A SUMMONS for Biking on the sidewalk? — Brooklynian

A SUMMONS for Biking on the sidewalk?

I'm worried that this might start a biker vs. non-biker war on the forums, but I thought I'd bring it up anyway....

I just got a ticket for riding my bike on the sidewalk (5th ave. down by the stone park), but instead of it being like a parking ticket where you can just pay it online or in the mail, it's a SUMMONS! Apparently, I have to show up in court! In Red Hook!

What's up with that??? First off, I think it's insanely silly to give tickets out in Park Slope for riding on the sidewalk. Any biker in the 'hood knows how useless our bike lanes can become with the incessant double parking and all that. Personally, I try to avoid the sidewalk like the plague just cuz it's way slower and definitely be annoying to pedestrians, but sometimes you're forced onto it by traffic and double parkers and if you go slow what's the deal? It's like Jay Walking, yes, I get it, it's dangerous in principal, but come on, who doesn't jay walk now and then.

Still, I understand sometimes you're gonna get a stupid ticket for silly offenses. That's how it is. But what's up with the COURT DATE?!?! That just seems like an insane waste of tax payer money.

Anybody ever have to go to court for riding their bike on the sidewalk? WTF?

Comments

  • Actually there have been other posters who were going to receive the same ticket but when the cops looked them up they had an outstanding summons for something else and they were arrested and processed.

  • As has been very well-publicized, the NYPD has been cracking down on bicyclists recently. As for it being a summons and not handled like a traffic infraction, that's likely the way the law is written - complain to your CouncilCritter.

    For what it's worth, you will likely get the ticket pled down, or dismissed - the real punishment is the waste of time it'll take to deal with it. If only they treated red-light runners the same way.

    Sorry, but you don't get any sympathy from me. You're an adult. Join the rest of us, ride in the street. If you're not comfortable with traffic behavior, complain to CB6, like the rest of us do.

    Simply put, besides being illegal, riding on the sidewalk is reckless, dangerous, and just plain rude. Furthermore, with all the anti-bike rhetoric going around right now, you're just fueling the fire. Stay in the street.

  • This is sort of a variation on the theme of no good deed goes unpunished. DOT spent a lot of money putting in bike lanes. They need to get some return on their investment. What better way than to fine bike riders, a whole new population to get money from. The police are always looking to fill quotas and this is another quota. So whether or not there is a bike lane available, whether there is too much traffic, if you're not under a certain age you're going to get a summons for any infraction. Make sure you're bike has proper reflectors as well. I've also heard where they gave tickets out for not wearing a helmet. That's not even the law except for kids under 14. But it doesn't matter. You ride a bike you will get ticketed at some point. You will be treated the same way car drivers are mistreated and given summonses because a quota has to be made and coffers have to be filled. Don't get me wrong. I don't like it one bit. But I'm a realist. I've worked for government and I know how their devious minds work. BTW how long do you think it will be before you're going to have to become licensed bike riders and have your bikes inspected at approved inspection centers??

  • NYC is under a cyclist ticketing blitz. Go here and your data to the pool - http://www.transalt.org/campaigns/bike/ticket

    Now, coming from someone that logs a lot of miles on the bike, you just shouldn't have been on the sidewalk. Also, that area - no, not harrowing on a bike. Even if it were, fine - walk your bike on the sidewalk. It's your fault, deal with it.

    (General FYI - they've been ticketing cyclists for running reds... in Central Park. $270 a pop, I believe. That's fuggin' ridiculous. Also, police have decided to start enforcing long-time requirements - bells and lights at night. You have been warned.)

  • It's pretty ridiculous. Last week I saw a biker get a ticket for riding in the bike lane on Smith Street, near Atlantic Avenue, but going the wrong way on this one-way street. Doesn't the bike lane give you some immunity from a ticket?

  • I fucking hate salmon.

