Skip to Content
Streetsblog New York City home
Streetsblog New York City home
Log In
Bicycling

With Matthew von Ohlen’s Killer Still at Large, NYPD Is in Bike Blitz Mode

Wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't seen it with my own eyes. #myNYPD in Interceptor ticketing cyclists in Manhattan Bridge. Just crazy.

— Brooklyn Spoke (@BrooklynSpoke) July 6, 2016

Big ticket blitz at 1st Ave and 12th St. Also saw a cop on the #ManhattanBridge for the first time ever #bikenyc

— Bahij Chancey (@Bahij) July 6, 2016

You read that right: While the driver who brazenly struck and killed Matthew von Ohlen last weekend has yet to be apprehended, police officers are handing out frivolous tickets to cyclists on the Manhattan Bridge.

Police are stopping cyclists on the bridge for riding without a bell, according to several accounts on Twitter.

So far this year, motorists have killed 12 cyclists on New York City streets, an increase from five at the same point last year, according to the New York Times.

Other than a one-week initiative in May to keep bike lanes clear of motor vehicles, the NYPD hasn't updated its usual approach to "bike safety" -- ticketing cyclists who break the letter of the law but don't endanger anyone.

Even after a driver was shown on video deliberately running over von Ohlen, inflicting fatal injuries, the local precinct responded by ticketing cyclists and handing out flyers.

The Manhattan Bridge is shared by the 84th Precinct in Brooklyn and the 5th Precinct in Manhattan. To the north, officers from the 9th Precinct were also seen doling out tickets at First Avenue and 12th Street. We have an inquiry in with NYPD to determine if today's ticket stings were a coordinated enforcement action or the work of precincts acting independently.

But regardless of who initiated these bike ticket blitzes, they point to NYPD's institutional failure to mount an effective response to deadly driving that threatens New Yorkers.

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from Streetsblog New York City

New York City Roadway Dining at Risk of Dramatic Decline As Deadline Looms

Fewer than two dozen restaurants are in the pipeline for roadside seating, according to public records.

July 12, 2024

Opinion: Congestion Pricing Is A Compromise

Alternatives paths to cut congestion and pollution and fund the MTA make congestion tolls look like a cheap parlor trick.

July 12, 2024

Friday’s Headlines: Department of Victim Blaming Edition

Traffic deaths in the city are on pace to reach their highest number since at least 2013 — and DOT is reportedly blaming "jaywalking." Plus more news.

July 12, 2024

‘Suburban’ Queens Stalwarts Take Hard Line Against Housing — To Rest of City’s Detriment

“That's what they bought in the suburbs for, that's why they raised their family in the suburbs," said Council Member Joann Ariola, whose district contains 14 subway stations.

July 11, 2024

DOT Seeks New Camera Enforcement Contract to Better Catch Obscured License Plates

The city's current contractor has let hundreds of thousands of reckless drivers off the hook.

July 11, 2024
See all posts