Wednesday, April 20, 2011

NYPD slaps $270 ticket on East Village cyclist for running red light

And it happened to our very own contributor samo, who cops pulled over this morning on East First Street near Avenue A...

60 comments:

blue glass said...

while i am tired of the bikers that think the road belongs to them.

those that think they don't have to obey traffic rules and regulations - not even to the extent of riding in their own lane -

i do think that $270 for a red light infraction is rather draconian.

perhaps it is time to license bikes, make them obey the traffic rules, give them warnings, and then ticket them - on a more "reasonable" scale

Anonymous said...

That sucks, it kinda defeats the purpose of riding a bike if you have to stop at every light. We were always taught to treat it as a yellow as a kid :-(

Jeremy said...

Awesome. One less biker to have to watch out for when crossing legally at a crosswalk.

Richard Colligan said...

Now we know the real reason for the bike lanes.
A revenue raising method.

SteveMGrossman said...

I agree with Jeremey. This may be a little steep, but i feel like you are much more likely to be hit by a cylclist than a car, particularly when you are crossing the street legally. The city is a crowded place, this is why we have traffic lights.

Marty Wombacher said...

How much is a ticket if you run a red light in a car?

blue glass said...

i have already been hit by a bike,
it is no picnic and my knee will never be the same.

if "it kinda defeats the purpose of riding a bike if you have to stop at every light" then stop riding a bike. don't take the fun out of walking for us all.

and why do you believe everything you were told as a kid?
grow up.

you are the kind of biker that deserves a ticket of $270! or perhaps somebody should take away your biking privileges.

Lisa said...

Sorry, after all the back and forth in this blog alone about how bike riders are required to follow the same traffic rules and regulations that drivers are, what part of the extended discussions did SAMO not get? I agree $270 is a bit steep, but if that's what it takes to make him stop at red lights, well...an expensive lesson.

@Anonymous 12:04 - who, exactly, taught you that a red light was to be "treated like a yellow"? Your parents? That would be child abuse. Your Driver's Ed teacher? That would be illegal. And if a red light is only a yellow in your book, then what color, exactly, WOULD make you stop? There aren't many more up there.

Brian said...

Blasting through red lights is bad practice for cyclists, likewise riding the wrong way in bike lanes.

The city made an investment in cycling by putting in the lanes. Cyclists should reciprocate ... which should include slowing down for red lights. "Stop, drop (the feet), and roll."

Absent cyclists bombing the red lights, there would be less aggro response by general public and police.

Anonymous said...

this is the best news i've heard in awhile... I think cyclists should be fined the same amount for running a red light.

by now, cyclists have replaced taxicabs as the top threat to people in crosswalks.

Jeremy said...

Was looking up how much a red light fine would be for a car and found this interesting FAQ: http://bikingrules.org/letter/325

Crazy Eddie said...

As an avid cyclist AND a car owner, here’s my take. Around the fall of 2010, when riding, I began to stop at every red light even if they were no cars coming in any direction. I have also extended this practice to Central Park and the West Side park bike lane. I basically obey all traffic regs as if I was driving a car.The stress that has been relieved plus the feeling of being a good citizen and not a selfness prick is well worth the extra minutes lost by stopping. Also the First Ave and Second Ave bikes lanes are horror shows; I hate riding on them due to the clueless pedestrians, riders going the wrong way, etc. The City should have done a compromise and created the type of lanes that are on Ave C and Ave A. Re the 8th Ave lane, I haven’t used that one enough to make a judgment.

Anonymous said...

This is good news. I am glad to hear the cops are ticketing cyclists. For our safety and his own, SAMO needs to follow the rules of the road. He is lucky he didn't hit a pedestrian or get hit by a car himself when he blasted through that light.

Anonymous said...

I agree with this fine. It often seems cyclists think that traffic lights don't apply to them, since the bike lanes have been created in the East Village there have been a number of times I've been crossing and almost been hit by a cyclist ignoring the red light.

If you are travelling along the road, whether by bike, car, scooter, whatever, the rules of the road apply, and stopping at traffic lights is one of them.

Marty Wombacher said...

@Jeremy: Thanks for that link, it answered the question and more.

Anonymous said...