  • Cops beat me up for riding on the sidewalk: cyclist; Brutal Bronx arrest caught on deli video camera

    BY Kerry Wills AND Barry Paddock

    DAILY NEWS WRITERS

    Tuesday, February 22nd 2011

    19-year-old Jorge Cartagena Jr. outside Westchester Square Hospital in the Bronx after he was allegedly beaten by police Monday night.

    A young Bronx man says he was battered by cops who arrested him for riding his bicycle on the sidewalk.

    The arrest was caught on a deli's security camera, which shows cops slamming Jorge Cartagena, 19, against a wall and pushing him to the floor.

    "I'm not a bad kid," an emotional Cartagena told the Daily News. "I'm a good kid. I just stay home, and ride my bike. What did I do?"

    The NYPD's Internal Affairs Bureau is investigating, a police spokesman said. Cartagena says he rode his bicycle onto the sidewalk Friday evening to grab a sandwich from a Westchester Square deli. He was confronted by two uniformed cops who threatened to give him a ticket but let him go.

    Cartagena encountered the cops again inside the deli and exchanged testy words, leading the officers to take him into custody.

    Deli security video aired last night on Channel 7 shows one officer slamming Cartagena against a wall and then both officers pushing him to the floor. Cartagena says they slammed his head against the floor repeatedly and one officer kicked him in the ribs.

    He was taken to the 45th Precinct stationhouse, then Central Booking, and released a day and a half later, Cartagena says.

    He was issued only a summons for biking on the sidewalk.

  • Walkathon said:

    It's pretty ridiculous. Last week I saw a biker get a ticket for riding in the bike lane on Smith Street, near Atlantic Avenue, but going the wrong way on this one-way street. Doesn't the bike lane give you some immunity from a ticket?

    Going the wrong way is simply the worst of all possible offenses. Bike lanes, unless otherwise marked, are one-way. Why don't people get this?

  • swngnmonk said:

    Going the wrong way is simply the worst of all possible offenses. Bike lanes, unless otherwise marked, are one-way. Why don't people get this?

    When I come across someone going the wrong way, if nothing else, I hug the inside of the lane so that they have to brave traffic - eff them.

  • Just a few weeks ago, I went to get out of my car, which was parked on the right side of a one-way street, looked back to see if anyone was coming, opened the door, and some schmuck zooming the wrong way in the bike lane almost smashed into the door. And yells at ME!

  • Walkathon said:

    It's pretty ridiculous. Last week I saw a biker get a ticket for riding in the bike lane on Smith Street, near Atlantic Avenue, but going the wrong way on this one-way street. Doesn't the bike lane give you some immunity from a ticket?

    Smith Street has bike lanes on both side of the street. My husband rides this way to work and he calls it the bike trap. He says cops always harass bikers there. I would be curious to know what the rules are for a one way street that has 2 bike lanes.

  • I would say that unless there are markers stating bikers may go in the opposite direction, you go with the flow.

  • You shouldn't be riding on the sidewalk or riding in the wrong direction or running stop signs/red lights. End of story.

  • I ride all the time, so I'm among the pro cycling folks here. But I have to say I think people should be fined for riding on the sidewalk or riding in the bike lane in the wrong direction (though a summons seems a bit much).

    People seem to forget cyclists have most of the same rights, and responsibilities, as drivers. We don't need bike lanes to legally bike in the road. If there are no bike lanes, or the bike lanes are filled with double parked cars, then we bike in the road.

    Also, let's not forget that riding the wrong way on the bike lane is actually riding the wrong way down a one-way street, which is dangerous and illegal. I'm tired of playing delivery boy chicken.

  • Piano said:

    But I have to say I think people should be fined for riding on the sidewalk or riding in the bike lane in the wrong direction (though a summons seems a bit much).

    I'll say this about a summons - it certainly makes the word spread a little faster.

  • I bike, so my hate for cyclists' hypocrisies are justified.

    OP knew riding on the sidewalk was illegal, but did it anyway, and cried when he/she got caught.

