Rant - $270 fine for running a red light on a bike, really??? — Brooklynian

Rant - $270 fine for running a red light on a bike, really???

Rant - I just spoke to one of my friends who was just stopped by 3 cops (yes, 3) in Crown Heights for running a red light while on his bike. According to him, no cars where in sight. The fine for this violation was $270. Conversely, a red light camera ticket for an automobile is $50. I realize a camera cannot identify the driver, but seriously which can potentially cause more damage - a speeding car or a bicyclist.

During the last six months, a number of my friends have been given a variety of bike related tickets - from no helmet, to walking their bikes on the sidewalk into a building. Although, I appreciate the NYC police department's concern for the public's well being, to be honest they should know better. I cannot believe that the police does not have anything better to do in Crown Heights. Perhaps go after the guys who are doing wheelies on their dirt bikes on Eastern Parkway, or the 4-wheel ATVs that speed down Lincoln Place. How about the drug deals that take place in the open on Franklin Ave and Nostrand or the teenagers that smoke pot and drink 40s out in the open. Do we not have any more significant quality of life crimes to go after?


  • sounds like your friend has had other red light tickets. the fee goes up after the first red light ticket, and again after the second one. live and learn.

    and alas, what ever you do there will always be a worse offense. its pretty facile to complain that all the other offenses should be enforced before they enforce the thing you do.

    i feel your pain. im no angel on my bike. the cops enforce what is easiest to enforce so tell your friend to watch the lights and be aware of his surroundings. really, he ran a light in front of three cops?

  • I asked the same question about whether he had other outstanding tickets and he is new to NY so no other tickets. I guess I am just frustrated...

  • I don't believe you need prior tickets to get hit with the $270 fine.

    This article seems to agree: http://bikenyc.org/q-i-got-red-light-ticket-today-270-there-must-be-mistake-right

  • Sadly yes, a cyclist can get fined the same as a car for running a red light. I'm not going to start the debate whether or not bikes should run red lights.

    I've been saying this for a while on this board but the NYPD doesn't give a shit about anything that isn't a gun crime or isn't an easy way to make their quota. It seems their deathly afraid of doing anything that could be mistaken for actual police work.

    I don't get why their going after bikes though. The last time I cyclist killed someone other than themselves was 2006. So yes the NYPD's actions are infuriating.

    Were all the tickets written by the 77th precinct? I wasn't aware the 77th was taking part in the city wide totally spontaneous and no way planed out ticketing blitz. What intersections were the tickets issued at?

  • Obviously there was at least another car there -- a police car.

    Watch out for those.

  • They're going after bikes because of high-level directives to calm the bicycling culture, which until the early naughts was relatively small in numbers and totally unrestrained by law and decorum.

    Bloomberg's policies, bolstered by social trends around the country, have greatly increased the presence of bicyclists in the city, as well as the amenities available to them. The other side of this is the aggressive policing, which is aimed to make cyclists think twice before running red lights or riding on sidewalks.

    Even as a bicyclist who has personally been ticketed in seemingly absurd ways, I have to say it's effective at changing people's behaviors and I see the rationale behind it.

  • Eastbloc-

    When such fines are posted all over the web, they may be effective in not only changing the behavior of the individual biker, but all of those who read it.

    Times Up.

  • There's no law as far as I know for riding with or without a helmet. I think it's recommended or there might be a law for those under under 14. Also no one over the age of 14 should be riding on a sidewalk.

    I'll only make this point and I have been a bike rider in NYC (four boroughs) for over 45 years. You asked for bike lanes. You got them and of course they do make it safer for bike riders but somebody has to pay for them and they're taking it out of the pockets of bike riders. I don't agree with this but that's what I think.

  • Youbetcha-

    Bike lanes are not funded by tickets from bikers breaking the laws. It is a federal program.

    Program Funding:

    The BND project is financed through the Congestion Mitigation Air Quality (CMAQ) program. This federal program provides funding for the planning, design, and development of bikeways as a means of:

    Improving air quality,

    Reducing congestion on existing roadways,

    Helping to provide for lower overall transportation costs.


    And, now here are some PDFs for everyone: http://www.nyc.gov/html/dcp/html/bike/mp.shtml

  • The truth is that every licensed driver has had to at least familiarize themselves with local traffic laws as part of the process of getting licensed. The expectation is that they are aware of all of the commonly cited laws, and a couple of the not-so-common.

