bike riders are being targeted by locals who want the dedicated lanes removed.
“They do do it on purpose, especially this area,” Grandsoult said. “It’s a lot of people biking, so they do do it on purpose and for our safety it’s dangerous because if you’re riding pretty fast, it’s our light, catch a flat real quick, we’ll go flying.”
“There’s other ways to protest aside from killing people on their bikes,” a woman added added.
When the lanes were put in to prepare for the “L” train shutdown, 50 percent of the street’s parking was lost. Someone spray-painted “Bring Back Our Parking” on 13th Street near Avenue A.
Another person posted a sign, claiming the 12th and 13th street bike lanes were “canceled.” It read “West Village Parking Only” and “Bike Lanes Only Benefit Other People.”
“You have to be a little extreme to do that,” one person said.
“It’s almost like a hate crime,” another added.
Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer said she was disheartened by the vandalism.
“I always believe in stakeholder, resident, citizen input, but I would never advocate … I think it’s wrong to put glass on any road,” Brewer said.
Cyclists said they are hoping the bike lane tampering isn’t the beginning of a growing trend. A similar situation happened in November in Queens, when someone started leaving thumb tacks on the bike lanes in Sunnyside.
“I think there’s much easier, better and safer ways to sort of help our environment, rather than put glass and hurt other people,” West Village resident Christian LaLiberte said.
“It’s wrong because we’re trying to make an honest living,” Grandsoult said.
The Department of Transportation said it will review its L train plan, but for now the bike lanes will stay.