Friday, December 19, 2014

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Not Hard to Find Lawbreakers as NYPD Begins Two-Week Cycling Crackdown

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TWC News: Not Hard to Find Lawbreakers as NYPD Begins Two-Week Cycling Crackdown
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The NYPD's two-week crackdown on illegal bicycling behavior is underway. But as Manhattan reporter Jon Weinstein found out, just because the police are cracking down, doesn't mean everyone is all of a sudden following the rules.

Before he started his deliveries Thursday, Gary Boswell says he was warned by his boss, beware of the NYPD's crackdown on cycling scofflaws.

"I woke up this morning and I got the e-mail from my boss telling us to ride safe you know cause the cops are trying to meet their quota," said Boswell.

Over the next two weeks, the NYPD is keeping a special eye out for bikers breaking the law. More than 24 hours after the crackdown began we observed plenty of cyclists heading the wrong way and riders running red lights. Some just weren't aware of the crackdown. Others said they had a reason for going the wrong way.

"It's ‘cause I'm in a rush to work that's why," said deliveryman Neudy Castro.

As part of the crackdown, the NYPD is also on the lookout for drivers parked in or blocking bike lanes. There's also the issue of pedestrians stepping out into the street when they shouldn't. NY1 saw plenty of that too.

"As we some of the bikers don't follow the rules, a lot of pedestrians also don't. Plus, drivers neither, everybody's in a rush,” said deliveryman Miguel Perez.

Many cyclists say they are going to try to follow the rules of the road, at least for these two weeks.

"90 percent of the time I obey everything,” said cyclist Benjamin Nava.

And now?

"Umm, 95,” said Nava.

"Traffic lights I'd say I follow it 75 percent of the time,” said Angel Chen.

And knowing now that there's a crackdown?

"Probably a little bit more,” she said.

As for Bosswell, he says he's heeding his bosses warning.

"I guess I'm stuck in traffic today,” he said.

NY1 reached out to the NYPD to see if they had some very early results on the start of their crackdown. They said no numbers will be available until the two weeks are over.

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