    Bikers have requested that they be given greater access and protection on the streets, but there is no attempt by the city to require a commiserate level of education for bikers. Therefore, people rely on what they believe is "right" or "makes sense" rather than complying with the law.

    I only bike recreation-ally, but I know that it is against the law to run red lights, ride on the sidewalk, change lanes in front of other vehicles without signaling, ride against traffic, etc. That doesn't stop me from doing some of those things, but I wouldn't complain about it if I got caught because the reality is I know I'm in the wrong.

    Also, a red light camera ticket is $50 but getting pinched by a cop for running a red light in a car is also $270. Bikers won't get the camera tickets, because there isn't any way to identify them from the camera shots (no license plate).

  • I'm not some anti-cyclist douche, but I will say that I wish I had $270 for every time I've nearly been hit by someone on a bike running a red light.

  • I'm not above occasionally treating a red light at a lonesome intersection like a stop sign.

    However, if you don't have enough situational awareness to know whether there's a cop around, you probably don't have enough situational awareness to safely run a red light.

    Neither walking a bike down the sidewalk (not riding it) nor riding without a helmet is a violation of any law. If anyone you know has gotten a ticket for that, they should publicize it and talk to an advocacy organization like Transportation Alternatives.

  • I, too, was stopped by three cops, in my case for not having a light on my bike. I thought that using so many officers for a simply traffic offense was wasteful, but then I considered the possibility (and the fact that these officers looked fresh out of high school) that it was a training exercise, of sorts (not to mention another example of El Bloombito's relentless pursuit of revenue). I still run red lights all the time, but now make sure I do a quick check at the intersection before breaking the law.

  • Jack, were you stopped between dusk and dawn? Did you get a ticket? When did this happen?

    I've submitted this thread as a tip to STREETSBLOG. Hopefully we can bring this shameful, heavy handed and wasteful use of desperately needed police resources to light.

    Homeowner a car followed me while honking for about a quarter of a block when I took the lane due to illegally double parked cars this morning. Obviously many drivers don't know or care about the law.

  • Everyone already knows about this use of police resources, and as whynot pointed out above, at least half the point of the policy is to get people to think twice. So by posting about it, you're doing exactly what they want you to do. Go for it!

  • Breaking laws, as well as random and selective enforcement of laws, certainly isn't a rare phenomena.

    Imagine how many bikes could be stopped if the police really wanted to enforce the laws applicable to bikes!

    Look at all these laws: http://wings.buffalo.edu/law/bclc/web/NewYork/nybikes.htm

  • Here's what I sent them.


    I've been a long time reader and I wanted to bring a recent crackdown on cyclists in Crown Heights to your attention. The police have been giving out tickets for running red lights. As well as issuing citations for doing legal things such as not wearing a helmet and walking a bike on a sidewalk. It appears that three officers approach a cyclist and then issue a citation.

    I'd like to point out that Crown Heights is still troubled by violent crime such as gun violence and drug dealing as well as the occasional homicide. I find it abhorrent that the NYPD has decided to focus much needed law enforcement resources in such a completely wasteful and unhelpful manner. Furthermore I'd like to point out that cars routinely speed and drive in an aggressive manor and are rarely ticketed. The NYPD allows cars to drive in such a manner that the mere act of crossing Eastern Parkway seems to be a mortally dangerous act.

    I'd like to bring this thread on the neighborhood forum Brooklynian to your attention. http://www.brooklynian.com/forums/topic/rant-270-fine-for-running-a-red-light-in-a-bike-really#post-770467 In it residents of Crown Heights, myself included, discuss and debate this crackdown.

    I sincerely thank you for your time,


    I know this is routinely done. But frankly when police resources are so thin in a neighborhood that has crime issues I think someone needs to call them out on it.

  • Someday, the NYPD is going to arrest a murderer and some reporter is going to ask him what he thinks.

    The murder will respond, "I don't know why the police spent all this effort hunt me down for killing my 4 year old when there are way worse people out there".

    ...and upon hearing it, I am going to smile.

  • whynot_31 said:

    Someday, the NYPD is going to arrest a murderer and some reporter is going to ask him what he thinks.

    The murder will respond, "I don't know why the police spent all this effort hunt me down for killing my 4 year old when there are way worse people out there".

    ...and upon hearing it, I am going to smile.

    Yes beacuse running a red light on a bike equals doesn't equal killing a kid. Doing so in a car very well might. I've said it before and I'll say it again if your killed it doesn't matter how your just as dead. It's high time the NPYD realizes this and prioritizes resources appropriately. May I ask wouldn't these officers who are spending their time writing tickets be better off trying to solve this? http://www.brooklynian.com/forums/topic/june-27-2013-woman-fatally-stabbed-on-park-pl-between-classon-and-franklin

  • The person who gets a ticket for littering makes a similar speech.

