June 25, 2019 1:11 p.m.
An NYPD officer tickets a cyclist on 6th Avenue just north of West 24th Street, where bike messenger Robyn Hightman was killed by a hit and run truck driver on Monday morning. Adwait Patil / Gothamist
Bike messenger Robyn Hightman was struck and killed by a truck driver in Flatiron on Monday morning. On Tuesday morning, the NYPD was half a block from where Hightman was fatally hit, ticketing cyclists.
“Our unit is specifically the bicycle unit—whenever there’s a pedestrian struck or a bicyclist struck, anything that involves a bike, we try to respond to it,” Officer Carlos Negron told Gothamist, adding that Hightman’s death was the reason why he was standing near the intersection of West 24th and 6th Avenue.
“As far as the female who passed away unfortunately, yesterday, I believe she was riding off the bike lane, you know,” Officer Negron said. “It’s sad, but it’s sad that she was off the bike lane, you know? Maybe if she had been on the bike lane, maybe she’d still be alive.”
Asked if the unit was looking to ticket drivers, or cite the massive truck parked next to the bike lane that appears to exceed the 53 foot trailer limit, Officer Negron responded, “No, we’re looking right now at bicycles, all right?”
“Riding off a bike lane, if they’re running a red light, if they’re failing to yield to pedestrians, if they’re going down the wrong way down the one-way street—the main violations,” he explained.
It is legal for cyclists to ride outside of a bike lane in New York City if the bike lane is hazardous due to “fixed or moving objects, vehicles, bicycles, in-line skates, pedestrians, animals, surface hazards or traffic lanes too narrow for a bicycle or person on in-line skates and a vehicle to travel safely side-by-side within the lane.”
Marcos Dinnerstein, who was riding his bike through the ticket trap, said he has been cycling in the city for more than 30 years, and has received three or four tickets.
“Each time I was in fact violating the traffic laws, so I’ve got no complaint with that. However, the increase in enforcement bothers me, particularly when it’s in response to a bike rider who is in the right, legally, being hit,” Dinnerstein said.
“Yesterday morning, with a bike rider being killed in a hit and run accident, it seems inappropriate to be stepping up enforcement against bike riders, versus cars running red lights, blocking the box, blocking the bike lanes, to me that seems patently, not only unfair, but counterproductive.”
A few minutes after 1 p.m., the officers climbed into the NYPD van and pulled away.
“Whenever there is a fatality… it’s a horrible situation, and we all feel it. That does not mean we’re going to stop enforcement,” de Blasio said. “We’re going to be enforcing on anybody who we think puts other people in danger, period.”
NYPD Cracks Down On Cyclists, Not Drivers, Where Truck Driver Killed Bike Messenger – Gothamist
June 25, 2019 1:11 p.m. An NYPD officer tickets a cyclist on 6th Avenue just north of West 24th Street, where bike messenger Robyn Hightman was killed by a hit and run truck driver on Monday morning. Adwait Patil / Gothamist Bike messenger Robyn Hightman was struck and killed by a truck driver in Flatiron… [Read More]