94th Precinct to Cyclists: Obey Traffic Rules

All of the bicycles parked on Bedford Avenue in Williamsburg had these flyers stapled to them recently. The reverse side of the flyer has translations in Spanish & Polish.

Thanks to Streetsblog tipster Laura for this one. She notes, "The 94th covers Greenpoint and most of Northside Williamsburg. Nothing in this statement about cracking down on aggressive drivers who threaten bikers, of course." And thanks to Streetblog tipster John for scanning the flyer.

  • Karen

    “Rogue cyclists”–Is this similar to G. Bush’ axis of evil or something? I think it’s great that more people are cycling and it’s great that there is more attention being paid to the issues that cyclists face on city streets.

    However, I am sorry to tell the TA people, I am not a “role model”. I simply like to ride my bike. If I had to stop for every light in NYC, I would probably give up cycling because:
    A. I wouldn’t get anywhere, certainly not to work (if I get hired again) on time and
    B. Not to any of the fun destinations I might choose to reach on a long distance ride.

    I’m not sure why certain activists and bloggers think they speak for all of us, but it’s pretty annoying. Not every action is a political statement. Some people are on their bikes because they love to ride and they enjoy the road.

    Some of us bike because we love it. We are not being done any favors by being used for political agendas and purposes. We are often targeted by angry motorists because we are on the road, their road, as they like to put it.

    When are we going to hear from real cyclists? The ones that bike all over the city, whether as weekend warriors in spandex (love you and your speed) or hipsters (yes, your bikes are nice)or messengers (fast and awesome) or commuters or BMXers doing their tricks? Do we need these bloggers and urban planners directing how we move through this city or are we going to keep doing what we’re doing and riding for our own pleasure, health and love? Do we have to move to the suburbs (gasp a horror on this site) in order to roll through stop signs in peace?

    I’m all for biking advocacy. I’m all for change. Green is good. I’m all for avoiding hitting pedestrians and children.

    I’m just not into more rules and regulations, no matter how well intended, that simply serve to slow me down. My average speed ain’t all that hot on the city streets anyway, due to traffic, lights and road conditions. I am sorry if this doesn’t fit everyone’s political agenda. But it feels like the truth to me.

    I’m not looking to run anybody down. Just looking to ride my bike. Do I have to move out of town to do that happily again?

  • mikes

    In a funny way I don’t think that following all the traffic laws is what will ultimately give legitimacy to biking, it’s shear numbers. Greater numbers of people riding will create the momentum necessary to affect change. It’s starting to happen already, the best thing you can do is keep riding – be a visible indicator of change. Ride safely, whatever that means to you! Personally I wear a helmet and follow most traffic rules. I feel the frustration as a pedestrian who has nearly been run over by manic cyclists and drivers. Neither is a fun experience. Be aware of your surroundings is probably the soundest advice for all.

  • CYCLISTS:

    You think it’s bad now? Wait till all of the suburban Long Islanders start rolling into N. Brooklyn looking for parking spaces to avoid the $8 tax levied to go into Manhattan!

    Then we’ll really see an alarming rise in “incidents” between motorists(who are not used to bikes on the road and already 15mins. late for work)and city cyclists.

    Hey 94th precinct: Got a contingent plan for that? No? Didn’t think so. This is the product of low-wage law enforcement.

    Just waste our tax dollars cutting bike locks and intimidating hipsters from Kansas who show up in court and get their tickets dismissed.

  • Angus Grieve-Smith

    Sorry, Do, I just can’t believe that suburban Long Islanders are going to drive all the way through Queens, across the Kosciuszko Bridge and through city streets, and troll for parking … to take the L train? or the J?

    No, sorry, I don’t think so. At worst, they’d stay in Queens and take the N or the E, or stay on the BQE long enough to get to the trains in Downtown Brooklyn. But they won’t. They didn’t in London and they didn’t in Stockholm. If they take the train, they’ll take it from much closer to home.

  • Sproket Man

    I just started biking again and biked for the first time from Greenpoint to Little Italy in Manhattan and back. I took streets and sidewalks, wherever safe. Whenever I saw a street which looked dangerous, I switched to the sidewalks. When I saw groups of pedestrians, I walked my bike. But nothing happened until I came back to Greenpoint. I had just switched to the sidewalk from the street just to avoid traffic on Nassau near Manhattan, and a guy yelled at me angrily to use the street. I embarrassingly obliged. The guy even looked like an off-duty cop.