Crazy Eddie, you seriously stop at every red light? That would drive me nuts. In Central Park I think that would even be more dangerous than running the red lights, as you're more likely to confuse and catch the cyclists behind you off guard.

I'm a responsible red light runner, and approach it the same way I walk red lights as a pedestrian or jaywalk. I slow down, look both ways, and if nothing's coming, I'll cross.

I can't stand it when I see cyclists speed through a red light or find a split-second hole in space and time between approaching cars and pedestrians to slide through. It's cyclists like these who aggrevate drivers and pedestrians, and that's probably why there's a ticketing blitz.

I wish the police would discern between the two. And issue more tickets to riders going the wrong way or on the sidewalk.

To all the commenters who are happy to see SAMO get a ticket: Do you stop at every light as a pedestrian, even when there isn't a car in sight?? For all you know, SAMO was carefully crossing without any car near, causing no harm or distress whatsoever to a single soul.

Crazy Eddie said...

@Anonymous 1.43.

In Central Park, it’s no big deal to stop at reds since while doing a full loop, there's probably 2 reds that catch you at the most. Also, they are writing tickets in Central Park as well. If I want to really rip it up, I go on 9W or River Road. As far as a bike rider being “confused’ if I stop at a red, while driving my car crosstown, you would not believe all the cabs and other a-holes who are “confused “ that I stop at a red and who then have to stomp on their brakes. Enforcing half a law while driving a car or riding bike, makes no sense at all. Pedestrians and runners don’t maim or kill other pedestrians or runners, bikes and cars can and do so.

Spike said...

There's menaces in cars, bikes and sneakers out there. I'd prefer if the police go after them ala @Anonymous 1:43's comments. I've had more close calls as a biker from jaywalkers then from cars. And yes, I'll run a red if the coast is clear, same as I would on foot.

Anonymous said...

Crazy Eddie, I'm afraid for the safety of pedestrians as well as your safety when you say you're a "responsible red light runner." Please re-think your stance. I know a lot of guys think they are superhuman but you are just like the rest of us and you could really get hurt or hurt someone else when you run red lights. Reminds me of my friend who always said he was a "responsible drinker." Didn't end so well for him or the other people in the car.

Anonymous said...

I'd like to make the point that when a licensed driver is ticketed for a moving violation, they incur points on their license. Get enough points, and you pay (significantly) increased insurance rates.

Crazy Eddie said...

@Anonymous 2.23

"Crazy Eddie, I'm afraid for the safety of pedestrians as well as your safety when you say you're a "responsible red light runner." Please re-think your stance"

You are confusing me with @Anonymous 1.43.

Anonymous said...

Execute jay walkers on site!

Anonymous said...

Bikers need to stop comparing themselves to peds if they don't want to be compared to cars. You've got wheels. You can move faster than I can walk. You lose momentum at lights, I lose gas. I accept that, why can't some of you.

Jeremy said...

Ironically, I was just crossing the crosswalk from the east side of 11th and Broadway to the west, and I almost got hit by a biker. She said "oh, sorry" though, so it's ok I guess...

anon 3:22 - everyone who has been living in NYC for more than a day has jaywalked before.

Anonymous said...

Sorry about that Crazy Eddie! Thanks for the correction.

Anonymous said...

It's fantastic how the dialogue is completely co-opted as pedestrians versus bikes versus cars as the price of oil continues to climb. The MTA raises prices and cuts service and the price of food is going through the roof.

Yah, bikes are the problem!

Anonymous said...

hahahaha!

OWR said...

Yeah!!! About fucken time. Now here's a suggestion, License the fuckers. Make them wear plates on the back of their bikes, front-of-their bikes or on their fucken shirts for all I care. Even better, force, the restaurants to pay for individual licenses for their delivery people and you will see this mayhem decrease significantly. (Motorized bicycles on the sidewalk..Who would believe that a civiled town would allow that?)
Once these fuckers are identifiable/identified that dirty word (hear it, Ant?) RESPONSIBILITY will come into the equation.
No Restauranteur wants to be associated with reckless bicyclists. The licenses will force the association.

Anonymous said...

Good. I hope they keep ticketing. I can't count the times I've almost gotten hit by bikers "cautiously" running the red. (Bikes can't see around a lot of cars and trucks, so since they can't see anyone they think there must not be anyone there). I've also had two friends put in the hospital by bikers running reds.

