The 78th Precinct’s latest road safety initiative is targeting cyclists’ biggest pet peeve

Double trouble! Slope cops turn focus to ticketing drivers parked in bike lanes

The Brooklyn Paper
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Park Slope cops are doing double-parking duty.

The neighborhood’s 78th Precinct, which has rolled out a slew of road safety initiatives since the year began, kicked off yet another one on Monday. This time around, local officers are prowling the streets looking to ticket drivers blocking bike lanes, a problem cyclists say is rampant.

“Anyone who rides a bike in New York City encounters this issue on an all-too-frequent basis,” Park Slope Street Safety Partnership founder Eric McClure said.

The citation blitz comes on the heels of an undercover sting operation targeting drivers who fail to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks and an audit of area crossing guards. This crackdown will focus on busy, bike-lane-lined thoroughfares such as Fifth Avenue, according to a 78th Precinct spokesman.

Another cyclist and road safety activist says that when oblivious drivers park in bike-ways, it creates a death trap for two-wheelers.

“On my bike ride through Park Slope yesterday, I was forced to exit the bike lane several times because it was obstructed by a parked vehicle,” said Keegan Stephan, a member of the car critic group Right of Way. “Each time was terrifying, and frankly, could have resulted in my death, as aggressive drivers attempted to pass rather than yielding.”

The precinct has said it is pushing street safety as a response to Mayor DeBlasio’s Vision Zero plan to reduce traffic deaths to zero by 2024.

In 2012, a renegade cyclist, sick of seeing police cars parked across a stretch of Bergen Street bike lane outside the 78th Precinct station house, erected a string of traffic cones to keep the scofflaw cops out. Remarkably, the precinct’s commanding officer, Deputy Inspector Michael Ameri, responded by putting up police barricades in the place of the cones, making the vigilante’s barrier semi-permanent.

Police spokespeople said they could not provide data on how often drivers are ticketed for parking in bike lanes.

Reach reporter Megan Riesz at or by calling (718) 260-4505. Follow her on Twitter @meganriesz.
Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Mike from Williamsburg says:
Can the cops from Park Slope go ticket the cops from Greenpoint?
March 4, 2014, 7:32 am
Rob from Greenpoint says:
Woohoo! The 78th precinct in general has been pretty awesome when it comes to street safety.

And the 94th?....
March 4, 2014, 8:13 am
Parent from Slope says:
Thank you! The 78th is really making a difference.
March 4, 2014, 9:06 am
diehipster from B R O O K L Y N says:
OK Mitch from Wisconsinburg:

Shoot all you want. But why do you people always avoid that question of: why do we have bike lanes when they are relatively almost all empty all day? It's just a wasteful useless hipster project run by the city. Go ahead and stand by one for 20 minutes and count the bikes.
March 4, 2014, 10:24 am
BikesRidingDeBlasio from Bklyn says:
Any elected official in these parts of Brooklyn has to answer to the "bike lobby" - which is centered in Park Slope and long swayed/coerced Electeds in squeezing cars, steering public policy their way. They'll give lip service to pedestrians or buses, but mostly the engagement is to reduce parking spaces (which is what happened with Pros park West and 9th Ave in manh.). Newspapers should expose this - and the infiltration at DOT - but it's an easier story to just get quotes from pro-bike groups and pretend parking in bike lanes is a major issue - in the 10-degrees days of February, no less when there's maybe 2 bikes all day there?
March 4, 2014, 10:37 am
diehipster from ACTUAL BROOKLYN says:
Ha! Hey maybe all those CitiBikes buried under snow and salt will have a kewel rusty vintage look to them by Spring.
March 4, 2014, 10:40 am
Mike Bike from NYC says:
Dude, if simply moving around a double-parked vehicle is "terrifying" for you, then you really have no business riding a bike in NYC.

Since when do whiny neophytes dictate policy? What percentage of the cycling public belong to these so-called "advocacy" groups? One, maybe two percent?
March 4, 2014, 10:53 am
Tyson White from UWS says:
Hey Bratton, can we have another 78th Precinct on the UWS!?
March 4, 2014, 11:20 am
Ben Kintisch from Bed Stuy says:
Thank you for this article. The 78th precinct is helping to make it safer to walk and bike in their precinct. That's great!
Their efforts will help save lives.

