Fueled by Sunday's motorcycle altercation on the Henry Hudson Parkway, Bronx lawmakers are reigniting a push to get illegal dirt bikes and quads off the streets. NY1's Erin Clarke filed the following report.
They're noisy and a nuisance and be frightening in large groups. And now, Bronx lawmakers are going after the source that literally fuels Dirt Bikes and ATVs zipping through city streets.
"We want gas stations to stop filling them up. And when they stop filling them up, we will cut them off at the legs," said City Councilman James Vacca.
The law Vacca is introducing in the City Council on behalf of Borough President Ruben Diaz, would require gas stations to post signs that say it's illegal to ride those vehicles on the street. It would rely on video from station surveillance cameras and citizen complaints to keep track of offenders.
"If you take a video and they're gassing up at the gas station, that should be enough evidence," said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.
The New York City Police Department says this year it's seized hundreds of quads and dirt bikes, and arrested bikers for reckless driving or reckless endangerment. The department says it's also taking steps to stop the bikes at the source, including sending a letter to a gas station known to be frequented by bikers.
The BP at 110th Street and Frederick Douglass Boulevard in Manhattan received one from the 28th Precinct asking the owner not to allow fueling of quads and dirt bikes. The owner says those bikers don't come around anymore and if they do, he hands them a letter and they leave.
But elected officials in the Bronx say they don't know of any letters like that being distributed and the bikers have to be fueling somewhere, so the proposed law is necessary.
Biker Jose Altamirano says he recognizes the city has a responsibility to keep streets safe but he wants to see legal space, like city skate parks, created for the bikers.
"There's been a big movement to have a dirt bike park somewhere," said Altamirano. "They would make it very, very strong consequences if you're riding in the street, but then give them an option. Where do they ride?"
It's a suggestion Diaz isn't against, but says it's ultimately up to the city to make it happen.