Earlier this month, NYPD officers stopped and ticketed a group of cyclists for riding their bikes on the bike path of the Willis Avenue Bridge. The cyclists should have walked their bikes over, argued the cops, even though the Department of Tranportation officially designates the path as shared between bikers and pedestrians.
Cyclist Joseph Rienti spoke to Streetsblog about the incident at the time:
Rienti says the officer told him that the precinct had received complaints about cyclists using the path. Rienti told the officer that it’s a shared-use path where cyclists are allowed. ”He sort of just shrugged his shoulders and wrote the ticket,” Rienti said. ”I thought he was going to give me some sort of warning.”
“There used to be signage saying you can’t bike there because they were doing construction, but they took it down,” Rienti said. In fact, DOT’s work to replace the Willis Avenue Bridge wrapped in 2010; the project website touts a “combined pedestrian/bicycle pathway along its north side.”
Rienti and the four other riders who received tickets that day are finally getting a little justice, as the police department is voiding the summons.
Now if we can only get cops to stop ticketing for riding outside bike lanes, we’ll be getting somewhere.