So much for nipping this whole jaywalking blitz in the bud: the NYPD has given out 452 tickets for jaywalking to pedestrians during the first two months of 2014. That's a 900% increase from the same period in 2013, when cops gave out just 50 such tickets. If we keep up with the current pace, cops will exceed last year's total of jaywalking tickets (531) by the end of March. What does Commissioner Bill Bratton have to say to critics of the policy? "Get over it."
Bratton sat down with WPIX this week to talk about his first months back at the head of the NYPD. And he had little sympathy for New Yorkers who think his jaywalking policy is utter bullshit. Of course, he also lowballed the total of jaywalking tickets, telling them only about 300 had been issued in 2014, so perhaps he has been ill-informed about his own police department's eagerness to please him.
The jaywalking crackdown has led to cops giving out fake summonses to pedestrians all around Brooklyn regardless of whether they are breaking any rules. Never mind that ticketing pedestrians isn't saving any lives and diverts police manpower from dealing with reckless driving. “If people did not jaywalk, the efficiency of New York City as a place to live and work would plummet,” transportation economist Charles Komanoff told the Times last month, adding that “crossing midblock, sentiently, can be a very smart strategy."
"This isn’t LA, commissioner. Leave it alone," Brooklyn sanitation worker Luis Suarez told the Post. "You’ve got more important things to worry about — like actual crime. This is New York. Everybody gets around this way." If it is any comfort, know that Bratton wants to focus police attention toward other "quality-of-life" issues like "acrobats and aggressive begging." Because bringing criminal charges against subway dancers is clearly really, really improving life in NYC.