HEY19 said...

Let us know what you REALLY think OWR.

Uncle Waltie said...

I hate cold Chinese food.

chris flash said...

This is just what I warned of when we were all discussing the absurdly-placed bike lanes along First and Second Avenues. First they tell you they're doing so for your good; then they tell you that you MUST use them; then they ticket you for not using them. It's obviously more about money ("revenue enhancement") than it is about our "safety."

chris flash said...

One more thing: I'm a responsible biker and I'll be DAMNED if I'm going to be corralled by the new bike lanes (the previous versions that keep bikers in the street are safer) in which pedestrians walk, delivery trucks unload and cars block when turning at corners.

If there is no one crossing or cars in intersections, it makes NO fucking sense to stop at every red light either. I've had countless collisions and near-misses with clueless pedestrians who jaywalk, who cross the streets with eyes closed (it's TRUE!!), who are tuned out with ear plugs on and who are too busy texting while walking to watch where the fuck they are going!!

The bottom line is that everyone should look out for others, whether they're walking, biking or driving. A ticket blitz to raise revenue is NOT going to force a change in anyone's behavior!!

Crazy Eddie said...

@Chris Flash.
You are correct. Many pedestrians are clueless. I was riding in the First Ave lane recently and just after Beth Israel, a middle age woman was in the lane, going the wrong way of course, pushing an elderly woman in a wheel chair, I shit you not. If you ever ride in Central Park, the Rube herd congestion as you approach Strawberry Fields is mind boggling. They will always be dumb, we are not Amsterdam nor will we ever be that type of city. Also, we can just get over the narcissism here on this tread; I will do whatever I want etc., etc.

OWR said...

Hey19..I'm a free man in a free country. I say what I feel. Too bad if it burns your ears (eyes?)

Anonymous said...

Another cyclist checking in. I dont mind the tickets. When walking, cyclists (especially the delivery guys) are consistently going the wrong way, running lights, or riding on sidewalks.

I follow what alot of cities already have as laws. On a bike, you are a car. Follow the same rules. Except, stop signs or red lights. I do the stop, then roll through: Stop. If nothing is coming/in the way, go on.

Anonymous said...

@SteveMGrossman

You can "feel" anything you want, but you are completely devoid of reality.
Enjoy being cluless in your little lala land.

Austin316 said...

My guess is that since bikes run red lights in front of cops all day, this one probably did so almost causing an accident, pissing off the officer forcing him to take action.

Anonymous said...

A couple of things here. First, a friend of mine said the last time he ran a red light in his CAR, he got a ticket for $90. So, $270 for a bike seems a little excessive.

Second, as a biker, I once ended up getting hit by a car and having a dislocated shoulder because a pedestrian crossing against the light stopped dead in his tracks in the middle of the street right in front of me to answer his cell phone. So get off your pedestrian high horses, folks (to mix a metaphor). We all "cheat" on the red lights, and the person who said we just all have to be more aware and watch where we're going had it right.

I can't tell you how many times I've been endangered by pedestrians strolling across the street against the light, with headphones on or texting, never even looking up when I ring my bell, so I have no clue if they are aware I'm there or not. Or the ones who stroll along in the bike lanes like they were put there for pedestrians. Or the people who get out of cabs without looking, opening their doors into the bike lane (I have a permanent dent in one leg from a car door being opened out into traffic when I was riding by).

Of course, blowing through a red light at full speed is idiotic, dangerous, and rude, and the bikers who do it give us all a bad name, but I don't know why everyone is assuming that's what Sami did.

If we all just used a little consideration and weren't oblivious to what is around us when using shared street space, it would make things a lot safer than issuing $270 tickets.

Anonymous said...

New anonymous here:

I don't have a problem with people jay-biking (going once all cars have gone by or all pedestrians are out of the way).

I like the concept of the 1st and 2nd Ave bike lanes. It's annoying when dumb pedestrians use it as a sidewalk or asshole bikers/delivery guys ride the wrong way instead of moving one more block over.

Hell, the other weekend, I almost ran right into 2 pedestrians when I had the green, because they decided to just stroll into the street without looking.

But some of you scream for licensing? What for? The police already have the power to ticket bikers.