A couple of comments center around how frequently certain bike lanes are used. The highest number of cyclists ride during rush hour, when the bike lanes are well used. A similar observation can be made about plenty of residential side streets (i.e. where are the car drivers all day!?)

Regardless of fluctuating usage throughout the day, we will see more cyclists using this infrastructure when it remains unobstructed by illegally parked vehicles.

Bravo to the 78th! I wish the precincts all over the city would follow their lead. It would result in true progress towards Vision Zero (the goal of reducing traffic crashes to the point of no more fatalities).
March 4, 2014, 11:21 am
Mike Bike from NYC says:
OK, BdB makes "vision zero" a reality, can we get right to work on the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy next?
March 4, 2014, 11:25 am
Rob from NY says:
Please send officers from the 78th to my neighborhood!
March 4, 2014, 11:43 am
ty from pps says:
Gotta love the ignorant "tough guy" routine constantly trotted out by the "real Brooklyn" folks. So pathetic.
March 4, 2014, 11:58 am
bkmanhatman from nubrucklyn says:
about time cops start going after savage drivers like diehipster & Tal. Yah!
March 4, 2014, Noon
diehipster from Mauling Masons says:
Got love how Ty has absolutely no answer to the fact the bike lanes are always empty and that the Citibikes are collecting snow.

But she somehow knows that I live in a smog-skied, gun blazing, drug dealing, "brown person" part of Brooklyn although she's never been below Prospect Park since she moved from Seattle.
March 4, 2014, 12:50 pm
Keegan from NYC says:
Mike, I've been commuting exclusively by bicycle my whole adult life, for more than 10 years in NYC now, almost every single day, in every condition. I am extremely confident about my own abilities and responsibility, but I have lost many friends to similar conditions to those I described, so yes, I have less confidence about many drivers, and the potential outcome of their lack of responsibility terrifies me and should terrify all road users. It should make us want to change the conditions on the street so that everyone can feel safe commuting by bike, not just the intrepid among us.
March 4, 2014, 12:55 pm
The Chooch from The Bohemian Magic Show says:
It's not political pressure that imposes bicycle culture on Brooklyn. It's magic. Abracadabra baby. Shazoooom.
March 4, 2014, 1:25 pm
Dave from Park Slope says:
Yes! Nice work, police! About time!
March 4, 2014, 3:08 pm
ty from pps says:
diehipster -- Why should I respond to you totally ignorant statement? You're wrong and stupid. That's your cross to bear, not mine.

And if you think these numbers suggest that the CitiBikes are "collecting snow" -- you're a total idiot (in addition to being a belligerent a-hole)
March 4, 2014, 3:34 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Just using certain times to when the bike lanes are used constantly have the tendency to be fudged. How about using real time over a entire day to see how many are really using it rather than just certain times? There can be a possibility that when it's not rush hours, those lanes are pretty much empty for the most part. By the same claims, I can place areas at the same times where the bike lanes are barely used by cyclists and where the travel and parking lanes are used more by motor vehicles. Another thing that makes me feel about taking samples is that they may have been on days when it was clear outside, so let's see some days that involve weather and at different times of the day to see all the variables rather than a selective time of day. As for ty, please take a chill pill, because you really need one and cut the personal attacks when nobody is acting like this at you.
March 4, 2014, 4:08 pm
Daniel from Flatbush says:
The 78th has been awesome lately, I can't wait for traffic enforcement to reach the rest of Brooklyn. The police do need to be towing these cars, but double parking tickets are a good start. I hope we get some innovative use if civil forfeiture laws too. When a driver gets a moving violation lets also take the car and sell it to fund better traffic enforcement.

PS I've gotten a double parking ticket in bkln and it was north of $200, so if they keep it up it can really have an effect.
March 4, 2014, 4:56 pm
ty from pps says:
Tal -- Almost everything you just typed is idiotic. I'm sorry if you take that as a personal attack and you're mom is still at work, so she can't comfort you. But it's true. Sorry, pal.
March 4, 2014, 5:41 pm
Other Michael from Park Slope says:

What are you talking about. How often to you observe the streets in Brooklyn?

