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NYPD's low-hanging fruit approach to safety

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NYPD's low-hanging fruit approach to safety

Old 01-31-20, 11:45 AM
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livedarklions
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NYPD's low-hanging fruit approach to safety

More moving violations issued to cyclists than truck drivers:

gothamist.com/news/nypd-issued-more-moving-violations-cyclists-truck-drivers-last-year
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Old 01-31-20, 12:03 PM
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They've been pretty aggressive lately, a friend got two tickets for a total of $1000 for running red lights. This city lives off fines and permit sales

Edit: Meanwhile, this guy who kills a cyclist on video get no ticket, no fine. Im sick of this. F the NYPD
Edit 2: My friend got one ticket for 500, and then another for 1000. :-0

Last edited by DorkDisk; 02-03-20 at 10:19 AM.
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Old 01-31-20, 12:30 PM
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I feel bad for cyclists in NYC. Robyn Hightman (who made news last year after being killed in NYC) was my daughter's college roommate. I met her many times and got to know her pretty well. Very few days go by that I don't think about her and what happened.
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Old 01-31-20, 08:10 PM
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I am not directly addressing the issuing of tickets. And as an advocate for many years, I have promoted safety. I did want to provide a visitor view of NYC.

I have biked in NYC a few times (walked many times) and found it to be without consistency or rules among the cyclists (rules I could quickly appreciate). My analysis of the situation is that as cycling grew, the cyclists choose to behave more like pedestrians. Pedestrians in NYC, cross against the walk sign. Dart out to cross the street in front of a car, timing their crossing to not inhibit the motorist but clearly not waiting for the walk signal. I find NYC pedestrians to be impatient and risk takers. Perhaps with the subway schedule, this behavior is necessary.

Cyclists in NYC seem to mimic their pedestrian behavior on their bikes. I eventually figured out how to cross the streets NYC style, as a pedestrian, especially if I was nearest the curb. But my biking was much more limited in NYC to appreciate the approach of the cyclist. I expect with time, I would have learned the 'style' like I did as a pedestrian. But, it was very uncomfortable to bike around town and it was not the result of the motorists.

I have biked in DC, LA, Milwaukee, Miami, Pittsburgh, and more. NYC was the only one that made me uncomfortable in many parts of the city. Walking was great!
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Old 02-04-20, 11:47 AM
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Not from New York. Bikers don’t have to obey traffic laws and truck drivers are surely guilty of breaking them?
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Old 02-04-20, 12:26 PM
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Originally Posted by zebreaux View Post
Not from New York. Bikers donít have to obey traffic laws and truck drivers are surely guilty of breaking them?

Given that trucks vastly outnumber bicycles in NYC and cause a disproportionate number of serious injuries and deaths, it is clear that the NYPD is far more strict on enforcement on cyclists than truck drivers. I'll leave it to people who live in NYC to give us their impression about how "law abiding" truck drivers are in the city.
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Old 02-04-20, 12:59 PM
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Are you saying the bikers didn’t deserved to be ticketed? In you’re opinion?
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Old 02-04-20, 02:55 PM
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Originally Posted by zebreaux View Post
Are you saying the bikers didnít deserved to be ticketed? In youíre opinion?

No, I'm saying that the NYPD has its priorities backwards, and it's probably because it's easier to stop a bike than a truck. Are you saying trucks being used illegally in Manhattan isn't a problem? In your opinion?

I believe the figure is 10% of the traffic in NYC is trucks while bikes are 1%, yet the number of tickets given to them are roughly equal.
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Old 02-04-20, 03:12 PM
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I have to agree on the bass ackwards priorities. Think about it this way: even if the bicyclists disproportionately break the law, which is really the greater danger to the public, a truck or a bicycle?
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Old 02-05-20, 10:18 AM
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Since you asked, and not trying to be aggressive, my opinion is that you are trying to compare good or bad apples to good or bad oranges. Ticketing offending bicycles has nothing to do with ticketing offending truck drivers. And speaking as a truck driver, the general public has no idea what it’s like to move a truck through traffic. It’s not like a really, really, really big car. And the number of agencies that are monitoring you and giving you tickets isn’t just the city cops. Bike tickets to truck tickets is an absurd comparison.
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Old 02-05-20, 10:38 AM
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Originally Posted by zebreaux View Post
Since you asked, and not trying to be aggressive, my opinion is that you are trying to compare good or bad apples to good or bad oranges. Ticketing offending bicycles has nothing to do with ticketing offending truck drivers. And speaking as a truck driver, the general public has no idea what it’s like to move a truck through traffic. It’s not like a really, really, really big car. And the number of agencies that are monitoring you and giving you tickets isn’t just the city cops. Bike tickets to truck tickets is an absurd comparison.

So do you have any facts that indicate that the article misstates the ratio of truck tickets to bike tickets in NYC?

I absolutely agree that moving a truck through NYC is not like moving a car, but truck drivers need to be kept to a higher standard of safety as a result. Anecdotally, at least, truck drivers operating in an illegal manner in NYC is not a rare occurrence. Offending truck drivers are a far greater threat to everyone's safety than offending cyclists. Do you even dispute that?

