Road Hog Rampage
Last issue, we reported that summonses issued to bicyclists shot up dramatically in early 1998 in comparison to previous years. Cyclists first began seeing increased enforcement last July, when the 19th Precinct launched an offensive against cyclists in response to community complaints, according to sources at the NYPD's Traffic Control Division.
T.A. has criticized the increased enforcement for its one-sidedness. If police resources are being used for waves of intense (and often frivolous) summonsing of cyclists, why are no resources devoted to improving conditions for cyclists? Enforcement of the city's bike lanes was a critical first step, T.A. told the NYPD last summer.
Indeed, the NYPD had never
tracked the problem, but last July the Manhattan Traffic Task Force began
counting summonses issued to motorists for blocking bicycle lanes. As the
chart below shows, enforcement has fallen from last July's enthusiastic
NYPD 9th Precinct bicycle patrol officers joined Give Respect/Get Respect campaigners to oust unlawful drivers from the Lafayette Street bike lane. Future enforcement on the new Second Ave. lane will also be the 9th's balliwick.