NYPD Begins Crackdown on Delivery Bicyclists in Hell's Kitchen
They're starting in Hell's Kitchen, where a restaurant boom has resulted in an influx of delivery workers on bicycles, in turn incensing the community. The workers, residents complain, ride the wrong way down one-way streets, ride on the sidewalk, endangering pedestrians, and do not obey traffic signals. According to New York law, bicyclists are afforded all the "duties and responsibilities" as motor vehicle operators.
DNAinfo reports that NYPD has partnered with CHEKPEDS, a community pedestrian safety group, to educate restaurant owners in the Hell's Kitchen area about bike laws and requirements for delivery workers:
"We're going to start issuing summonses for things like not having a helmet, not having an ID," Midtown North's Mike Dugan said. "That's our No. 1 complaint in the community: the bicyclists. Nothing about the crime, just the bicyclists."
This comes just after the City Council has started looking into increasing the fines for bicyclists who ride on the sidewalk to $100 (legally, you must fully dismount from a bike before you bring it onto the sidewalk, or you can face fines and arrest).
While the police and CHEKPEDS are focusing only on delivery workers for now, commuter bicyclists should take note -- if the police are cracking down on one set of bicyclists who disobey the law, it may not take long for them to move on to bicyclists as a whole.