After cracking down on jaywalking pedestrians (and bloodying an elderly man) earlier this year, police on the Upper West Side are focusing their attention on cyclists, who have caused exactly zero traffic fatalities so far in 2014. Bicycling violations have soared 123% in the past month, with 38 bike-related summonses issued, according to Capt. James Dennedy. That's up from 17 summonses issued during the same period last year.
"We are experiencing an increase in bike accidents," Capt. Dennedy told a community meeting last week, adding that cyclists "have to obey the same traffic laws as we [the police] do." Guess that means cyclists are still free to blow through red lights, speed, and park in bike lanes, just like the NYPD!
To be sure, cyclists who flout traffic laws pose a legitimate danger to pedestrians, and in recent years, uptown residents have been particularly vocal about reckless restaurant delivery cyclists. But three pedestrians have been killed by motorists, not cyclists, on the Upper West Side this year, and some neighborhood groups argue that the NYPD needs to do more to crack down on speeding and reckless driving.
"Why I gotta be in the street? It’s dangerous," scofflaw cyclist Charles Williams asked the Daily News. "The city just wants a way to make money. Go after the rapists and the killers." Well Charles, that's complicated.