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NYPD Ticketing Cyclists in Prospect Park and Central Park

Photo: ##https://twitter.com/jooltman/status/469537857422360576/photo/1##@jooltman##
Photo: @jooltman
Photo: ##https://twitter.com/jooltman/status/469537857422360576/photo/1##@jooltman##

As dangerous drivers continue to injure and kill with impunity, NYPD is targeting cyclists in parks.

Joanna Oltman Smith tweeted the above photo this afternoon. Police were ticketing cyclists on the loop of Prospect Park, Smith wrote, "mere feet" from the raging torrent of speeding traffic that is Flatbush Avenue. Motorists have killed at least six pedestrians and cyclists on Flatbush since 2012, according to crash data compiled by Streetsblog.

Earlier this week, NYPD also set up in Central Park during the morning commute, handing out warnings and tickets to cyclists. A reader reports:

This morning around 8:30 we rolled up to the light in the park loop nearest Columbus Circle, my normal exit before locking up for work, to find at least three NYPD warning and/or ticketing cyclists to stop at red lights... One of the most obnoxious things about these stings is that the cops don't recognize when you are already slowing for a light, so you get castigated no matter what you do.

Given that this is happening during hours when drivers are permitted in the park, seems like a lame enforcement effort, since cars routinely go over the posted 25 mph limit in the park.

As we've written before, ticketing cyclists for ticketing's sake isn't making streets safer, and it distracts from reckless driving, which is by far the leading cause of death and injury on NYC streets.

Data released last summer showed NYPD was ticketing cyclists at a higher rate than drivers in the Citi Bike service area. With a new police commissioner on the job and Vision Zero at or near the top of the new mayor's agenda, let's hope these pointless spring stings turn out to be an aberration.

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