Tickets for Riding Bikes On Sidewalks Disproportionately Target Minorities

October 22, 2014 | Rhett Jones

A new study (PDF) has found that the NYPD issues more tickets for riding a bike on the sidewalk in minority neighborhoods than others. Out of the 15 most cited neighborhoods, 12 had a population that mostly consisted of blacks and Latinos.

This shouldn’t come as a surprise. The NYPD disproportionately targets minorities on any number of issues.

These statistics are of particular interest because they illustrate systemic inequality quite elegantly. According to Streetsblog, minority neighborhoods are also less likely to have bike lanes, leading to more tickets:

A person biking on a sidewalk is just trying to use the protected bike lane that isn’t there. That’s why sidewalk biking falls dramatically the moment a protected lane is installed. When a bike rider fails to follow this law, it’s not good. But it’s usually because the street has already failed to help the rider.

In 2013, the NYPD issued more tickets to cyclists for riding on the sidewalk than to motorists for local speeding.

(Photo: Alexander Baxevanis/Flickr)