    I smile at them too.

  • Bottom line is that it's the police job to enforce the law. The OP broke the law. He got pinched for it. Yes, there are people that are doing worse things than what he did, but he was as they say in the old country "low hanging fruit". And according to Rudy Giuliani and his broken window theories, you go after the low hanging fruit first as a way to send a message that other worse crimes won't be tolerated.

    The cops aren't going to be receptive to the "But he was doing it too" defense, especially when bikers admit to breaking the law.

  • After a certain point there are "negative returns to scale" to everything. It seems the NYPD have concluded that assigning too many cops to investigating murders is a bad idea, and that some resources are best used addressing other matters.

    It makes sense. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diminishing_returns

    Hopefully the person who go the ticket (the OP's friend) will continue to tell everyone s/he knows about the incident, so less violations of this kind will occur and the police force can be downsized.

  • May I ask wouldn't these officers who are spending their time writing tickets be better off trying to solve this?

    Since you've asked, the answer is "no."

  • Newguy, I was cycling through Bushwick and it was in April. I'll be the first to admit that I was in the wrong - I just found it odd that three officers, including on in a patrol car, were required for such a minor offense. That's why I thought it might be an exercise, where the newer cop addresses the matter while the more experienced ones observ and then provide feedback after I left. Also, I guess they have no idea who I am until they run a check

    I paid the ticket via mail ($90) and installed lights on my bike, so I guess they taught me that much. Now I slow down at corners and do a quick spot check before blowing red lights and also veer towards lower-crime areas, as there is a smaller police presence there and, hence, a slimmer chance of getting caught again. A few times I've blown red lights or ridden on the sidewalk in full view of cop cars and they've done nothing, so enforcement is definitely uneven.

  • Uh oh. Now you can get a ticket for running yellow lights and being too chatty!


  • ribbons said:

    Uh oh. Now you can get a ticket for running yellow lights and being too chatty!


    The NYPD is literately making this shit up at this point.

  • A spokesman for the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles confirmed that the fine indicated on a red-light ticket includes $80 in surcharges and fees that do not apply to bikes. Cyclists should pay only $190.


    Also see http://www.bicycledefensefund.org/summons.html regarding the laws in question.

  • Heads up bikers:

    The NYPD states they will be focusing on bikers breaking laws over the next two weeks. It might get expensive

  • Great to see #mynypd is focusing on making our streets safer from the real dangers! Ok, it would be nice if they did something about the salmon and sidewalk cyclists. For what it's worth it appears the 77th has decided not to be bothered again. I watched a 77th cruiser roll by a guy cycling on the sidewalk and a guy going the wrong way on Nostrand. 

    I really wished they would ticket you know the delivery van that completely cut me off when I walked into the intersection with the light. Or the gypsy cab that honked at me for not running full speed across the intersection so it could turn faster. Or what about all the people who use the cycling lane as parking or turn lanes. 
  • I saw a mother (who had a bike trailer with her kid in it) run a read light and almost collide with another mother who was pushing a stroller. This was Washington and Crown. Bikers seem to cruise through this like without stopping.
  • edited August 2014
    @Esperanza, I see more cars roll through red lights without looking then bikes who don't look and roll through. What you saw is the RARE exception to the rule. Many cyclists perform what's known as the Idaho stop at red lights. Which is you slow down or stop and look and proceed treating them as yield or stop signs based on the intersection. Many believe this lessens their risk of getting hooked at intersections, or run over when the car behind you sees green and throws the pedal down to reach the next light before it goes red. Many cyclists also come to complete stops and wait for green.  
  • edited August 2014
    I do like that you made a typo in your spelling of "lessens".

    You've just caused me to imagine a big cop stating "We will lesson your risk with a ticket".  

  • edited August 2014
    Unfortunately, past experience proves the NYPD's ticking blitz on cyclists does nothing to reduce any risk to anyone. In Fact it might make things worse by diverting enforcement resources away from the real killers on our streets. Oh.... wait, sorry drivers never kill anyone it's always the pedestrian's or cyclist's fault. 

    @whynot_31 Typo fixed.
  • edited August 2014
    Too late, you made me smile.

    Bikers often make me smile with their belief that enforcement should be tied to risk.

