NYPD Targets Scofflaw Cyclists

By Annmarie Fertoli
Thursday, August 14, 2014 – 03:45 PM

Source: WNYC

The Central Park bike loop, near 81st Street. Annmarie Fertoli

The Central Park bike loop, near 81st Street.
Annmarie Fertoli

Cyclists, be on alert: The NYPD is targeting riders who break the rules of the road, as part of a two-week ticket blitz called “Operation Safe Cycle.”

Cyclists are supposed to obey all traffic signals, as motorists would. But along the Central Park bike loop this week, dozens of riders were breaking the rules. Cyclists were spotted blowing through red lights, riding against traffic, and failing to yield to pedestrians — all within the course of an hour on a busy Thursday.

Susan Elliott, who lives on the Upper West Side, stopped at a red light along the loop to allow pedestrians to cross the street. She said the extra enforcement is definitely needed. “It’s absolutely needed, especially with all the guys on their delivery bikes,” she said. “It’s just crazy!”

Vincent Dyevoich, from East Brunswick, New Jersey, said he’s for the extra enforcement, too — as long as it’s not excessive. He thinks cycling’s the best way to get around the city, but it can be dangerous if you’re not paying attention.

“It is safe, I think, if you are defensive about it,” he said. “Not flying through intersections.” But he added that he doesn’t think it’s necessarily wrong to run a red light — as long as you make sure no one’s trying to cross. He might not think so, but doing that is against the law.

Another cyclist, Claire Butler, said she thinks most bicyclists try to obey the laws, but reinforcing them couldn’t hurt. “I think some cyclists could use reminders to be a little safer, and maybe motorists, too,” she said.

The NYPD said it’s also targeting motorists who block bike lanes.