I'll leave it to you to support your assertion that comparing the number of bike tickets to truck tickets is absurd. Right now, all you got there is a non sequitur. I'm no math whiz, but it appears on the face of it that you're 10 times more likely to get a ticket during a bicycle trip in NYC than you are driving a truck in the same place. If for no other reason, it's a valid comparison because it's the same agency doing it. If your argument is that trucks get ticketed on the interstate as well, that's really quite beside the point.
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Old 02-05-20, 10:51 AM
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I’m not going to argue with you. It would be a waste of time.
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Old 02-05-20, 12:35 PM
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Originally Posted by zebreaux View Post
Iím not going to argue with you. It would be a waste of time.

Thanks for playing. Sorry no parting gift.
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Old 02-05-20, 12:45 PM
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Originally Posted by zebreaux View Post
Iím not going to argue with you. It would be a waste of time.
Yes it would. If you want to argue, I'd encourage you to bring facts and logic to the table. Think about that next time you decide to kick sand on a poster.
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Old 02-05-20, 12:46 PM
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
No, I'm saying that the NYPD has its priorities backwards, and it's probably because it's easier to stop a bike than a truck. Are you saying trucks being used illegally in Manhattan isn't a problem? In your opinion?

I believe the figure is 10% of the traffic in NYC is trucks while bikes are 1%, yet the number of tickets given to them are roughly equal.
That is just ridiculous. I'd love to hear the official response from the city on why it is playing out that way.
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Old 02-05-20, 12:57 PM
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The number of vehicles on the road doesn't equate to the number of violations.

That is unless one considers speed limits to be an absolute cap. And, in many parts of NYC, I would assume speed limits are irrelevant as speed is dictated by traffic movement.

Commercial pickup/dropoff parking violations?

There are a number of cyclists that have flagrant unsafe behavior.

Others, well, probably safe enough, or even safer than if they followed the letter of the law. For example, there was a cyclist that posted recently about starting moving early on red. It wasn't clear where the cyclist was when the light turned green, or where other traffic was. But, there are good reasons to be in a VISIBLE location on the road.
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Old 02-05-20, 01:04 PM
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I’m not trying to kick sand on anybody. I don’t think trying diminish offenses committed by one group by diverting attention to another group is a good defense. That’s all the logic I got. Sorry for playing.
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Old 02-05-20, 02:36 PM
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Originally Posted by zebreaux View Post
Iím not trying to kick sand on anybody. I donít think trying diminish offenses committed by one group by diverting attention to another group is a good defense. Thatís all the logic I got. Sorry for playing.

Look, this didn't come from nothing. NYPD last year made clear that they were deliberately going out and ticketing cyclists in response to cyclists being killed by large vehicles. Police resources are very limited so the enforcement priorities are zero sum. Diverting attention is exactly what this is about, but it's the NYPD that's diverting its attention:

https://gothamist.com/news/nypd-crac...bike-messenger
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Old 02-05-20, 03:00 PM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
The number of vehicles on the road doesn't equate to the number of violations.

That is unless one considers speed limits to be an absolute cap. And, in many parts of NYC, I would assume speed limits are irrelevant as speed is dictated by traffic movement.

Commercial pickup/dropoff parking violations?

There are a number of cyclists that have flagrant unsafe behavior.

Others, well, probably safe enough, or even safer than if they followed the letter of the law. For example, there was a cyclist that posted recently about starting moving early on red. It wasn't clear where the cyclist was when the light turned green, or where other traffic was. But, there are good reasons to be in a VISIBLE location on the road.
If the 10 times as many trucks as bikes figure is accurate, it strains credulity to believe that they are committing roughly the same number of violations, and it is definitely true that trucks are causing orders of magnitude more deaths than bicycles. I'd suggest that the numbers of deaths caused by trucks is pretty strong indication that there are a number of truck drivers that have flagrant unsafe behavior.

Anyone studying the law abiding habits of truck drivers in NYC?
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Old 02-05-20, 04:32 PM
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
If the 10 times as many trucks as bikes figure is accurate, it strains credulity to believe that they are committing roughly the same number of violations, and it is definitely true that trucks are causing orders of magnitude more deaths than bicycles. I'd suggest that the numbers of deaths caused by trucks is pretty strong indication that there are a number of truck drivers that have flagrant unsafe behavior.

Anyone studying the law abiding habits of truck drivers in NYC?
NYC has had a couple of cyclists killing pedestrians.

But, mixing a 60,000 lb vehicle on the road with 200lb bicycles is bound to cause problems.

What is causing vehicle/bicycle mortalities?

My guess is at the end of the day, everyone is pointing fingers from bad road design to cyclists not understanding moving vehicle dynamics to unsafe or illegal maneuvers by both the cyclists as well as the drivers.

Blanket campaigns of ticketing people who are otherwise driving safely, but perhaps have some anomaly doesn't necessarily fix the problem, but does cause animosity between citizens and the police.
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Old 02-05-20, 05:41 PM
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What is a "cyclist?"

