Ever been minding your own business on the sidewalk, when seemingly out of nowhere, a food delivery person almost runs you down with their bike? That could change if the City Council approves legislation to hike the current fine for biking on the sidewalk.
The city plans to crack down on cyclists—especially messengers and delivery people—who illegally ride on sidewalks, boosting the current $100 fine to more, according to the New York Daily News.
The City Council is working on legislation that would allow Department of Transportation enforcement officers to ticket sidewalk riders, says the article, but also may fine businesses that employ commercial bicyclists. The amount of the fine and other details are still being hammered out.
“A lot of the problem has to do with commercial sector,” said Department of Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan before the Council, according to the article. “Everyone wants their food delivered really fast and they don’t want to wait 10 minutes more for it.”
In the past year, several pedestrians have been hit by bikes in the area, including a after a bike hit her in Prospect Park, a man who in Prospect Park, and a a 43-year-old man was on Park Place, (and when he complained about it, the bicyclist pulled out a knife).
(Conversely, bikers riding on the street are frequently hit by cars, including , a hit by an SUV on Vanderbilt Avenue in 2011 and a earlier this month.)
Children 12 or younger riding a bicycle with wheels less than 26 inches in diameter are exempt from the current ordinance, according to the DOT.
Councilman James Vacca, D-East Bronx, (and chairman of the Council’s Transportation Committee) demanded “civil and criminal penalties,” though the punishment has not yet been decided.
“Commercial bicyclists treat it as the Wild Wild West,” Vacca told the Daily News. “That has to stop.”