    It is as if they are arguing with an opponent that is rarely seen: One which thinks bikers are as dangerous as a motor vehicle.

    It is as if they can't see the real reason the police are being told to ticket bikers who break the law: Their inconsiderate behavior impacts the quality of life of others.

    ...like littering, people who don't pick up after their dogs etc.

    The only real difference is that bikers are pretty easy to catch.

    It is amusing to watch them not figure it out. Listening to bikers complain about life at Transportation Alternatives events is often awesome in this regard.
  • edited August 2014
    Well if I made you smile.

    Whynot as someone who usually has such a firm grasp on what's going it pains me that you're so wrong in this case. I hear time and time again cyclists are jerks argument online. Yet no one other then the occasional car driver, usually cabbie, or jay walker states this to my face. I doubt you would state this to my face. It's an argument based on emotion expressed only via a keyboard and unbacked by anything. How do we negatively impact anyone's life? How do we effect anyone else's quality of life at all? Well other then forcing jaywalkers to look up as they cross midblock? Or reducing the number of commuters omitting greenhouse gases? Are we falling back on old crutches of they pass to close or they all blow red lights? Its been proven that cyclists don't pass as closely as some pedestrians believe and many more stop at redlights then commonly believed.

    As for TA meetings I find sad that you view matters of literal life and death as mere sitcoms for your enjoyment.

    At least you acknowledge the purpose of this crackdown as only going after wasy targets.

    Unfortunately several on this board have refused to acknowledge there is anything wrong with pedestrians and cyclists getting killed. Some have actually condoned killings by engaging in victim blaming. So yes in their mind bicycles are more dangerous then cars.
  • I for one am glad cops are ticketing bicyclists who run red lights, as they should cars as well. As someone who is legally blind, lives near a major biking thoroughfare, I live in fear of being hit by a cyclist running a red light. It happens near me all the freaking time. A dozen years ago I was hit by a car (with stolen plates, as it turned out) who misjudged the turn onto this thoroughfare and I have lived with the life-altering consequences ever since. Two major back surgeries, debilitating daily pain and now I am trying to stave off a hip replacement. All of this debilitating musculoskeletal stuff started when I was hit, and it would be exacerbated if I were hit by a cyclist, as a friend of mine was. There is no f-ing excuse for running red lights - why should bicyclers not be any less beholden to the law than the rest of us are?
  • edited August 2014
    I work in midtown, and watch the bikers yell and blow whistles at peds who have the light everyday.

    Once and a while they hit a ped.

    I saw this devolve into a fight once: A biker hit a ped, ped and biker were knocked over, then the ped's friend threw the bike into traffic to prevent the escape of the biker, and both kicked the biker several times. The police were not involved.

    Peds are usually not going to engage in such rage, so they enlist the police for the occasional crackdown and then smile at all of the tickets that are announced to appease us at the end of the crackdown.
  • Wow, street justice for the biker. I've never heard of that happening. How long ago did this altercation happen?
  • This was in 2012, at the intersection of 8th and approximately 37th. The cubicle workers were on their lunch break, and none of them helped.

    Note: I don't sanction such violence.

    My preferences can be ranked roughly as follows:

    1. Bikers obey the law (many already do).

    2. The populace enlist the police to crack down on bikers who break the law.

    The problems really arise during #2. The police tend to use such crackdowns as carte blanche to ticket people merely on a bike, regardless of whether they are breaking the law. This allows the police to amass huge numbers of tickets, which makes the peds happy, and allows the police to return to do tasks they enjoy more than ticketing bikers.

    Every few months, the cycle repeats.

    I expect it will continue until bikers have more power than car drivers and peds, and/or somehow stop their fellow bikers from breaking the law.

    I don't see either as happening. Ever.
  • Thanks for the info. Thought it something like this would've happened in the Giuliani or Knoch days:)
  • edited August 2014
    I am working on a theory that the police are also cracking down on bikers because two of their favorite local targets (squeegee men and water sellers) are presently off limits in light of national events re: police interactions with "poor, dark people" said to be breaking minor laws.

    Although still in the formation stage, this theory may provide me with yet another reason why I am not opposed to the biker crackdown:

    For the next two weeks, it gives the police something relatively non disruptive to do.

  • edited August 2014
    Woah! Whynot condoning assault and destruction of property! Glad you and Esperanza are being open about it at least. Oh wait actually you don't but we need to police ourselves.

