With the number of bicyclists killed on city streets rising, the NYPD is cracking down on drivers who are endangering bike riders. NY1's Erin Clarke filed the following report.
Fourteen bicyclists were killed on city streets all of last year. This year, 13 cyclists have been killed, and it is only the middle of July.
"One injury and one fatality is one too many," said NYPD Chief of Transportation Thomas Chan.
So during targeted weeks this summer, the NYPD is cracking down on drivers who endanger bicyclists - for example, by failing to yield to them, parking in bike lanes or double parking. The NYPD calls it the Bicycle Safe Passage Initiative.
"It makes it really dangerous because you have to get over into the lane of traffic when there's cars coming at full speed," said one cyclist.
The stepped-up enforcement comes as Mayor Michael Bloomberg and now-Mayor Bill de Blasio have made the city more accommodating to bicyclists, adding bike lanes and the city bike-share program.
July 25-29 will mark the NYPD's third Safe Passage week this summer.
During June, summonses for blocking bike lanes increased 138 percent, while citations for failing to yield to bikers or pedestrians jumped 59 percent.
"We want to send a strong message out to the people out there who are operating their vehicles that they have to share the roadways with our bicyclists out there," Chan said.
With the increased enforcement, so far this year, 32,000 summonses have been handed out.
This is an issue many New Yorkers are passionate about, even if they don't ride bikes. Some have asked, who polices the bicyclists that don't follow the rules?
"Cyclists who break the rules give all cyclists a bad name," said one cyclist.
The NYPD says this initiative is focused on motorists, but police won't ignore bicyclists exhibiting unsafe behaviors.
"Wrong-way cyclists who are unsafe for everybody," said one New Yorker.
The NYPD says it is aware that officers sometimes contribute to the problem by blocking bike lanes around police stationhouses. Chan says the NYPD is working with the Department of Transportation to find a solution in limited parking areas.