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City Mulls Higher Fines for Sidewalk Biking

Legislation may also fine restaurants and other businesses whose employees ride on sidewalks.

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.”

Scottilla May 31, 2012 at 02:02 PM
Has anyone ever paid the $100? You wouldn't think so walking in some neighborhoods outside of midtown. And it's not just commercial riders.
Mitch May 31, 2012 at 04:26 PM
give bikers proper separated lanes. i totally understand why a parent would occasionally ride a bike on sidewalk with a kid on it -- streets are too unsafe and bikers are not protected. i don't think the whole biking system is correctly set up -- take the separated bike lanes on prospect park west for example. there has been tons of construction there and construction vehicles are always parked in the lanes, leaving bikers two choices -- dive to the insanity of the car traffic on ppw, or take the safe sidewalk option? which one would you take? also, a biker recently got punched by a motorist who hit him and was mad that his car was scratched...
Thomas Economides June 17, 2012 at 03:13 PM
finally...this is a great idea

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