    It’s funny how nobody made a big deal out of biking on the sidewalks until I got back to Greenpoint. I think it’s because the neighborhood is changing and everyone is really temperamental…and drunk. I’m just going to bike on the street from now on. I’d rather get yelled at by a driver than a pedestrian.

  • P

    Sproket-
    Congratulations on getting back on your bike. It does sound like you were contientious about your choice of riding location but really, we should be on the streets, not the sidewalks.

    We have a hard enough time convincing pedestrians that we aren’t the problem as it is- scaring the crap out of them doesn’t help.

  • P

    Yeah, I meant conscientious

    When can we have an ‘edit’ command?

  • Rebecca

    The reason that the precinct covers Greenpoint and Northside is that most of the Northside IS Greenpoint. Neighborhoods are designated by Police Precincts. The borders that hold true for the precinct, hold true for the name of the neighborhood as well. So your cool artists’ loft on North 10th is in Greenpoint. Welcome to the neighborhood.

  • gecko

    The key thing about streets with cars is that the slightest mistake can be life threatening. It is an environment where heavy equipment completely dominates and not typical of safety-regulated working and industrial environments. It is not really about who made the mistake and who is at fault since the gravely serious outcomes far outstrip simple causes by human error or carelessness. It is about whether the transportation environment is designed well enough that relatively minor mistakes don’t kill or maim people.

    The police are stuck in the middle. As individuals they may have their own opinions and behaviors but the statement above seems to be an effort to save lives.

    The streets have to been redesigned to be much safer for both cyclists and pedestrians and a “towards zero deaths” initiative should be started to greatly limit the considerable danger.

  • buford

    A truly inane comment from Rebecca:
    “Neighborhoods are designated by Police Precincts. The borders that hold true for the precinct, hold true for the name of the neighborhood as well.”
    Who made this rule? Is Soho the 1 or the 5? Which precinct is Tribeca? Oh wait, that’s in the 1 too. and so is Wall Street/financial district, so those must not be neighborhoods.
    Williamsburg consists of the Northside & the Southside. It doesn’t start at Metropolitan Ave. (the border between the 94 & 90), it starts at McCarren Park (heading south).
    Greenpoint is way cooler than W’burg anyway; it hasn’t completely transformed into a post-college dorm for kids with track bikes & army hats (yet).
    All the frothing at the mouth aside, has anyone ever heard of a cop from the 94 actually summonsing a cyclist? I ride there every day & have never seen or heard of such a thing. It’s one of the most apathetic houses in the PD; I don’t anticipate a ticket blitz.
    In my experience, based on riding in the city & messengering from the ’70s-’90s, most cops consider giving cyclists tickets incredibly Mickey Mouse & will only do so if under the observation of a boss who they know will give them a hard time if they don’t. I once had a cop follow me on a scooter as I blew a red across 4 lanes of Canal, went the wrong way for several blocks on Broome & ran about 10 more red lights. He pulled me over & wrote me a ticket for not having a bell & told me how to cure the ticket (by putting a bell on the bike & showing up at the issuing precinct within 24 hours).

  • Betty

    You guys are kidding RIGHT? I drive a car and the people in the area are oblivious to cars on foot, forget how much of a danger they are on bikes. Remember you are walking and riding in a city street, not the country road…Kudos to the 94th!

  • Betty

    Just want to add…why should we re-design streets? For the past 35 years that I have lived here, the streets didn’t have to be re-designed. These streets are already narrow, and now I have to be concerned that a biker not following traffic rules might hit me. This past weekend, I witnessed at least 30 bikers barreling through stop signs, going the wrong way. People walking out aimlessly in front of moving cars. You people are truly NUTS and have no Street sense whatsoever. You moved to the city, stop trying to save the world and deal with what’s here. I hate Greenpoint now, it’s really a shame.

  • NoCarsGo

    I’m all for more cyclists and less cars in NYC (complete carless areas would be ideal, and have been successfully implemented in many major cities, such as London).

    HOWEVER: Cyclists must obey traffic laws. This means; no running through red lights, no riding on the sidewalk. I’ve seen a number of serious injuries of pedestrians run down by cyclists who ignored the traffic laws. I’ve also seen cyclists get seriously injured for riding through a red light and being sent flying by a motor vehicle (one may not have survived the impact; he did not look good when the medics where tending him).

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