The real issue is that EVERYONE (bikers, pedestrians, drivers, etc) needs to wake up and pay attention. Pedestrians should watch with extreme care if they want to jaywalk - not just blindly meander into the street. Bikers need to treat stop lights at the minimum as a yield sign, but really more of a stop sign. And drivers just need to look into their mirrors to make sure the bike lane is clear before they go turning across it.

tabledesk said...

I received this same ticket a month ago in the west village. ended up paying $190

Anonymous said...

I am curious as to how the cop who gave SAMO the ticket stopped him. I would think a cyclist could easily evade the cops. Care to share the story, SAMO?

Ant said...

Anon @ 12:24 has said it best.

OWR likes to scream his "Get off my lawn you damn kids!" because he likes to hear himself talk. Ignore the menace because nothing he says is constructive unless you're a Stalinist dictator.

Delivery guys and others riding the wrong way - bad. Full speed running lights on a bike - bad. Inconsiderate anyone - bad (especially if the actions of the inconsiderate endanger someone). Outright hate of anything to do with a bike - bad. OWR - needs mental help.

I've not, in the past 3 months nearly run into a pedestrian. This is not due to pedestrians not standing in the bike lane or crossing without looking green light or not. It's because I'm paying attention because I'd rather not interrupt where I'm going with a trip to the hospital. Look out for yourselves. Be an adult. Protesting bike lanes and bikes in general is silly. The hate is telling of something else.

Anonymous said...

I'm an EV resident and a cyclist and I run red lights. Not bomb them, but cross them in the same way that pedestrians do a billion times a day in the city. At least I use common sense and courtesy and don't do it while wearing headphones or talking on the phone or texting.
I'm not looking to terrorize anyone, I'm just looking to get to and from work and the grocery store without giving up more of my hard-earned money to the unreliable MTA. If you want to indiscriminately rail against me and anyone who wants to safely ride their bike--well fuck you! I will always yield to fucking pedestrians because its the right thing to do. Unlike some of you lot, I have a sense of common courtesy.

Spike said...

'Bikes vs Peds vs Cars' comment threads are as awesome as 'Tipping' threads in the Tripadvisor forums!

LES Gal said...

I did an experiment the other day -- I biked from the LES to Grand Central using the First Avenue bike lane for most of it. I stopped at every red light.

I'm a huge fan of the bike lane concept here, but the pedestrians are god-awful on First Avenue. I just took to yelling at everyone "GET OUT OF THE BIKE LANE" -- I was crazy lady on bicycle with the right of way.

I am quite certain that if I had hit someone (and there were a few close calls), the story would have been about how the terrible bicyclists are mowing down helpless pedestrians.

I'll consider the fines for bicycles just as soon as fines for *entitled* pedestrians kick in. They not only endangered themselves, they endangered me and others biking around me.

Anonymous said...

New York is and has always been a pedestrian culture. You can't assume that just because DOT puts in a bike lane pedestrians will completely change the way they've been conditioned to be able to move for decades overnight.

Anonymous said...

I completely support the expansion of bicycle lanes and increasing ridership as a form of transit, as well as any initiative which promotes walking, cycling, and public transit over private automobiles.

Nevertheless, all vehicles must follow the traffic laws. Any cyclist who runs a red light deserves a ticket.

OWR said...

Thank you for the kind words, Ant(4Brains). And a happy Holiday to you. If you dont like my rantys and comments anymore than anyone else posting here, too fucken bad. As long as you watch your p's and q's when bicycling and (heaven-forbid) dont run int me, we're caool. Cause if you ever do, Your name will be very appropriate to your size when all is said and done. Cpiche, Dick?

Anonymous said...

I got a $270 ticket for running a red at 9th & 2nd at 10am on a Sunday morning a few weeks ago. I stopped, waited for a guy at the corner to make up his mind, looked east on 9th saw no traffic, and went through. There was no one around... I too hate the wrong way idiots (I've been hit by a delivery guy going the wrong way). I now prefer staying out of some bike lanes, esp. 1st & 2nd Aves. where yahoos RULE. I'm a crabby middle aged broad, lived in the EV for 30 years. I'm not a speedster. The object of the game is to stay alive. PERIOD. Pedestrians need to be more mindful around bike lanes. People who are partial to salmoning NEED TO STOP, including delivery people. I want to see them ticketed... Anyway, going to Traffic Court to fight it, cause the cops told me to!

chris flash said...