For most NYers, its just any person on a bike - Citibike and delivery e-bikes included. A LOT of bad behavior is exhibited by those two groups.
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Old 02-11-20, 07:45 PM
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
If the 10 times as many trucks as bikes figure is accurate, it strains credulity to believe that they are committing roughly the same number of violations, and it is definitely true that trucks are causing orders of magnitude more deaths than bicycles. I'd suggest that the numbers of deaths caused by trucks is pretty strong indication that there are a number of truck drivers that have flagrant unsafe behavior.

Anyone studying the law abiding habits of truck drivers in NYC?
NYC is currently deciding whether to go after the frequent violators - I.E. those who have multiple moving violations in autos and trucks. Theyíve begun to understand that itís the multiple offenders that are likely to cause injuries and deaths and they may start confiscating the vehicles of these repeat offenders. The numbers donít lie. They are seemingly correct as to the number of violations given to cyclists vs. truck drivers and if youíve ridden enough in NYC and pay attention to the the methods used by the NYPD itís obvious that the cops are aware that cyclists are easy picking. You stand on a street corner and write multiple tickets to cyclists moving at 12 mph. As opposed to chasing down trucks in a patrol vehicle.
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Old 02-12-20, 12:08 AM
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
If the 10 times as many trucks as bikes figure is accurate, it strains credulity to believe that they are committing roughly the same number of violations
Actually it is rather easy to believe, for the simple reason that biking the street grid legally is not very practical.

One widespread approach is to do it illegally - which makes writing red light tickets basically a fish in a barrel situation.

Another is to decide that it's simply not worth the bother to ride streets with that density of intersections at all.
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Old 02-12-20, 07:44 AM
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Originally Posted by UniChris View Post
Actually it is rather easy to believe, for the simple reason that biking the street grid legally is not very practical.

One widespread approach is to do it illegally - which makes writing red light tickets basically a fish in a barrel situation.

Another is to decide that it's simply not worth the bother to ride streets with that density of intersections at all.

Are you claiming that there aren't similar issues of practicality for operating trucks in that area? I don't live in the area, so I'd totally defer to your sense of what's going on, but my understanding is that truck drivers regularly break laws concerning parking their vehicles in lanes, driving on restricted streets, and taking the blush at intersections. Also, if NYC is like any other city in the US, I'm sure there are roads where you could take a radar gun and find that there are almost no drivers obeying the speed limits. If NYPD chose to speed trap those places, that would be a fish in a barrel situation as well. Speed traps are, however, harder than stepping in front of a bicycle--hence the "low hanging fruit" analogy.
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Old 02-12-20, 09:07 AM
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
Are you claiming that there aren't similar issues of practicality for operating trucks in that area? I don't live in the area, so I'd totally defer to your sense of what's going on, but my understanding is that truck drivers regularly break laws concerning parking their vehicles in lanes, driving on restricted streets, and taking the blush at intersections. Also, if NYC is like any other city in the US, I'm sure there are roads where you could take a radar gun and find that there are almost no drivers obeying the speed limits. If NYPD chose to speed trap those places, that would be a fish in a barrel situation as well. Speed traps are, however, harder than stepping in front of a bicycle--hence the "low hanging fruit" analogy.
Some oddities of the NYPD.

1) The cops with the speed guns are almost always the highway patrol officers. They have 5 precincts in the city mostly divided between the 5 boroughs and as such they typically and almost always are patrolling the highways, not local streets where the trucks are committing the most violations. The beat cops don't do speed traps usually unless theres a specific crackdown (cyclists doing more than 15mph in Central Park was the famous example). Thus local enforcement for speeding has to be set up and with highway officers taken off their normal duties.

As note that in the past 2 years, and with the feud between the state Governor and the NYC Mayor, the NY State Police have for the first times, been assigning large numbers of state patrol officers at NYC bridge and tunnel exit/entrances. Seems they - and not the NYC Highway Cops, have the new fangled car mounted cameras that give an instant scan and readout of license plates. They catch a LOT of vehicles and drivers that are stolen vehicles, owe money for violations, are driving unlicensed, etc.... and the state figured out there's a LOT of money to be made in NYC, so now we have state boys in the city. Not a bad thing but as always, they are after the money and not interested in patrolling area's where a lot of moving violations take place in area's where a lot of delivery trucks operate.

2) Parking violations are given out by the Parking Violations Bureau. It's rare to hear of or see a beat cop giving a parking ticket. The Parking Enforcement officers are almost always in high traffic area's with shopping, where they can write the most tickets in the shortest time, or they patrol the alternate side streets to give tickets there. They almost NEVER write tickets for bike lane violations as that means they would actually have to be patrolling the streets with these lanes and watching for violators and again, they can write a lot more tickets in area's were parking is a problem and where people double park, etc.... So for parking tickets it's a case of where can the city generate the most income, not make life better for a miniscule commuting group like cyclists.

Last edited by Steve B.; 02-12-20 at 11:55 AM.
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