City May Hike Fines for Sidewalk Biking

Legislation is going through City Council to raise the current fine of $100.

Ever been minding your own business on the sidewalk, when seemingly out of nowhere, a food delivery person almost runs you down with their bike? That could change, when City Council approves legislation to hike the current fine for biking on the sidewalk.

The city plans to crack down on cyclists – especially messengers and delivery people – who illegally ride on sidewalks, boosting the current $100 fine to more, says the New York Daily News.

City Council is working on legislation that would allow Department of Transportation enforcement officers to ticket sidewalk riders, says the article, but also plans to reach out to businesses that employ commercial bicyclists, to educate them about the current rules.

“A lot of the problem has to do with commercial sector,” said Department of Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan before the Council, according to the article. “Everyone wants their food delivered really fast and they don’t want to wait 10 minutes more for it.”

Councilman James Vacca, D-East Bronx, (and chairman of the Council’s Transportation Committee) demanded “civil and criminal penalties,” though a punishment has not yet been decided.

Jody Cleveland May 30, 2012 at 11:01 PM
How about putting some teeth into the laws concerning the rights of bikes versus cars in the city. I would like to know how many tickets are issued to cars intruding on bikers space and territory. Cyclist have no rights in the city versus automobiles and are always being held up as an example of renegades while it is careless drivers who are far the worst influence concerning safety and bikes. Furthermore in the most congested areas it is nearly impossible for a cyclist to progress without dozens of cars in the double parking lane that some people mistakenly call the bike lane. I wish that were true. How many pedestrians were killed by bikes versus how many bikers were killed by cars in the last 5 years?
Mike May 31, 2012 at 12:42 AM
And how many tickets are issued to bikers who run stop signs, red lights, ride the wrong way down a street, dont wear helmuts or follow all the traffic laws? And comparing how many people are killed by a 3,000 lb car as to a 100 lb bike doesnt make any sense. The real indicator of safety is how many pedestrians are hit by bikers and how many are hit by cars. And since most people are not going to file a police report or attract alot of attention after getting hit by a bike vs a car, there is no way to tell how many pedestrian / biker accidents there are.
Anthony May 31, 2012 at 01:48 PM
Stop with the whole bike vs. cars argument. That's your answer for whenever the spotlight shines negatively on bikers. Face it, bikers are not so innocent.
tim maguire May 31, 2012 at 04:11 PM
As is so often the case with these things, how often is it really a problem? Sure, there's lots of complaining, but...
Jody Cleveland May 31, 2012 at 04:36 PM
TIm I agree...
Mary A. May 31, 2012 at 05:29 PM
You can pass all the new laws in the world, but it does nothing unless there's some enforcement. I almost got hit the other day by a biker going the wrong way on the street. When I said something, he just gave me the finger. There need to be more cops out there enforcing the rules against bikers. If bikers complain against cars not respecting them, they also need to respect the rules.
Jody Cleveland May 31, 2012 at 06:56 PM
A helmet is not required under the age of 14 and I am glad.
Jody Cleveland May 31, 2012 at 07:10 PM
Almost got hit by a cyclist? Did you not look both ways before venturing across a street? People tend to overact to cyclist near contact. He gave you the finger... what name did you yell at him? I encounter people walking into my cyclist path practically everyday regardless of my direction. They feel that since you are a cyclist you should stop. Americans have a weird relationship with adults on bicycles. People show very little to zero respect. Automobiles yield the way reluctantly to cyclist. They use their cars as a macho ego prop to push their way over a weaker opponent all the while sounding their horn as if in a symphony of angst. . People step into cars and shed their tolerance as they feel ANYTHING in the roadway is their to overpower. If you are crossing street on a bike people are annoyed whereas if you are on foot they have a bit more patience. Admit it all you bike haters.
Mary A. May 31, 2012 at 07:20 PM
No Jody, I don't look both ways on a one way street. And I live in a neighborhood with lots of children. Bicyclists shouldn't be speeding along the wrong way in my neighborhood. It happens all the time. Your tirade against people walking into your bicycle path has nothing to do with my situation. There was no bicycle path and he was going against the light and the wrong way on the street. I repeat what Anthony said above: "Stop with the whole bike vs. cars argument. That's bikers' answer for whenever the spotlight shines negatively on bikers. Bikers need to respect the rules if they want people to feel sorry for them when they yell about cars being intolerant about bikers. I am not a bike hater. You're sounding a tad paranoid!!
Kai MacMahon May 31, 2012 at 08:30 PM
Bikers in this city ignore traffic laws, despite the fact that they apply just as much to them as they do to other road users. They ride the wrong way down one way streets, ride on sidewalks, and ignore traffic lights. I see it every single day. Add a sense of entitlement that many on bikes have and it's pretty easy to see why they inspire such ire. I like cyclists: my mom races and met her husband at their cycling club. I've been on countless cycling vacations, and though I am more of a runner nowadays, I still ride on occasion: I did a tri here in the city last year. But still, the truth remains, that a large number of cyclists behave as if they own the road, and have zero respect for pedestrians. If you are on your bike, it is your responsibility to safely navigate the hazards around you. That includes pedestrians.