Just go away.
March 4, 2014, 5:45 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
With that attitude, I can expect that you are hiding something about the actual usage of the bike lanes, otherwise you wouldn't be acting so hostile to this.
March 4, 2014, 6:41 pm
ty from pps says:
Tal -- How would explain your "attitude"?
March 4, 2014, 6:47 pm
Other Michael from Park Slope says:

I just don't want anyone to thing your opinions are based on actual reality. WE are trying to make things safer in OUR neighborhood. YOU are just trying to pick a fight. GO AWAY.
March 4, 2014, 8:46 pm
Sani from Prospect Heights says:
I applaud their efforts but it seems a bit contradictory that the church parishioners on Dean St between 6th and Carleton( right around the corner from 78th) are allowed to double park at least 5 times per week during services. I respect their right to worship but it should not put others at risk. This street has a bike-lane, bus-route and is a block from Barclay's. It is a bikers nightmare and I am scared for them every time I witness this dangerous situation!
March 4, 2014, 9:01 pm
common sense from bay ridge says:
Yes, lets take people's cars if they double park. That's right up there with taking their house and bank accounts if they get caught smoking a joint. Asset seizures are not just for the drug warriors anymore, I guess. It's amazing how quickly people turn into authoritarians when they get a taste of power.
March 5, 2014, 1:20 am
common sense from bay ridge says:
Edit, meant to say a moving violation instead of double parking.
March 5, 2014, 1:24 am
Scott from Park Slope says:
It is a bit hard to understand why people double park when there are so many fire hydrants around. Double park there and you're blocking neither traffic nor bike lanes. People do it informally on my block, but the city ought to codify the use of that space for deliveries, moving vans, and very temporary stops (10 minutes. Affix easy-pass readers to hydrants, allow a certain number of stops per month, and Bob's your uncle. We do live in the 21st century, and we have the technology. Time to start using it to better manage the limited public space of the streets.
March 5, 2014, 10:57 am
Mark from Ft. Greene says:
Are you kidding me??! We actually have idiots arguing for the RIGHT to double park, AND to park in front of fire hydrants!

You do not have the right to block traffic at any time whatsoever, period. And you NEVER have the right to endanger the entire neighborhood by parking your lazy over-privileged butt in front of a fire hydrant! Sure, it's "just for a minute" (which turns into a half hour or more) and "everybody does it" (so everybody should go to jail and pay a $400 fine) and "what are we supposed to do, huh?"

Get a bike or take the train or the bus. Or park it legally. Period.
March 5, 2014, 11:25 am
The Chooch from The Bohemian Magic Show says:
Keep up the squeeze! Get these cars out of here, and get these fat butts onto bicycles. Or better yet, get these fat butts out of Brooklyn altogether.
March 5, 2014, 1:51 pm
Scott from Park Slope says:
Mark, I assume you're referring to my proposal. Fires are not infrequent here, but double-parking happens all the time. Having the ability to regulate that with today's tech is perfectly achievable, and solves many more problems than relying on 18th century solutions.

I absolutely support biking to work and around our city, walking, and using public transportation. There are, however, legitimate use-cases for car ownership, and given that, the phenomenon of double-parking still exists. So let's modify use of our streets to mitigate traffic and safety concerns accordingly.

If that still offends you or your sense of propriety, please do continue calling people names. It does make you sound so mature and reasonable.
March 5, 2014, 5:20 pm
ty from pps says:
"Standing" in front of a fire hydrant is 100% legal during daylight hours. I'll repeat, 100% legal. You just have to be attending your car. (You have to be sitting in the car behind the wheel ready to move, though the engine can be off.)

