Finally, Someone Made a Tumblr of NYPD Blocking Bike Lanes

Photo: Cops in Bike Lanes

In the grand tradition of the now-defunct MyBikeLane and UncivilServants, one upstanding citizen, who wishes to remain anonymous, has created the Tumblr every New York City cyclist has dreamed of: Cops in Bike Lanes.

The name really says it all. If you want to add to the collection, which seems to be heavily focused in and around downtown Brooklyn at this early stage, send your photo of a cop in a bike lane to, along with the date and location of the image. The Tumblr is not connected to Streetsblog, but we might team up and run some choice cops-in-bike-lanes photos from time to time.

And by the way, Streetsblog would also be pleased to publish your pictures of parking placard abuse, carrying on the mission of the dearly departed UncivilServants. Send photos that clearly capture the violation in question (sidewalk parking, fake placards, hydrant-blocking), the placard, and the posted parking regulations to

  • KillMoto

    **LOVE** how that pic captures a big res “PARK” sign, with a arrow towards the side of the road…

  • KillMoto

    “res” meant to be “red”

  • Frank Dell

    Rules of the City of New York, § 4-08 (e)(9): ”It is against the law to park, stand or stop within or otherwise obstruct bike lanes.”

    I think I’ll print this up on business cards and I can pass them out during my travels. I will probably go broke doing so.

  • Bronxite

    Should include sidewalks and crosswalks.

  • Andrew

    I can’t tell for sure, but it looks like both the bike lane and the sidewalk are blocked here.

  • The city needs to actually address parking. To think that many, perhaps most police stations were allow to be built without adequate parking only instills the notion that the police can (and will) park anywhere. There are some easy solutions to help ease parking in the city, and others like building more parking garages that would involve actual investment, but one thing is for sure, there’s plenty of drivers who could fund improvements if only they were given parking tickets for double parking.

  • Anonymous

    MyBikeLane is still available! (offer only valid in Toronto)

  • Ben Kintisch

    Um if I stopped to take a photo of each cop car blocking a bike lane in my typical day I’d be late. ALL THE TIME!

  • Andrew

    The cars parked illegally on the sidewalk all appear to be personal cars. Their owners could obey the law (by looking for legal parking on the street, or by paying to park in a private garage, or by finding some other means to get to work, such as transit or biking) if they had any incentive whatsoever to do so.

    If there is insufficient parking space for NYPD vehicles themselves, then sufficient nearby curbside space can be converted to no-parking-except-NYPD-vehicles.

  • Guest

    Even worse, in many locations, the personal vehicles do not belong to on-duty officers. Friends, family, and off-duty officers use these locations to park for free when they’re out doing stuff in the city (take a look, and you’ll see a lot of placards from other precincts, papers indicating affiliation with entirely unrelated law enforcement agencies clearly not there on business, family badges, etc.).

    If there was the slightest effort to manage the parking situation, a lot of those vehicles would vanish overnight.

  • Anonymous

    on twitter it is called: @ourbikelanenyc

  • Lambchop

    Nyc owned vehicles are exempt from parking rules. It’s is in the city charter.

  • Anxiously Awaiting Bikeshare

    So most of the time, cops are parking illegally in these pictures. In the rare instance they are actually responding to some sort of emergency, where do we want them to park when on a one way street with one car lane and one bike lane with parking on both sides?

    a. In the bikelane
    b. In the car lane

    I personally prefer a. but am curious what everyone else thinks. My logic is I would rather be the one to look around, change lanes, then move back to the bikelane rather than having a car zoom into the bikelane as they pass the cop car.

  • Anxiously Awaiting Bikeshare


  • Reader

    Around precincts, the answer is very simple. Designate a specific number of on-street spots for exclusive NYPD use. Many of our police officers have no choice but to drive from their homes to their precincts, and we should have no problem accommodating them.

    This would get officers’ personal vehicles off of sidewalks and out of bike lanes. The only problem with this is that local residents would flip out over the loss of free on-street parking. But if that’s a sacrifice that has to be made in the name of safety, the city should do it.

  • Reader

    And I think most cyclists would agree that in the event of an emergency, all bets are off. Let them park where they need to.

    Problem is that when you see cops running in to a bodega to get coffee, that doesn’t meet the definition of an emergency.

  • dk12

    I don’t have a problem with a cop (or anyone else for that matter) parking in the bike lane in an emergency situation. lights are flashing, people are going to go slow.

  • Anxiously Awaiting Bikeshare

    They were thirsty, it was either that or open up the fire hydrant for their drink.

  • Matthew Beers Okubo-Reed

    there is a flickr group that has been in existence for over 2 years now

  • Jake Stevens

    Why do the police officers have no choice but to drive from their homes to their precincts? We all have choices. They choose to live in Suffolk County. I don’t quite understand how that leads to them needing to park on sidewalks and bike lanes.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t know for a fact, but I’ve heard that police officers don’t exactly get to chose where they work or their work hours, so even if they live in the city proper they could have one hell of a commute.

