Today’s Headlines

  • Today’s the Last Day With Cars in Central Park Above 72nd St. Until September 3 (NYT, WNYC)
  • Cuomo Says State Police Will Crack Down on Distracted Driving (WNYC, WSJ)
  • See How Much Silver and Skelos Earn at Their Day Jobs (WSJ)
  • Cabbie Attempts Aggressive Pass on UES, Breaks Pedestrian’s Leg in Five-Car Pileup (DNA)
  • Driver Critically Injures Man at Meeker and Leonard in Williamsburg (DNA)
  • Man Reportedly Fleeing Police Strikes Woman on Coney Island Ave (DP Corner)
  • Meanwhile… Vanity Fair Staffer on a Citi Bike Ticketed for Speeding in NYPD Dragnet
  • What Is the City Spending to Subsidize Rockaway Ferries? EDC Won’t Say (CapNY)
  • Big Rig Truckers Use Southeast Queens Streets as Rest Stops (QChron)
  • Independence Day, Meet Park(ing) Day (Gothamist)

More headlines at Streetsblog Capitol Hill

  • Anonymous

    A speeding ticket, on 8th ave, on a Citibike? Can you get a Citibike over 30 on a relatively flat street like 8th Ave? I’m pretty sure I can’t. WTF.

  • mrtuffguy

    I think it’s appropriate give speeding tickets to vehicles travelling at an unsafe speed even if that speed is below 30 mph. To begin the application of this policy to a thew-speed Citibike is the height of unjust and selective enforcement of the law.

  • How can anyone get a Citibike up to that speed? If the speed limit is 30 mph? I think a staffer at Gothamist got one of the bikes up to the mid-20s and nearly collapsed doing it!

  • Daphna

    You might think it is appropriate to give speeding tickets to vehicles traveling at an unsafe speed even if that is below 30mph, but the law is 30mph for any vehicle, bike or car. The NYPD can not decide to set a new policy. The legislature passes laws. The NYPD must enforce them.

    The NYPD ticket a miniscule percentage of the drivers who speed on NYC streets. Before the NYPD dedicates manpower hours to ticketing cyclists for behaviors that are not dangerous, the NYPD should make sure they first have gotten the problem with rampant illegal deadly behavior by motorists under control.

  • Daphna

    I don’t know where on 8th Avenue the cop conducted the sting and gave the tickets to all those cyclists in the Vanity Fair article, but the Midtown South precinct (14th precinct, which is from 29th to 45th Street, from 9th Avenue to Park Avenue) is very aggressive about ticketing cyclists in the 8th Avenue protected bike lane. This is the same precinct that illegally stages their vehicles, often three at a time, close to 24 hours a day everyday, in the bike lane on 8th Avenue from 42nd to 43rd Street, creating an unsafe condition for cyclists.

  • Daphna

    I don’t know where on 8th Avenue the cop conducted the sting and gave the tickets to all those cyclists in the Vanity Fair article, but the Midtown South precinct (14th precinct, which is from 29th to 45th Street, from 9th Avenue to Park Avenue) is very aggressive about ticketing cyclists in the 8th Avenue protected bike lane. This is the same precinct that illegally stages their vehicles, often three at a time, close to 24 hours a day everyday, in the bike lane on 8th Avenue from 42nd to 43rd Street, creating an unsafe condition for cyclists.

  • carma

    wtf? serious? a speeding ticket on a citibike? i think im pretty athletic and i have a real hard time pushing to even 20mph on a citibike on flat roads. plus 8th has way too many pedestrians flooding over to the bike lane to safely approach even 15mph.

  • carma

    while i can hit 37mph on my own bike (downhill). i have not topped 21mph on a citibike measured with gps.

    the gearing on it is that even if im pedaling as hard as i can, the revs per minute my legs can pedal is not humanely possible without losing balance on the bike.

  • carma

    daphna. not quite true.

    although rare. a speeding ticket can be issued even if posted limit is over the limit in unsafe conditions. for example, if posted limit is 50mph on the LIE, but you are travelling 43mph in a deep blizzard with freezing ice, you can get a speeding ticket as it is unsafe to operate that vehicle even at 43mph.

    thats why im very interested in knowing how fast this citibike was clocked at in order to “justify” this so called ticket.