What about the folks that double-park NEXT TO an open parking space?
March 5, 2014, 7:04 pm
BYRON from Carroll Gardens says:
Bike Lanes are dangerous. They give a false security for riders.Delivery trucks and Car service park in bike lanes all day long with no tickets.. I ride on streets without bike lanes. Much safer. Don't waste money on Bike lanes.
Remember Bloomie's DOT commish said bike lanes on PPW would save lives???? Never happened...I feel bad for the kid that got killed but he ran in the street without looking!!! I was taught to STOP and look both ways before you cross the street..Pedestrians need to get their heads out of the cell phone watch where they are going when they cross the street and obey the traffic lights and signs!!!!!
Get the story right Brooklyn Paper!! stop with the Press Release Journalism.... Do some real reporting.......
March 7, 2014, 4:30 pm
arkady from PS says:
I've posted a petition on the Brad Lander 'www.AskThemio' site asking that bike lanes be suspended during alternate side hours when people double park. I know that's a privilege, not a right, but accommodating bike lanes at those times makes the streets more dangerous for bikers, pedestrians, trucks & trees. It'd be great if you'd sign it.
March 7, 2014, 10:19 pm
Other Michael from Park Slope says:
Really arkady?

How about ending the insane privilege of letting car owners keep their property for free in the middle of the street so the other side can be cleaned. It puts neighborhoods like Park Slope into a nightmare of gridlock and horn honking.

and I own a car

and your link does not work
March 8, 2014, 6:52 am
The Chooch from The Bohemian Magic Show....
listen u dirty hipster!!!! go back to Iowa or whatever —— hole state you came from.
March 12, 2014, 1:08 pm
@diehipster from Mauling Masons
March 12, 2014, 1:13 pm
arkady from PS says:

I've posted a petition on the Brad Lander 'www.AskThemio' site asking that bike lanes be suspended during alternate side hours when people double park. I know that's a privilege, not a right, but accommodating bike lanes at those times makes the streets more dangerous for bikers, pedestrians, trucks & trees. It'd be great if you'd sign it.

March 12, 2014, 1:14 pm
Ihatehipsters from SBKLYN says:
And whos bright idea was it to make 4th ave 2 lanes....
causes major traffic!
March 12, 2014, 1:18 pm
No one every talks about the car owners rights. I have to pay insurance, gas, registration, car payments and oh yeah I have to obey the laws of the road or lose my license. What penalties or fees do these bikers have to deal with.... NONE! Meanwhile we the car owner and drivers have to bend over backwards for them!
March 12, 2014, 1:27 pm
I Hate You from SOUTH BROOKLYN says:
90% of Bikers DON'T Obey The Traffic Laws....WHEN are Cops Gonna Start Ticketing THESE Morons
March 12, 2014, 4:04 pm
Stop With These bikes Just stop
Now!!! Yuppies on bikes obey Zero traffic laws. They dont stop at red lights, they ride in the middle of the Street like they are cars!!!! Hipsters ruin this whole city, f the nypd too
March 12, 2014, 4:17 pm
I hate all hipster and yuppie scum go back to san fran
March 12, 2014, 4:18 pm
Tyler Durden from Park Slope says:
I've never have a problem with double parked cars as a pedestrian or a driver. Almost everyone has done it once or twice. Everyone likes to get all high and mighty about it though. I also find that people call out "original brooklynites" or go with the "brooklyn tuff guy" nonsense. How would you like it if people moved into your home town and tried to tell you to change everything you knew growing up?

When I was younger I rode my bike all over the city constantly. We didn't have bike lanes, we just rode our bikes cautiously and smart. A lot of these bike riders come from other states and don't know how to function on city streets with or without these lanes. I work on the street all day at my job. I see you guys on bikes out here. You run red lights, you bike up the middle of main avenues, you weave out into traffic. I see some of you who barely look like you can support the bikes you're riding. At night I see you guys barreling down dim lit streets with no flashing lights and dark clothing. A majority of you bikers are unsafe out there.
Also this whole "get your lazy butts on bikes" is another crock. Just as it's you're right to ride a bike, it's mine to drive my car. Even when I am out on my skateboard or walking or even when I'm at work, I have run ins where a bike almost takes me out because they are speeding in the bike lanes not paying attention to their surroundings.
I'm tired of bikers always crying about everything when most of them don't follow traffic laws either. You don't like it then get out of NYC.
As for pedestrians, you guys are no better. Constantly walking out from between parked cars and jaywalking where you please.
Id also like to mention the ridiculousness of some of these out of state drivers. Some of you drive like you stole your license from the DMV.
I just don't get it. Everyone wants to have their cake and eat it too.
March 13, 2014, 5:11 am
March 13, 2014, 7:05 am

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