Suggested Locations for Additional NYPD Traffic Enforcement

The Park Slope Patch and the Brooklyn Paper both reported this week that the 78th Precinct will soon be ticketing cyclists in Prospect Park, in response to two crashes in the past six months where cyclists injured pedestrians on a downhill slope of the park loop.

Singer Daniela D'Ercole was struck and killed by a driver on the Upper West Side last month. NYPD did not respond by stepping up enforcement of speeding and other dangerous traffic infractions. Photo: ## Torres##

Now that NYPD has shown a willingness to respond to crashes with targeted enforcement, here are some other locations where police might want to devote some resources:

  • Eastern Parkway near Bergen Street in Brooklyn, where the Reverend Theauther Love, 87, was struck and killed during his morning walk last month.
  • Hillside Avenue near 198th Street in Queens, where a motorist killed Queens Civic Congress President Pat Dolan as she was walking to a community board meeting two weeks ago.
  • Fifth Avenue and 65th Street in Manhattan, where this October an 86-year-old grandmother walking in the crosswalk was run over and killed by a turning tow truck driver who failed to yield.
  • Broadway and 106th Street, where a motorist struck and killed Daniela D’Ercole as she exited a cab and crossed the street, the impact reportedly sending her body across multiple lanes of traffic.

Ray Kelly’s NYPD did not respond to these deaths with a display of targeted enforcement to deter dangerous driving. They responded by saying “no criminality” was involved and exonerating the drivers without much of an explanation why. Of the hundreds of other fatalities and thousands of injuries caused by motorists each year in NYC, the overwhelming majority receive a similar non-response from police.

It remains to be seen how many cyclists will be subject to summonses by exceeding the 25 mph Prospect Park speed limit, but it won’t take many for the 78th Precinct to exceed the number of speeding tickets it gives out to motorists. In October, the 78th issued just five summonses for speeding [PDF].

Failure to observe the speed limit is ubiquitous citywide and contributes to hundreds of deaths and life-altering injuries each year. Where is the NYPD response?

  • R. Kelly

    At Metropolitan Avenue and Orient Avenue in Williamsburg a 90-year-old man was mowed down by drunk driver in the middle of the day yesterday.

  • I recall an article a few years back about how rare it is to get a speeding ticket in NYC. I’ve tried locating it online to no avail. Knowing how insane and dangerous drivers can be in this town, it fills me with rage that the 78th is focusing their efforts on cyclists in Prospect Park.

  • Anonymous

    If two major injuries over six months were a standard which would prompt this kind of PD response, they’d be at hundreds of locations across the five boroughs. For example, McGuinness Boulevard has both a demonstrated speeding problem, and hundreds of injuries and five fatalities over 15 years.

  • Glenn

    With all this lax enforcement, what I find most incredible is that there are still people that rack up enough infractions to lose their license or get it suspended, then when they inevitably strike again and kill or maim, they get off scot-free. Anyone who crosses the street or pays car insurance should be in favor of getting the worst offenders off the road.

  • Anonymous

    I’ve heard that police departments usually choose not to go after speeders on city streets because it’s dangerous. They might need to chase after the speeder, and if the chase causes a crash it would be pretty bad and look even worse. That’s probably why most speeding tickets seem to be given on relatively empty highways where, ironically, speeding is not as dangerous.

  • qrt145: That’s a pretty good argument for speed cameras.

  • Station44025

    I’ll be very curious to see if they enforce the speed limit on cars in the park, though. It’s normal for people to drive around 35-40 through there, many go faster. Somehow I don’t think the PD is going to do anything about that, though.

    I can’t tell you how depressed I am about losing the one place I can ride my bike without being menaced by cars or having to stop every block for no reason.

    The fact that there is a witch hunt against cyclists in the park while no one seems to give two shits about cyclists being constantly run down in the streets is also incredibly depressing.

  • Joe R.

    @2d1f4485f4071d40973ef0f25d75ed14:disqus Just do what I do-ride on regular streets late nights, perhaps after 10 or 11 PM.  Traffic is usually light by then, and pedestrians are practically non-existent.  I lost my patience years ago to ride at times when I need to literally stop or slow down practically every block for nonsense.

  • ? The 78th Precinct made noises earlier this year about enforcing laws against bikes “equally” with cars.  Here’s the bike lane where the officers park their private SUVs:

  • Mrbadexample

    Just got back from Prospect Park (2 PM or thereabouts). HOLY CRAP–there are police deployed all over the place, and they’re pulling over cyclists saying ‘we saw you run a light back there’. There were eight or ten cyclists pulled over at the bottom of the hill alone, and my guess is that if they can’t make the red light charge stick, they’ll charge you for not having a bell (lots of road bikers don’t sport one) or some other infraction.

    I’m getting the sense that Bloomberg is going to start a bike crackdown– they’re tearing up the protected bike lane on Allen and putting an unprotected one in its place to facilitate drivers turning left on Houston.  And during the OWS protest a few weeks ago, they were forbidding cyclists from using the Manhattan bridge bike paths for awhile, even though (obviously) nobody was allowed on the Brooklyn Bridge. If you’re a TA member, let them know we’re not going to be used as Bloomberg’s scapegoat. If you’re not a member, become one.

  • Mike

    This from a precinct that wrote something like 5 red light tickets — TOTAL, including against motorists — in October.  I’m sure they more than exceeded that today on bicyclists.

    NYPD, where’s the real danger?

  • Redbaron61

    Does anyone know what happened in the Daniela D’Ercole case?  Was the driver speeding or texting?


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