  • Bolwerk

    *sigh* And people scoff at me when I point out how useless most of the NYPD really is. Ticketing cyclists like this should be regarded as theft from the cyclist, not legitimate policing and certainly not something that does squat to keep anyone safe.

  • Bolwerk

    Even if that’s technically true, in practice it almost never works that way. And I don’t see how a cyclist could possibly go fast to create unsafe conditions on the street.

    Since, if the cyclist did do something unsafe, it could be cited (e.g., recklessness for running into a pedestrian). Therefore, it sounds like a piggie was basically making something up, which is hardly unusual.

  • Joe R.

    Can anyone count the number of teeth on the front and rear sprockets of a Citibike? Armed with that info, it’s easy to figure out the potential top speeds at various pedaling RPM. I highly doubt over 30 mph is possible even at my maximum of 180 RPM. Besides that, power would be the primary limitation, not gearing. It’s not easy to break 30 mph on a decent road bike on level roads. I’d say even with high enough gearing it wouldn’t be possible on an upright Citibike except for maybe a pro racing cyclist. I roughly calculated it would take 900 watts to go 31 mph on a Citibike (level road, no wind). My personal peak power is around 700 to 800 watts, and I couldn’t maintain it long enough to get a heavy bike past 30 mph. I recall Andy Schleck and Alberto Contador both have peak power levels around 900 watts. I’m sure they can hold that level longer than me, but probably not long enough to get a Citibike past 30 mph. I doubt even Mark Cavendish could generate enough power to get significantly past 30 mph on a Citibike (note: he can briefly reach ~76 km/hr, or 47 mph, give or take, in sprints on a road bike). In any case, the gearing on a Citibike would probably make that speed impossible.

  • Joe R.

    There were no conditions here, such as limited visibility, or roads slick with snow/rain, which would justify giving a speeding ticket for going less than 30 mph.

  • Clarence

    And lest we not forget, radar guns! Typically a cop will need to clock you at 35 or 37 mph before issuing you a ticket in a car. So wouldn’t the same rule apply riding a bike. In that case there is no possible way anyone should get a ticket for speeding on a Citibike in a 30 mph zone.

  • Joe R.

    Just to put this into perspective, the only cyclists who are going 35 or 37 mph on level roads are pro riders in a peloton. Most individual cyclists can’t reach those kinds of speeds at all unless they’re on a time-trial bike. Yes, this speeding charge is totally bogus any way you look at it.

  • Bolwerk

    It’s not a rule so much as a technical limitation of radar guns. They work about perfectly when directly facing an object coming toward them. However, that is usually impossible, since the hog can’t usually conceal himself while being directly in front of his prey, though maybe that is easier with a bicycle than with a car. At an angle, there is greater (though measurable/predictable, always in the driver’s favor) error.

  • Stacy Walsh Rosenstock

    According to NY Magazine their road tester, an experienced messenger, was able to clock 27.5 mph with a little help from a tailwind.

    http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2013/05/road-test-a-citi-bike-can-top-27-mph.html

  • Ian Turner

    Somewhat skeptical about that article, especially looking at the photo. Speed was measured with an iPhone, which means it might be that it just lost GPS fix for a few seconds. And it’s not clear how little the tailwind was; the Hudson River Greenway can blow quite strongly.

  • Stacy Walsh Rosenstock

    On the upside, when was the last time Vanity Fair had a story about NYPD targeting cyclists? It’s possible cycling has truly gone mainstrealm

  • Stacy Walsh Rosenstock

    Professional cyclist, tailwind, and he still didn’t break 30 mph.

  • Joe R.

    Very interesting, especially the part about maintaining an 18 mph average speed. That’s hard to do on a road bike in typical city traffic conditions, never mind on a Citibike. His legs must have spinning like crazy to hit 27.5 mph. For comparison purposes, here is a Google Earth plot of the fastest portion of one of my regular routes on a road bike (19.5 mph average over 3.75 miles). I probably would have averaged over 21 mph if I didn’t have to slow down at a few intersections. Needless to say, I give that guy props for averaging 18 mph on a Citibike, including the time to make a u-turn.

  • r u kiddingme?

    Don’t ride on the sidewalk, Al! (NYPD should ticket him.)