Anyone who rides a bike regularly in NYC quickly realizes that the NYPD is pretty lax when it comes to keeping drivers from parking in bike lanes—hell, even the NYPD's own patrol cars are often seen blocking bike lanes. But according to the city's Department of Finance, some 70,000 tickets were issued for stopping in a bike lane last year, out of 10 million tickets issued citywide. One's inclined to dismiss that statistic as utter BS, but NY1 actually found a driver who claims he was issued a $115 ticket for blocking a bike lane on the Lower East Side. It sounds crazy, which is why it made the news! Shocked motorist Ernest Marshall says it all happened when he was picking up his wife:

As my wife was leaving the sidewalk to get into the car, a traffic officer pulled in front of me, blocked me in and then proceeded to give me a traffic ticket. There's parking, a bike lane and traffic on both sides of the street. It's impossible to load or unload passengers from a car without blocking a bike lane or traffic itself. It's unfair.

You know what's also unfair? When a cyclist has to risk his or her life to pull out in front of drivers who aren't expecting to see a bike outside of the bike lane. According to the city's traffic rules, nobody is allowed to block the bike lane; not even vehicles dropping off children, seniors and the disabled. (In some cases, special signage may indicate an exception.)

Wiley Norvell at Transportation Alternatives tells us, "When a bike lane is blocked that means cyclists are pushed into moving traffic, so it's illegal for a reason. Moving violations are woefully unenforced as it is, so it's refreshing to see NYPD keeping a bike lane clear. As for loading and unloading passengers, that can best be tackled by smarter parking policy." Marshall paid the ticket but is appealing the decision, even though he concedes: "If the city is looking to make money, this is a cash cow."