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Eyes on the Street: 28th Precinct Loves the St. Nicholas Ave Bike Lane

3:20 PM EDT on September 8, 2010


If you get around on a bicycle in Upper Manhattan, the St. Nicholas Avenue bike lanes are essential. They're the only on-street lanes in the borough between 120th Street and 160th Street. Many cyclists don't even bother with the lanes, though, because they're routinely filled with parked cars.

Normally one might ask the NYPD to enforce the rules of the road on St. Nicholas, but at least in the 28th Precinct, such a request seems futile. At precinct HQ between 122nd and 123rd, a line of police vehicles stick their noses out into the bike lane day after day, completely obstructing it. Pedestrians aren't spared; some cars are parked halfway or entirely on the sidewalk. And these aren't just squad cars positioned for a speedy exit in case of emergency. Many of the cars appear to be personal vehicles bearing police union bumper stickers or other markers that the owner carries some official authority.

The New Jersey plate on this car suggests it's an officer's personal vehicle. Photo: Noah Kazis.
When a police car parallel parks in the bike lane, it's no surprise that on the next block, a line of cars feels safe to do the same. Photo: Noah Kazis.
One of many cars parked on the sidewalk, this one blocks the crosswalk. Photo: Noah Kazis.

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