    On other boards I'm on, cyclists run red lights, ride w/o helmets or lights, and then play victim of "profiling" by cops. Then in the same breath complain about bad drivers.

    You know the rules. Ride on the street, obey traffic devices, wear your safety shit. If you don't want to ride on the street, walk or use NYC's awesome public transportation system. But don't cry when you break the rules you knew were there and get caught.-

  • stacey said:

    Smith Street has bike lanes on both side of the street.

    I think this is only for a block or so as the lane changes sides of the street. I'm pretty sure (though not positive) that there is only one lane down most of the street.

    I love the bike lanes, but the fact is they plopped these things down without really explaining them to anyone -drivers, cyclists or pedestrians. We all know ignorance of the law is no excuse, but do they really need to make it so tricky? Couldn't they have added an arrow to the bike symbols painted on the lane? A sign here or there?

    But the easy thing to remember is never bike in the opposite direction of car traffic. It's dangerous for everyone, but mostly for the person doing it. Cars can easily cross that bike lane line and plow headon into a cyclist. I don't obey this rule because I'm Joe Law Abider, but because it's scary biking into oncoming traffic.

  • I could swear that when I was a kid, way back in the mid-50's, we were taught always to ride our bikes facing oncoming traffic, so as to be able to see and avoid danger, rather than to be vulnerable to being hit from behind by a car you never even saw.

  • Egads, that's a scary thought.

    That may be true, but it was the 50s - a time when doctors endorsed smoking as a way to improve your Q zone. They also thought chopped liver was good for you; and cars didn't require seat belts despite having dashboards made of pure steel. They also used lead in their paint and asbestos in their construction.

    Man, how did you folks survive?

  • booklaw said:

    I could swear that when I was a kid, way back in the mid-50's, we were taught always to ride our bikes facing oncoming traffic, so as to be able to see and avoid danger, rather than to be vulnerable to being hit from behind by a car you never even saw.

    This is (I think) still the norm for runners, but cyclists have long been told to go with traffic.

  • I think WhyFi is right. I remember this too. And runners are supposed to run in the road against traffic, not on the sidewalk.

  • Chopped liver isn't good for you?

    It is if you're Jewish! Especially if it's made with real chicken fat!

  • Schmaltz does a body good, even if you're not Jewish.

  • Agreed. Add a little rye bread, and a half-sour pickle...

  • You should try smoked cod livers. Btw, does anyone know if Sammy's Romanian does their chicken liver to go? Oh yeah, With biking comes great responsibilities.

  • ^^^ never considered it. Quite frankly, it wouldn't seem right to eat that without Dani Luv singing Louis Armstrong in the background...

  • Dani Luv is the Shit. Geddy Lee has nothing on him.

  • Personally, I try to avoid the sidewalk like the plague just cuz it's way slower and definitely be annoying to pedestrians, but sometimes you're forced onto it by traffic and double parkers and if you go slow what's the deal?

    There is NEVER a time when you're forced to go on to the sidewalk.

  • hahaha... Man, I knew people would get pissed about this!

    For the record, I'm not a ride on the sidewalk proponent, but like Jay Walking I do sometimes hop on if the streets get jammed up and the sidewalk is clear. I was more complaining about the summons than the ticket, just seemed extreme for a minor crime.

    I totally get people getting pissed about it, but I think ya'lls need to lighten up a little bit. Like you've never jay walked or blocked the subway doors for your friend or smoked on an outdoor subway platform... come on, dudes. Lighten up a bit!

  • <lighthearted> Grow a pair. </lighthearted>

  • I've got to say that when the kids were 1st learning to ride their bikes, I often rode on the sidewalks with them as they were neither competent enough to control their bikes well or strong enough to lift them off themselves when they fell over. I just felt it was safer for the other pedestrians (and me) than trying to ride in traffic and keep an eye on them on the sidewalk.

This discussion has been closed.