    How about you guys focus on making killers I.e. car drivers obey the law huh? Why do people always moan about cyclists needing to make cyclists obey the law. Why don't pedestrians feel the need to make jay walkers obey the law? 8th Ave is a horrible bike lane. People use it for parking and as a sidewalk. Actually I've never seen as many cyclists pedestrian conflicts as i see in midtown. And you know what causes it? Jay walking. Its an epidemic there. But yeah your right I'll go after all cyclists who break the law. Cause apparently cyclists are supposed to police each other now. Why we're at it maybe we should bring back the lynch mob?

    Non disruptive? What plant are you living on? Their blocking lanes of traffic intimidating law abiding members of the public. How the hell is that non disruptive?
  • edited August 2014
    I have no expectation of bikers being able to police themselves; They have little in common with each other and lack the tools necessary to create and enforce norms.

    Clearly, you have not been watching current mass media. At the moment, the police need some easy wins. They need to show that they are willing to appease the masses by issuing a bunch of tickets to fruits that are slightly higher up the tree. Bikers win!

    Don't worry, once this crackdown is over, the police will soon go back to the low hanging fruit of the criminal justice system.

    Until then, bikers should avoid the police if at all possible. It shouldn't be hard to out smart the police over the next few weeks.

    If you don't think you can do it, buy a subway pass or take taxis.
  • edited August 2014
    Bikers are taking on a larger force, and -as a result- should remember the principles of Guerilla Warfare:

    The enemy advances, we retreat.
    The enemy camps, we harass.
    The enemy tires, we attack.
    The enemy retreats, we pursue.

    http://books.google.com/books?id=yBkfjW8ZQJAC&lpg=PT380&ots=d17H7f-nGN&dq="the enemy advances, we retreat" guerrilla war&pg=PT380#v=onepage&q="the enemy advances, we retreat" guerrilla war&f=false

    I wish bikers the best. I give them the following advice: Retreat.
  • Since the original crackdown on cyclist red light running last year, I've noted a distinct increase in the number of cyclists obeying the signals even when there is no traffic at the intersection.

    I am not one of them.  If there is no pedestrian or auto traffic crossing, I will proceed through red lights with caution.

    I apologize for nothing.
  • edited August 2014
    @whynot_31 I have been watching mass media. I see the usual stories of police brutality, encroachment on what little civil rights we have managed to hold on to, and the usual incompetence and corruption that defines the NYPD. In other words the status quo they just happened to kill someone during the normal status quo. I'm not sure this is a smoke screen. A couple weeks ago we had a crackdown on cars. Well actually the term crackdown might be misleading since they were very sporadic and half hearted in their enforcement. 

    There are reports of unmarked cars being used in this oppressive waste of resources. That makes picking out cops bullies a tad harder. I'm just waiting for them to knock another cyclist onto the ground during the course of giving her a ticket. Perhaps they'll put one of us in a chokehold. Or maybe they'll just beat that person. I'm sure some will cheer. 

    @eastbloc Goodman! Keep on pedaling.

    The NYPD is blocking bike lanes to increase cyclists safety! Because the law! 
  • I am working on a theory that the police are also cracking down on bikers because two of their favorite local targets (squeegee men and water sellers) are presently off limits in light of national events re: police interactions with "poor, dark people" said to be breaking minor laws.  
    What laws would those be?

    I'm not going to lie; I've patronized the water sellers in the vicinity of Empire Boulevard and Flatbush Avenue on a hot day. 
  • eastbloc-

    I am also with you.

    However, I don't think anyone is asking an apology or expecting a biker to do things that are not in their best interests.

    The only question is "Over the next two weeks, how many bikers will think something was in their best interests, only to realize it was not?"
  • edited August 2014
    @mugofmead111 -
    The key words are "said to be". Guys selling loosies and water are usually charged with vending without a license, or some such offense.

    ...and I believe most are released from jail after around 23 hours.

    During the next few weeks, the bikers are just going to get fines.
  • @whynot_31 Someone is going to get hurt when they are thrown from their bike. That always happens during these crack downs ALWAYS.
  • edited August 2014
    Yup. Seems to happen whenever there is a crackdown of any quality of life offense.
  • Btw, cyclist killed someone in the park today:


    Accidents happen. No charges have been filed.
  • edited August 2014
    Btw, cyclist killed someone in the park today:


    Accidents happen. No charges have been filed.
    Sad story. His wife's public statement was amazing; such grace. She and her husband have been cyclists and strong TransAlt supporters.

    Thank God cyclists kill such an extremely small number of people compared to the scores of lives car drivers destroy in this city every year. (Not to mention doing far less to pollute the city, destroy property, stress infrastructure and government budgets, etc., etc., etc.)

