Wednesday, October 27, 2010

A Story From NYC

I'm still out of the running on my cycling because of my knee injury, so I don't have anything to report about weight loss or miles ridden.  I did, however read an article in Urban Velo that was interesting.  quote:

"The New York Police Department plans to step up enforcement of bicycle safety in parts of the city that have seen a disproportionately higher rate of collisions involving bicyclists, city officials said Thursday.

The initiative, which would be aimed at common cycling infractions like running red lights or riding on the sidewalk, comes after numerous complaints about two-wheeled scofflaws and recent protests against new bicycle lanes added to streets in Brooklyn and downtown Manhattan.

“We’ve installed 250 miles of lane over the last four years and thousands of new bike racks,” Janette Sadik-Khan, the city’s transportation commissioner, said at a news conference. “We have been friendly to cyclists. Now it’s time for cyclists to be friendlier to the city.”

Ms. Sadik-Khan, a cyclist herself, has led the Bloomberg administration’s efforts to siphon off city road space from automobiles in favor of pedestrians and bicyclists, an effort that officials say creates a more balanced use of the city’s streets. Critics charge that City Hall has placed a stigma on car ownership and unilaterally removed traffic lanes for the use of a small minority of residents.

The result has been that bicycling, once a niche, even antiauthoritarian, mode of transport, has entered the New York mainstream, and cyclists and pedestrians alike are trying to adjust.

The city has issued 26,000 moving violations against cyclists so far this year, still a fraction of the 800,000 violations issued against motor vehicles, said Paul J. Browne, the Police Department’s chief spokesman. But on the Upper East Side, Mr. Browne said, the most frequent complaints heard from residents had to do with bicyclists. "

First off, I find it amazing that so far this year NYC has issued 800,000 violations against motorists.  Holy cow!  As far as the 26,000 violations against cyclists... good for them!  I am whole-heartedly in favor of the police force holding us cyclists accountable!  It's time that cyclists who use the road learn to follow the laws as well!  Every time a cyclist cuts off a motorist, runs a red light, or rides on the sidewalks - endangering the pedestrians there - it makes the rest of us who follow the rules look bad! 

I've said it before, and I'll say it again... A cyclist is considered a vehicle on the road, and MUST follow the same rules for safety! 

Let's ride safe, ok?

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