NYPD Cracks Down On SideWalk Bikers In Harlem

May 27, 2014

bikes in west harlemFirst it was jaywalkers. And now rule-breaking bikers are in the crosshairs of traffic-obsessed West Harlem cops.

Officers in the 24th Precinct have set their sights on scofflaw cyclists who pedal through red lights, ride on sidewalks and turn corners without slowing down, cops said.

Bike-related violations have jumped 123% in the past month, with cops doling out 38 summonses compared to 17 during the same period last year…

Bike-related violations have jumped 123% in the past month, with cops doling out 38 summonses compared to 17 during the same period last year, said Capt. James Dennedy last week.

“We are experiencing an increase in bike accidents,” said Dennedy, who oversees the precinct’s traffic enforcement.

Dennedy has led several other roadway probes this year, and he’s added more cops — equipped with radar guns — near W. 96th St. and Broadway to catch speeding motorists.

Traffic-related deaths in the area have declined since January when three pedestrians were hit by vehicles while crossing intersections near W. 96th St. But motorists are still slamming into pedestrians and cyclists, cops said.

Seven smashups have surfaced in the past month involving bikes, and four of the crashes involved cyclists zooming through red lights, cops said. Meanwhile, five pedestrians have been hit by cars in the same area, data shows.

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“Bicyclists have to obey the same traffic laws as we do,” said Dennedy at a Community Council meeting last week.

Residents griped that although cops south of W. 96th St. are keeping bikers in line, cyclists in the northern pockets of the West Harlem are still riding wild.

About a half dozen bikers were spotted by a reporter flouting the law Thursday. Several rode the opposite direction alongside cars on Amsterdam Ave. and W. 106th St. Two zigzagged past pedestrians on nearby sidewalks.

bike26u-1-webOnly longtime cyclist Charles Williams, 60, stopped to explain to the NYDailyNews why he thought it was okay to disobey traffic laws and gave it a thumbs down.

“Why I gotta be in the street? It’s dangerous,” said Williams, who pedals from the Bronx to a job in Manhattan. “The city just wants a way to make money. Go after the rapists and the killers. We aren’t bothering nobody.”

West Harlem elected officials weren’t elated to learn about the bike crackdown, stressing that cars are injuring more people than cyclists.

“It is important that we don’t lose sight of priorities,” said Councilman Mark Levine. “Motorists should be targeted the most”.

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