I just LOVE how cops issuing tickets for "quality of life" offenses invariably tell those being ticketed to fight it and "you'll beat it." Obviously, they're giving tickets to fill quotas and to demonstrate that they're doing something out there beyond taking pictures of license plates of passing cars....

It's all bullshit. They know it and WE know it!!

Anonymous said...

I wonder how many of the problems between "bombing cyclists" and "clueless pedestrians" could be ameliorated with bike bells.

When your introduction to someone is yelling "GET OUT OF THE WAY" or "WATCH IT ASSHOLE," the dialogue is likely only to deteriorate from there. A bell could resolve the situation without the need to speak at all. I've noticed, especially lately, that the bells are inexplicably rare.

Anonymous said...

At anonymous 10:08AM:

I have a bell on my bike and use it constantly as I approach intersections with pedestrians blindly crossing. A handful of times, they're just oblivious for whatever reason (headphones, telephone, staring into space) - either standing in the lane as if its the curb or blindly crossing.

liquidastronaut said...

i can't wait to runover some peds on my way home, maybe even kick over a baby carriage or two.

why do people hate cyclists so much, i mean besides our smug 'saving the world' attitude?

seriously though? you give a free pass to noisy, polluting cars that drive too fast and endanger everyone while slowly filling our bodies with poison, but you get mad at cyclists? outlaw cars. then the bikers will stop at lights. we'll have no reason to skip the lights to get out of riding next to cars.

Anonymous said...

Crabby middle-aged broad here. RING MY BELL? ARE YOU KIDDING? I ring like mad! Do you really think people are paying ANY attention? They are waaaay too busy talking on the phone, or listening to their iPods. The WORST is CYCLISTS with HEADPHONES on, who can't hear a THING, let alone a bell. SO, YEAH, I'M GONNA YELL AT YOU. Because you're plugged in, standing in the bike lane when I have the light, AND I DON'T WANT TO HIT YOU. You get a "heads up" or a "wake up" or maybe a really loud HEY. Forget about midtown. That's a nightmare.

And maybe I am a rube for going to Traffic Court cause the cops told me to, but my sister told me to as well, she's been there lots of times and beaten lots of tickets. At a minimum, I hope to have it knocked down from $270.

Anonymous said...

And what about the idiot jaywalkers who dart out in the bike lane, and or the clueless peds with their earbuds in , wandering aimlessly through don't walk signs, when is the
NYPD going to extent the same ticketing courtesy to all instead of picking on the cyclists.I dont see the boys from the 9th precinct handing out tickets for the idiot who jumped into traffic on the middle of 7th st, whereby I almost ran him and his dog over...

Anonymous said...

I really hope samo and the others will add their stories to this WNYC project to map the recent spike in bicycling tickets.

http://bit.ly/mPXKbc

http://transportationnation.org/2011/05/03/been-ticketed-while-riding-a-bike-join-this-crowdsourcing-project/

beatricethecat said...

I read an article once that said they passed a law in San Fransisco that cyclists had to stop at red lights (as if it were a stop sign) but that they could proceed if the way was clear. That sounded so civil to me. The problem is people who do not stop at all for red lights, they are dangerous!

As for the bike lanes in midtown, forget it. FULL of pedestrians and tourists who pay attention to nothing even with a bell.

I bike and drive and walk like a lot of people who have commented. There needs to be some way to educate bikers, right now everyone is pretty much functioning on "what can I get away with" principles (this totally goes for pedestrians too BTW). Put some signs up, have a website, some workshops offered....they could teach it in schools (like drivers ed). Everyone is so angry about everything but there is no education going on. While its great to put in the bike lanes, its not like everyone will instantly know the rules surrounding them, especially since its been such a grey area for, well, forever.

Anonymous said...

Ok, now where are the tickets for pedestrians who blithely jaywalk right in front of bikes (in some cases while looking right at the biker) nearly causing accidents?

As both a biker AND pedestrian I can tell you that happens a whole lot more often.

Anonymous said...

The problem with New York City is that it's filled with New Yorkers. New Yorkers are generally bad drivers, bad cyclists, and bad pedestrians.

We ALL need enforcement!