tim maguire May 31, 2012 at 09:13 PM
In this city, the pedestrians are frustrated with the bicyclists and drivers, the bicyclists are frustrated with the pedestrians and drivers, and drivers are frustrated with pedestrians and bicyclists. The real problem is, they're all right. Pedestrians are unbelievably careless, never watch where they're going, bicyclists cut it too close and are too pushy, and drivers are homicidal maniacs, seemingly willing to kill you to save 1 or 2 seconds. But what are the effects? Stupid pedestrians are really only a danger to themselves, little more than an annoyance to everyone else. Aggressive bicyclists are somewhat dangerous to others, but still mostly an annoyance. Maniacal drivers are a mortal threat to everyone around them (and present the least threat to themselves). Despite this, bicycles get the brunt of the complaints--I think it's because pedestrians and drivers know walking and driving and so have some sympathy for the realities each faces on our streets, but only bicyclists (who are also pedestrians and often drivers too) know bicycling. So only bicyclists can put themselves in the bicyclist's shoes.
tim maguire May 31, 2012 at 09:14 PM
They called me Tolstoy and said I droned on to long. Here's the rest: And that's why you get silly statements about how most bicyclists have a sense of entitlement. Some do, but most bicyclists are just regular people trying to get somewhere alive. Or bicyclists should follow the same rules of the road as everyone else. Why? Bicycles are fundamentally different from cars and they don't have the same rights as cars. It makes no sense for them to stick to a convention that was not made for them. Besides, in the Brooklyn Heights area there are several places where a bicyclist cannot safely get from point A to point B without going the wrong way down a street. Faced with a choice between legal and safe, I will take safe every time.
Kai MacMahon May 31, 2012 at 09:57 PM
Very often they follow no convention though Tim. Wrong way down one way streets, ride on sidewalks, ignore red lights. Not every cyclist, granted, but it's very, very common. And bicyclists should follow the same rules of the road because that's the law. You're quite entitled to disagree with it, but you still need to comply. If I'm walking and you're on a bike, I have right of way. End of story. All vehicles must yield to pedestrians, even pedestrians that are moving slowly or are irritating. If you don't, you're in the wrong. There's no discussion there. You sound like a sensible, reasonable cyclist. Plenty are not: I see reckless, dangerous folks on bikes every single day. It's shocking, and I totally understand why so much anger is directed at them.
Mary A. May 31, 2012 at 10:19 PM
Also, it's not true that bicycles get the brunt of the complaints. We're only writing about bike riders because that was the topic of this posting on the blog. The media and consumers complain far more about bad car drivers in NYC, like the crazy taxi drivers. It is also not true that "aggressive bicyclists are somewhat dangerous to others, but still mostly an annoyance." I know someone who got a concussion when she was hit by a bicycle messenger who was dodging in and out of car traffic. Bikes are hard metal and hurt when they hit a pedestrian, especially when they're going fast. Some people ride 30 mph. That traffic rules need to apply to bikes just as they apply to cars. It's not just little old ladies riding bikes at 5 mph. You have people riding bikes at high speed, often in groups.
Anthony June 01, 2012 at 12:35 AM
I just LOVE the argument that because bikes don't kill people, cyclist can bend the rules and pretty much do whatever they want. It's like you're totally dismissing that people can still get hurt. It's okay if you get hit by a cyclist and have a broken arm and concussion just as long you're not dead. Stupid argument, Jody Cleveland.
Joanna Prisco (Editor) June 01, 2012 at 02:42 PM
Speaking of wearing helmets, Mike, looks like one councilman wants cyclists of all ages to wear one: http://patch.com/A-tJCP. Jody, you might want to read this as well.
Jody Cleveland June 01, 2012 at 07:12 PM
No bicycle path, ohh boo hooo. Look I don't care about bike lanes as they offer no comfort to anyone but a newcomer to New York. Long time cyclist (more than 30 years for me) don't care about these painted campaign promises as much the drivers who ignore their significance. I get around faster on a bike than you can in a car thanks to NOT having to stop at all lights. If I see a cop at a light I instantly hop off the bike and walk it across the intersection and then hop on and ride away. I go against the traffic as I am not riding all the way around the block to get to my apartment (in the rain). It's not that big a deal.. I will always take the shortest path... So pass whatever laws, I don't really care as there are loads of laws already on the books. (and yeah get the overworked cops to enforce this nonsense) I will continue to be observant of the real threat to my exsistance, cars. Sidewalk cycling is a minor nuisance at best. And no I will not be wearing a helmet....I like wearing a hat. Is this even New York anymore? I moved here 30 years ago to get away from the rigidity of midwestern life and it has followed me here. I see why all the fun has been legislated out of NYC life. You people are all old and boring....and probably fat. PS. Vactionining cycling is NOT NYC cycling. And all those so called racing cyclist who dress up in nylon team gear with toe clips and $3,000 cycs are so fantasy league.. Ciao.
Mary A. June 01, 2012 at 07:41 PM
Everyone should take a look at Jody's latest post at 3:12 pm on Friday, June 1, 2012. No response needed to that ranting. Who can think it's clever to proudly proclaim she doesn't wear a helmet after protesting that cars don't respect bike riders and kill them.
Danielle June 02, 2012 at 03:43 AM
Mr. Negative strikes again. Do you ever have anything positive to say, Anthony?


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