    Car drivers do this in the city nearly every single day. This was news enough for you to note, whynot, b/c it's so very rare.
  • edited August 2014
    I don't think anyone is stating incidents in which a biker kills a ped is common.

    I am just glad the biker wasn't charged with any offense. I would hate for the police to make an example of someone who hit a pedestrian and allege criminality when they don't believe there is any.

    Likewise, I am glad this old guy was not hit by a car; cars are more deadly than bikes, and he would be even more dead.
  • edited August 2014
    I am just glad the biker wasn't charged with any offense. I would hate for the police to make an example of someone who hit a pedestrian and allege criminality when they don't believe there is any.
    I would hope they very seriously investigate the situation and not assume it was just an accident. But, yeah, it's very difficult to prove intentionality in the cases of moving vehicles killing people. We can really only address the end result and act accordingly, focusing preventative efforts on targets in proportion to the death and destruction they cause.

    No need to make examples of people where criminal intent can't be proven. Just aggressively work to reduce the ability for people to unintentionally kill people and destroy things with any kind of deadly machinery or weapons; as we do with guns in this city. People who wish to equate annoyance with potentially and often deadly behavior should be marginalized; as we should with the NRA.
    Likewise, I am glad this old guy was not hit by a car; cars are more deadly than bikes, and he would be even more dead.
  • edited August 2014
    But kinda basic.

    When one thinks about it, it would be amazing if bike - ped accidents killed more peds than car - ped ones: There are more cars, they are larger and they travel at higher speeds.

    Seems weird that Bike advocates talk so much about this.
  • I'm going to chime in here.  I am very much in agreement that bike rider need to be ticketed for running red lights, turning without using hand signals, and riding on the sidewalk.

    That does not mean that I don't want the same thing for drivers and pedestrians!  I want EVERYONE to be ticketed until they follow the laws.  It drives me insane when people walk out to cross the street without even looking and they don't have the light.  It's dangerous and selfish.  Same with cars.  Same with bikes.

    Instead of saying "well, cars are the deadly ones so we should only ticket them"  why not just think "well, cars, bikes, and pedestrians have to share this space and so all should be ticketed to protect people's lives"?

    Every time I'm standing at a "Don't Walk" sign and some pedestrian comes speeding from behind me and walks out into the street my first thought is:  "Vision Zero"?  More like "Vision:  Zero Assholes".  Want to be a dick and walk out into traffic?  You deserve to be hit and that car shouldn't be held accountable.  Any time a cyclist comes barreling through a crosswalk as people cross the street, again it's "Vision:  Zero Assholes" and I picture that cyclist getting dragged on his bike by the 6 people he/she almost ran over.  Same with drivers.  ALL are dangerous - whether it's to their own lives or other people's lives.  Either way - FOLLOW THE LAW.
  • See, I think of this differently, and perhaps its because I was raised here. I think every person should accept responsibility for their actions. If you are standing in the middle of the street, understand a car might hit you. If you drive through a red light don't get pissed when you get ticketed, and if you ride your bike in places that aren't bike friendly don't expect everyone around you is going to give a damn about your safety.
  • edited August 2014
    @homeowner we've been over this. Your idea of bike friendly is bike lanes only.

    @xlizellx please see my post describing how most NYC cyclists perform a variation of the idaho stoop.
  • edited August 2014
    I'm still waiting to find someone who is pro reckless driving.

    ....I don't like that or police bullying
  • Oops your right I jumped the shark there. None of the pro-reckless drivers have put there heads in here yet. 

    One person suggested that lowering your speed for road conditions was unrealistic. Failing to adjust your road conditions. Combine that with the rampant victim blaming and we can conclude some posters are in fact in favor against reckless driving or not opposed to it. 
  • edited August 2014
    Are you purporting that whenever there is impact, someone did not properly adjust to road conditions?