  • Anonymous

    god forbid that the police should actually have to find a legal parking spot, or pay for garage or metered spot, or just take the subway/bus/bike/walk/taxi like everyone else in NYC. There are a lot of people who commute to their jobs from points outside the city and somehow manage to do one of these things every day.

    Police vehicles parked illegally should get a ticket. period. In the event that the vehicle was being used to respond to an emergency situation, the officers involved could contest the ticket. Providing documentation that the vehicle was being used to respond to a police emergency should be grounds for having the ticket dismissed.

  • Andrew

    Plenty of people have “one hell of a commute,” but if they’re not police officers, nobody offers them free unrestricted parking on the sidewalk or bike lane or bus lane of their choosing.

  • Anonymous

    I completely having a hell of a commute doesn’t entitle anyone to free illegal parking. My point was just that the accussation that they all made a poor choice of residence might be unfair.

  • anon

    Why was uncivil servants taken down?

  • BlueSun

    “Cops in Bike Lanes” seems mostly dedicated to the same set of police cars parking on Hoyt and Schermerhorn Streets on a daily basis

  • Anonymous

    where else are they going to park? pay for a spot so the city pays the city? next time you have someone try to prey on you by following you up to your door or try to jack your iphone, they’ll just be like “hey, get a description of that guy, we can’t find a spot, could be another 10 mins”. Seriously guys, you are going to judge what is a legit call and what is a rub and tug break? Maybe they’re collecting witness statements. Maybe they’re watching porn on break, either way get over it. The bike lane is ALWAYS shared with vehicles, just wondering what city you think we live in? One with alleys for delivery and garbage that cops can park? Sorry, maybe chicago or portland. You can always move back there.

  • Anonymous

    so damn the restaurants, delis and official city business. how dare they maintain their business, this never happened in the suburbs! gosh darn it!

  • Frank Dell

    I didn’t write the law. And I don’t begrudge anyone making a quick delivery. And I certainly believe that an emergency vehicle on a call can use the bike lane. The issue here is cars and trucks using the bike lane as a de facto parking lot.

  • Anonymous

    We live in a city where the law says that parking on bike lanes is not allowed, and where emergency vehicles can only break the traffic laws in case of emergency.

  • Jon Doer

    Let’s face it, most cyclists are simply entitled pricks that don’t follow traffic laws, expect pedestrians and cars to give them the right of way — even if they have the stop light, and are always complaining about others not sharing the road. (Yes, I have a bike, but I might be the only one that stops at a stop sign or light.)

  • Anonymous

    Let’s face it, most drivers are simply entitled pricks that don’t follow traffic laws, expect pedestrians and bikers to give them the right of way–even if they have the stop light and are always complaining about how terrible other drivers are until the moment a bike enters the picture, at which point they start seeing the kind of cartoonish demons that populate the video game Doom. (No, I don’t have a car, but when I rent them, I might be the only one who drives the speed limit, signals my turns, never pressures pedestrians in crosswalks to make room for me in my all important carness, recognizes the absolute right to the road possessed by bikes on every single New York CIty street, and on and on and on.)

  • Just for the record, I’m not afraid of my non-iPhone getting extra-stolen if we ever achieve a law-abiding police force in New York. And even if that were the outcome, I’d chose lawful policing.

    This thing where we point out police wrongdoing and the rote police response is “we’re going to let the other thugs hurt you if we can’t police entirely on our terms” only reaffirms the need to clean house.

  • Anonymous

    Why is it that everyone who stops at red lights on a bike thinks they are the only person on the planet who does that? You are not alone! We should start a support group.

  • Anonymous

    Just to be clear: your attitude is the root cause, I would argue, for the hundreds of people killed and injured on New York City streets every year. You want to live in Tough New York where cops do as they please and the rest of us just suck it up, no matter how much damage is done. I recommend you go to the homes of the families of the those hundreds of people killed and injured and explain to them your pro-police abuse philosophy.

  • BornAgainBicyclist

    Ha! Seriously. I feel like people who make this claim have a tendency to assume that anyone who wants drivers to stop menacing other road users and wants to prioritize enforcement toward negligent drivers must by default be a scofflaw cyclist.

  • The reason that I tend to think that I’m the only one is that, on my daily commute, I see any number of cyclists passing me at red lights when the cross-traffic clears, and I almost never see someone waiting with me at the light.

    Of course I know that I am not literally “the only one”; but the fact is that we who stop at red lights are vastly outnumbered by those who (motivated either by selfishness/negligence, or by a self-serving rationalisation) do not.

    But today I had a small success. As I was going south on Pearl St., I was stopped at the light at Beekman St. A cyclist was about to pass through the light, and I called out “red light”. He stopped, and we began talking.

