April 10, 2019 By Thomas Laforgia
A Queens state legislator wants to use traffic cameras to crack down on motorists who illegally drive and park in bike lanes.
The bill would allow for a pilot program of remote monitoring at 50 locations throughout New York City, with offenders receiving fines in the mail, similar to the red-light cameras already in place. The locations have yet to be determined.
“We must protect bicycles from reckless drivers,” said Assembly Member Michael DenDekker (D-Jackson Heights), the bill’s author.
DenDekker drafted the measure after Woodside cyclists complained of cars and trucks clogging the Queens Boulevard bike lane, according to a statement.
Mayor de Blasio has shown strong support for the lanes throughout his tenure, and the Department of Transportation has added more than 83 miles to the system under his watch, according to 2018 figures provided by the agency’s commissioner, Polly Trottenberg.
Cops themselves are routine violators of bike-lane parking laws, critics charge. At least one Twitter account, @CopsinBikeLanes, has dedicated itself to calling out officers, in New York and elsewhere, for the practice.
DenDekker praised the DOT’s commitment to building the lanes, but he says more must be done to protect the riders who use them.
“We must ensure that enforcement of traffic laws keeps cars and trucks out of those bicycle lanes and allows bicyclists to travel in bicycle lanes safely,” he said.
DenDekker introduced the bill, A06674, in March. It currently sits before the Assembly Transportation Committee.