After promising to crackdown on scofflaw cyclists citywide in October, the NYPD is promising to intensify enforcement of traffic laws in Brooklyn. Police sources tell the Brooklyn Paper that bicycle riders will be ticketed for often-overlooked "vehicular offenses, such as failing to obey traffic signals and signs, breaking the speed limit, tailgating, and even failure to signal before turning." The crackdown is not expected to affect drivers who speed recklessly or block bike lanes—because that could lead to awkward situations where cops have to ticket themselves. In Brooklyn, outlaw cyclists are outraged.

Cycling activist Baruch Herzfeld (you may remember him from the Bedford Avenue bike lane wars) predicts the enforcement policy itself will be as dangerous as it is futile. "Mayor Bloomberg will have as much luck getting the NYPD to enforce these violations as he did getting the Sanitation Department to shovel this past snowstorm," says Herzfeld. One police source explains, "The public feels that we are not strict enough [against bicyclists]."

Indeed, there is an increased media focus on drivers who feel threatened by cyclists encroaching on what they perceive to be their turf. And pedestrians have been more vocal about the dangers posed by reckless cyclists. (Nancy Gruskin's husband Stuart was killed by a cyclist going the wrong way down a midtown street in 2009; she eventually got a personal apology from DOT commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan.) But Streetsblog sees a disconnect between the militant enforcement of traffic laws for cyclists and the much more dangerous reckless driving that pervades New York:

Police could enforce norms that make sense — no wrong-way riding, no riding through crosswalks when pedestrians have the right of way, no biking on crowded sidewalks. Or they could catch people in dragnets, ticket every cyclist who treats a red light as a stop sign, no matter how cautiously, and otherwise harass people without actually encouraging safer behavior. What’s it going to be?

For those who want a say in the matter, Streetsblog recommends attending your local precinct community council meeting: "Each precinct holds one every month—a public forum to convey your concerns to the officers who police your neighborhood (find out when and where)."