Video: NYPD Also Ignores Left Turn Ban at Delancey and Essex


After Gothamist posted a video of motorists ignoring the new left-turn ban at Delancey and Essex, we contacted NYPD to ask about traffic enforcement at one of Manhattan’s most notorious intersections. We’re still waiting to hear back. In the meantime, judging from this video by ANIMAL New York, it looks like police are not only not ticketing drivers who continue to put lives at risk while making illegal turns, but are joining in on the fun. See how many Delancey Kong points are racked up over the course of an hour by cops and civilians alike.

  • Jesse Greene

    Based on this video I conclude that all drivers are bad people and don’t deserve any infrastructure (paid for by ME) until they can achieve 100% compliance with all traffic laws (and also some laws that don’t even exist).

  • Anonymous

    I watched this and got angry at all those drivers, and NYPD, and DOT, and the GOP, BBC, BB King, Doris Day, etc.  And then I remembered the epiphany I’ve been going through:  there is one thing that traffic rules do more than anything else.  More than influence the behavior of road users.  More than make road users safer or less safe. What traffic rules do–indeed what most rules do–more than anything else is make witnesses angry when those witnesses see people break the rule.    This is the case regardless of whether the rule has any damn merit or not.  Just look at how Times commenters froth at the mouth about cyclists who run red lights, even though most instances of red light running that they witness are indeed harmless.  I’m not saying that it’s ok for cyclists to run red lights.  But I am saying that red lights are a stupid, crude, arbitrary, blunt instrument.  Maybe this left turn ban is similar.  Wouldn’t it be better to just rebuild the whole damn thing (a ped-accommodating roundabout, perhaps?), rather than apply some lame new rules to it?

  • carma

    @14a8960ffa19c6b0ffff4264aba1f641:disqus 
    what a silly statement to make.  maybe you should stop eating completely because all food as we know it is delivered at some point by a driver.  im sure you dont want to associate with bad people right?

  • Cranky Post Writer

    @14a8960ffa19c6b0ffff4264aba1f641:disqus This is also why drivers MUST be licensed, display some sort of identifying plate on the back of their vehicles, and carry insurance.  Licensing is the only way to make sure motorists know the law and can be held accountable if they break it.

  • moocow

    Once drivers learn to abide by the rules, they can have infrastructure spending. Carma, you don’t hear similar sentiments elsewhere in the Street-iverse? Because it seems there is very little rule following by the people who are driving the cars, and yet its those cars that get a horrid amount of our tax dollars spent on them. It’s also those drivers that seem to make New Yorkers lives suck just a little more than they have to. 

  • carma

    @twowheel:disqus 
    theres nothing wrong with calling some drivers bad drivers.  in fact, a LOT of drivers are bad drivers.  and i absolutely agree, the licensing system in the US needs to be revamped to make it MUCH more difficult, so you rarely experience lousy drivers.  but to say all drivers are bad people makes you sound like an imbecile.

  • Anonymous

    @d8d46f16f380afef59ca318522397233:disqus : either you are missing the joke, or I’m perceiving a joke that’s not there! 🙂

  • moocow

    I’ll spell it out for you C.  As a NYC cyclist, who is at all times vulnerable to stupid things car drivers and jaywalkers do, we, I, am very touchy about people who say things like: “Once the cyclists obey the laws, then they can have the bike lanes.” There are so many things wrong with that statement I won’t even dabble in it now.  JGreene was ( I believe) making a snarky and relevant comment to the effect that CAR drivers who seem to say the above about cyclists and bike infrastructure, are very guilty of NOT following many traffic laws. As this video shows.  WE all pay very dearly for this investment, this mismanagement of resources and the for the allowances we “grant” the drivers on city streets.  How many car alarms have you heard today? Stop any car thieves you think? With all that noise?  How many speeding cars, how much exhaust, how many lives lost due to cars in NYC or abroad in securing the oil that powers them?  That is all the price we pay for cars. BUT to take a lane from these cars and the people that must drive them, we have to fight tooth and nail for it? Not even a majority of New Yorkers own or drive them, but we have to pay this price. 
    And please, don’t ever compare some outer borough/ non-city, single occupant driver with a delivery truck which carries literately tons of food and products into the City, it make you sound like a, what was that word?

  • @d8d46f16f380afef59ca318522397233:disqus 
    I agree with you, not all drivers are bad drivers. 

    Then again, our goal here is “safe streets”, not “punish bad drivers”. (I think punishment is a pretty crummy life goal to carry out) The unfortunate thing is that even a small percentage of drivers doing bad things make the streets unsafe. And it’s not just about “no left turn” signs that are ignored. Honestly, I don’t give a damn if it’s just a technical violation for a restriction that isn’t sensible. (Though I know in this case they REALLY ought to abide by it) This is about having public infrastructure that is abused so much by private drivers – even if not all of them – that the only way to use it safely is to get into a car… and even then, the density of the city makes parking impossible and thus makes functional transportation absolutely impossible in the end. 

    Many people have worked hard to create elements of the streets that fix problems with traffic chaos, but the NYPD needs to buy into it in order for it to work in NYC. And it’s clear that not only do they not care about their duties, but they’re part of the chaotic lawlessness themselves. And for what? Just to drive around and not address crime at all?

  • Guest

    Send the video to IAB.  The NYPD vehicle operators should be subject to discipline. 

    The NYPD’s policy (conforming with NYS vehicle law), specifically prohibits officers from breaking traffic laws unless responding to a call.  They have actually been enforcing red light violations.  These cases, properly documented, should not be any different.

    If there was not a valid reason to make an illegal turn, the officers should be disciplined.

    I was about to write, “they have to follow the law too,” but I should say, “they especially need to set an example.”

  • Jesse Greene

    Carma,
    There was a joke there just not a very good one.  
    Everything I said was intended to sound like what people say about bikes in New York.  Even the “bad people” rhetoric is based on something I’ve actually heard said: http://www.animalnewyork.com/2012/new-york-bike-wars-video-whose-streets-our-streets/  Check out 20 seconds in to hear a cabbie call cyclists bad people and at 2 minutes in another cabbie complains about the inconvenience one is put through if he kills a cyclist. 

  • Nadjagravid

    I just got a ticket here today and I’m furious.  I’ve driven the same route for years,  I’ve never had a ticket in my whole driving career and then all of a sudden they change the rules and give you a $130 ticket?  How about clearer signs when you make this major of a change, and a warning at first mistake?   These are not bad drivers you’re filming, but law obedient citizens making an honest mistake.  Point out their mistake, don’t punish them.  some people, like me, depend on their cars for a living.  We don’t all live and work in manhattan and make tons of money.  

  • Driver

     http://www.streetsblog.org/2012/08/14/video-drivers-ignore-new-left-turn-ban-at-delancey-and-essex/
    Check the video.  If this isn’t clear signage, I don’t know what is.  It sucks that you didn’t see them, but it’s not for a lack of signage, but for a lack of attention.

    The reality is most violators are probably just disregarding the new signs.  People tend to feel entitled to do the same thing they have always done, even if a new rule prohibits it. 

  • Anonymously Anonymous

    There’s at least three big signs, with an arrow and a slash, and they all say “New.” Your driving career just scored 2 points. Think of it as congestion pricing, it costs $130 to make that turn now. Q: But how will I get to the Williamsburg Bridge now?! A. Use Chrystie. One more problem solved, that one’s on the house.