Vision Zero is the mayor's plan to reduce traffic fatalities and injuries involving cars, bikes and pedestrians throughout the city and, ultimately, eliminate all traffic deaths by 2024. This apparently translates on paper to officers springing cycling traps at certain designated hot spots—and occasionally tackling them.
Bowery Boogie reports that a 5th Precinct cruiser was stationed on Canal Street right off of the Manhattan Bridge this past Sunday ticketing cyclists coming off the bridge. They write about the photo above:
One red-light-runner in particular faced forceful ticketing when the police officer leaped and dragged the dude from the bike (cyclist didn’t stop when asked). Both hit the pavement and a ticket was later issued. Not sure the amount, yet the smallest traffic fine a cyclist can receive is apparently $50.
Is it possible that tackling a cyclist off his bike is perhaps more dangerous than whatever the cyclist was allegedly doing? The NYPD should be out there ticketing cyclists (and drivers, don't forget about them) who are biking recklessly, but is this particular trap really improving safety?
According to the city's new Vision Zero View website, a comprehensive & transparent map for the public to track all these traffic deaths and injuries, there has been one pedestrian killed and 13 people injured in the four block stretch on Canal right off of the bridge in 2014 so far—none of those people were killed by cyclists, and none were cyclists. (Earlier this month Councilmember Margaret Chin called on the DOT to find ways to make Canal Street safer.)
In October the 5th Precinct issued just 18 speeding tickets to motorists. Data on the number of cyclists tackled was unavailable.