In an ironic twist, it seems like NYPD officers are having trouble following the traffic laws they’re suppose to enforce. In a recent study conducted by DNAinfo, police cars were found to be among the worst offenders of blocking bike lanes in Manhattan. This doesn’t look good for bike riders. All across the city, trucks, cars, and pedestrians are increasingly obstructing bike lanes without taking cyclists into consideration.
Seeing the bike lanes being blocked by traffic isn’t surprising at all. The survey, conducted by DNAinfo reporter Ben Fractenberg, found that one of the worst stretches of blocked bike lanes was behind an NYPD precinct in Harlem. According to the report, 27 out of 44 marked and unmarked NYPD vehicles parked behind the 28 Precinct jutted into the bike lanes on both sides of the street.
“It’s like this all the time. They don’t have any consideration for us,” said Kimba Jones, 50, to DNAinfo. “They are in the lane, so now we have to slow down and be careful that we don’t get hit.” The report also covers other obstacles and bike lane violations throughout different Manhattan neighborhoods.
The fact that bike lane rules are being ignored is becoming a serious issue, given the safety concerns. Others have also voiced similar concerns regarding police conduct, especially amongst officers who are not so familiar with the bike lane rules. Although the city continues to promote biking as part of healthy lifestyle, bike lanes seem to cause controversy, both among car owners and other local residents, due to the perceived intrusive nature of the bike lanes.
Despite these inconveniences, one of the things the city can do is enforce bike lane rules more strictly. By doing so, and by educating law enforcement officials more regarding the issue, not only will bike lanes become safer for cyclists, but cycling will be seen as a safer, more viable alternative mode of transportation in New York City.