    When I mentioned to him the importance of not giving our enemies free ammunition and of not feeding into the negative stereotype of cyclists who think they’re above the law, he said “I’m on board with that” — and then he actually thanked me! I wanted to kiss him (but I somehow restrained myself).

  • Joe R.

    I should point out here that it’s almost never necessary to stop at red lights, even if you want to be “100% legal”. This might be why the cyclists who do so rarely see other cyclists waiting at the light with them. Yes, I pass red lights when it’s clear but by the same token there are often cases where there is enough cross traffic to prevent me from going until the light goes green. In those cases, I adjust my speed so I roll through the intersection just as the light flips back to green, or shortly after. In my mind, if you’re waiting at a red light you wasted energy by riding faster than you needed to, only to sit there and wait. Complete stops on a bike are a royal PITA. A stopped bike has no ability to get out of the way should something happen, like an out of control car coming up from behind. It’s better to stay in motion, even if it’s only at 5 mph. Besides that, when you roll through an intersection at speed just as the light goes green, you avoid conflicts with motor traffic. By the time most vehicles react to the green and start moving, I’m already across the intersection. Anyway, I thought I would put this idea out there in case anyone else wants to try. It’s just as legal as stopping and waiting, but it avoids many of the hassles. From a personal standpoint, it seems way less tiring accelerating from, say, 10 mph back up to 20 mph than from 0 to 20 mph, even though the former still uses 75% of the energy.

  • Andrew

    Interesting that, in light of a photo of a police car illegally parked in a bike lane and a row of personal cars illegally parked on the sidewalk, your conclusion is that “most cyclists are simply entitled pricks that don’t follow traffic laws.” That’s not the conclusion I draw from the photo.

  • Andrew

    If those personal cars weren’t parked illegally at the curb and on the sidewalk, there’d be plenty of room at the curb for this police car.

    Nobody’s ever followed me up to my door, and I don’t own an iPhone, but I am afraid of being injured or killed by a motor vehicle while I’m legally crossing the street or even standing on the sidewalk, and I wish the police would take street safety seriously. This photo illustrates why they don’t.

    (And I have nothing against Chicago or Portland, but I was born and raised right here in New York City.)

  • chris

    it would be very funny to watch police vehicles search for available curbside parking while someones bike is taken and rode off down an unobstructed bike lane. while the victim complains that the cops took to long, the officer can hand them frank dells suggested business card and say “sorry im late parking was a bitch”… yea that will go over well

  • Anonymous

    It would be astonishing to see the police care about bike theft!

  • Cops in Bike Lanes

    It was on my daily commute route. I bike a decent amount but not a ton, so the amount of space I cover has been pretty limited. Fortunately the user submissions are changing that!

  • Guest

    Or the cops could actually ride bikes, which would make them more visible, give them better visibility over what is going on, and allow them to respond more quickly on crowded streets that are often one-way the wrong direction.

    But that would require that they get out of the car!

  • Guest

    For any non-emergency response (such as your example of collecting witness statements) they can park on the other side of the street and block one of the several traffic lanes, which would not put at risk the lives of the most vulnerable street users. There is almost always a better option than the bike lane – they just don’t recognize cyclists as citizens worthy of their protection.

    So, instead, they create unnecessary hazards (in complete violation of the explicit NYS laws put in place to limit their abuse of authority).

    I’ll stay right here and fight for my rights, thank you very much! If you can’t understand the need for the police to obey the law and respect the lives of the citizenry, perhaps you shouldn’t be living here.

  • Guest

    That is not true.

    New York State law very specifically requires law enforcement drivers to obey all regulations, except “when involved in an emergency operation.”$$VAT1104$$@TXVAT01104+&LIST=LAW+&BROWSER=BROWSER+&TOKEN=48232681+&TARGET=VIEW

    Restroom breaks, taking witness statements, and the rest of this nonsense are not open for debate. They have already been debated, and the appropriate bills were passed by our representatives and signed into law.

  • Guest

    If you don’t like the law, work with your legislator to change it.

    But you’re going to have to make a much more coherent argument.

    How are restaurants and delis harmed if police have to park their personal vehicles in a legal place on their way to work? I would argue their employees who make deliveries by bicycle are much safer and more efficient when they don’t have the unnecessary danger created by law-breaking cops.

    How is official City business harmed when the police don’t openly break the law? I would argue that removing the constant air of corruption would make it easier for all departments to perform their overall work. The requirement for the officers to park their personal vehicles legally would have no other material effect on City work. No other department would have to spend an extra second doing anything if NYPD officers had to plan a few extra minutes of their own time to get to work because they weren’t allowed to park in the crosswalk anymore.

    This would be a huge improvement for everybody. It is your attitude and the lawless cops who are damning the city!

  • kingregis


  • alex

    i cant wait to contribute to this!! i am gonna take a picture every single day of all the cars that park on my sidewalk blocking the entire thing! sometimes they are so close together i get to scrape my hamper between them 😀

  • Cops in Bike Lanes

    @copsinbikelanes 🙂


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