    Are the victims the people who have been told what the law is, yet break it, and then get a ticket or smooshed?
  • edited August 2014
    yesterday while out running I saw 3 cars being pulled over by police for crossing EP on a red light. 2 of the police men were in unmarked police cars.
  • @newguy88, I grew up in the 80's when bike messenger was a viable job for highly testosteroned teens and young men who didn't want to work in an office. No bike lanes, no yielding and no mercy. Just a guy, a whistle and a messenger bag.Those guys would tell us kids to stay on side streets, not ride in midtown during rush hour (stick to the edges of the island where traffic is lighter), and always have a whistle if we were venturing out into moderate to heavy traffic. I still abide by those rules and believe if most of the "my balls are too big for the bike lane" guys did the same, we all generally be safer. It doesn't make one less of a man to take a longer safer route than a more direct and dangerous one.
  • edited August 2014
    If a car driver got a ticket for running a red light they would feel 'caught" in the act and maybe a little shamed. Cyclists feel indignant and victimized when they get the ticket then tell everyone they know.
  • Thank you xlizellx for saying so clearly what I have been wanting to say.  And I even grew up here too.  
  • edited August 2014
    This video belongs here:

    It is a favorite of my 11 year old niece.
  • Did anyone notice the DN editorial yesterday.  Operation Safe Cycle is now underway.  

  • BTW I almost got hit by a car running a red light while on my bike tonight.  So many cars, so little enforcement.  It's just that bikes are the new guys on the block, so they stand out.  Cars because they're ubiquitous and been around since forever are just the norm.  So when they run over pedestrians, cyclists, each other, we just groan, "there they go again".  When a dog bites a man, when a car kills a pedestrian, that's not news. That doesn't mean its right, its just normal.
    Frankly, I for one think normal sucks.

  • Have them go to the ticket paying bureau (whatever it's called) and have them reduce it. Otherwise it will count points against their license. I got mine reduced to $50 and no points to my drivers license, which would have been docked if I just mailed in the ticket.
  • Vision Zero at its finest !
    People wanted bike lanes all over the friggin place and they got them, as well as the consequences that accompanied them.
    As for myself, when riding my bike, I do my best to avoid bike lanes.I can't imagine a less enjoyable ride that biking along busy streets in Manhattan and inhaling all the exhaust fumes. But, to each his own.
    Pedestrian ticketing next?
  • edited August 2014
    A Pedestrian ticketing blitz might happen, and lots of people breaking the law would get tickets during the period.

    However, such a blitz would lack the rhetoric of the hard core bikers.

    Unlike hard core bikers, there are very few (if any) hard core peds. As a result, peds do not seem to feel they are saving the world against evil, polluting cars and therefore deserve exemptions from laws.

    Peds seem to understand that there are dumb ways to die (see video), and being one of the dead or injured does very little to advance your cause.

    As result, peds continue to be injured and die with frightening regularity but few feel they are martyrs. They are simply dead and injured, and one tries to not be among them.
  • So when they run over pedestrians, cyclists, each other, we just groan, "there they go again"
    Hell, most people don't even do that. The non-drunken, non-"reckless" smashing of property, people, infrastructure, the climate, etc... hey, it's just a fact of life; no harm in any of it really. So when people leisurely riding around in these things smash into shit at, say, Franklin @ EP (two recent cases documented here), well, they get to leave their broken glass and metal and oil all over the place and move on. Cyclists and pedestrians can just step over it. This is just life, you know. To make people drive at a speed where this stuff would basically never happen should be fought and whined about as vigorously as possible; and we should post repeatedly that people wanting to end this carnage are just out to raise some money via traffic tickets (an infinitesimally small amount relative to the overall city budget, but whatever).
  • As result, peds continue to be injured and die with frightening regularity but few feel they are martyrs.
    That is classic.

    The defense of pedestrians is, rightfully so, far and away more often cited by sustainable urban planning groups than is that of cyclists. Because they are far more numerous and killed far more often.

    This may be even better than the recent claims here that cars never get above 25 mph on EP or Flatbush. Just fantastic work.
  • edited August 2014
  • edited August 2014
  • edited August 2014
    Below quote.
  • I feel there a lot of similarities to hard core bikers and people who pursue jobs that they are feel are below them.   Like a HC biker, there are people from fortunate backgrounds who become teachers, social workers, etc.    They feel they are giving the world a gift, "leading by example".

    Like HC bikers, some in these professions feel that they deserve lots of credit for their sacrifice, and are "saving the world".   They after all, are not working in some profession believed to be evil (banking, ie driving a car).    They want and expect rules and laws waived for them.     They feel they deserve it, and often perplexed by those who don't agree.
    I ride a bike as my transportation most of the time, partially because it's fun and partially because it saves a ton of money, and walk the rest of the time. And what I want is for infrastructure that makes it safe to do so without risk of death, especially as I age from a risk-taking young man into a more-cautious older man.

    A lot of people bike in Brooklyn and other big cities bike because it's cheap and convenient, and more would if it were safer & easier. Obviously a bicycle isn't the right way to travel for everyone all the time, but they're perfect for trips of 1-5 miles like people often make in Brooklyn and other cities. And no, bikes aren't good for very much cargo, though it's still easy to carry 2 bags of groceries with racks and panniers. 

    I don't want laws waived for me, but I want infrastructure, laws, and law enforcement to reflect the fact that I (and everyone else) have a right to travel by the means of my choosing, bicycle included, without risk of death, as well as the fact that automobiles (especially at high speeds) are the most dangerous thing on city streets. 

    Especially in a city like New York, where density makes it impossible for everyone to drive (there's simply no room for that many cars!), and thus most people will walk & take transit, and many more people would bike if there were a safe, well-connected network of bike infrastructure that'd get them where they're going.
  • edited August 2014
    If the alternative was that bikers drove cars, I suspect that all car drivers, peds, bikers, and mass transit riders would prefer they stay on their bikes.

    However, that seems like a false choice.

    ...and, so far, the majority of NYC has yet to perceive any gains from the increase in biking.

    Except, of course, seeing attractive people wearing spandex.
  • I am curious... Is the fine increased for riding through a red light on your bike in the buff? Maybe this would make for a good protest...you know...get people interested in the injustices of bicycling fines relative to automobiles...
  • As to pedestrians, and I am definitely one of them, jaywalking and entering lanes of traffic in the middle of a block are the norm rather than the exception in NYC. Take a trip to D.C, Cleveland or almost any other American or European city and you will notice the difference immediately. Although I hate the idea, if Bill truly wants his Vision Zero to become a reality, then he should include regulations banning and fining peds who are jaywalking as well as both cyclists and peds who are using cell phones, music devices, or texting whenever they are on public thoroughfares, particularly in the intersections. Of course that won't happen because it won't play to his "damn those drivers; they're the bad ones!" base.
  • While I love"order" more than many, I can only tolerate the processes necessary to maintain it: I do not like the process that would be required to CREATE it.

    A part of me really loved Singapore when I visited there.

    However, I would not want to endure the struggle that would be required to make NYC into Singapore.

    ...I would instead just move to Singapore. Give me a society with established norms.

  • Obviously the crackdown is working! Just think of what horrible damage could have been done had cyclists gone unpunished. I think we can safely say mission accomplished NYPD! 
  • Boulder CO, has established norms between cyclists and autos. Everyone in harmony with respect.
  • Boulder has some qualities that NYC will likely never have: It is relatively homogeneous. It is far less dense.
  • I think it's useful to distinguish between the delivery guys, messengers, etc and casual cyclists. I too work in midtown which is full of the former category and the behavior on average is abhorrent. As a ped, I've been nearly hit several times. Going on that alone, I'd be all for the fines. Anyone know how often they are fined for rolling infractions? Or their illegal hybrid electric bikes?

    However, I also bike around brooklyn all the time and in my experience the casual bikers are fairly safe. I tend to do the idaho stop and consider myself a safe biker. From this perspective, I find the enforcement/fines over the top.
  • I feel the fine is appropriate to draw attention to the traffic offence. I was ticketed for riding one block on the sidewalk trying to get to a bike lane and it cast me $90. So now I never ride on the sidewalk even if my intentions seem good to me. It was a stiff but effective amount.
  • Boulder has a population of approximately 102,000.
    Even the much-vaunted Amsterdam has a population of well under 800,000.

    Neither one of those is comparable in any way to NYC, much less to Brooklyn.
    In both, there are probably tons of laid-back pot smokers anyway.
  • edited August 2014
    Tokyo's 23 core wards have a population of 9 million people, and 14% of them bike to work. Berlin has 3.4 million people and 13% bike to work:
    Both of them have 4 distinct seasons. I'm sure many more non-work trips are by bike, just as assuredly many Brooklynites ride the subway to work and use bikes for local trips.

    Bike trips aren't the right way for everyone to get everywhere, but they're a quick, cheap, and easy method for trips of less than 10 miles, suitable for almost everyone ages 8-80 so long as proper infrastructure is available. New York isn't at that point yet, but it could be.
  • I definitely see NYC's bike infrastructure growing over the next several years, and the use of bikes continuing to grow in tandem with the infrastructure and population shifts.

    At present, the population using bikes seems to be overwhelmingly young.   In order to have more people use bikes, the present risks and hassles are going to have to be overcome.

    If recent history is a guide, a lot of bikers are going to die, become injured and get tickets while it is sorted out.    
This discussion has been closed.