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Van Bramer Blasts Drivers Who Park in Bike Lanes and on Sidewalks, Calls for Higher Fines and Cameras

Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer and members of Transportation Alternatives at Rally this Morning (Photo: Jimmy Van Bramer)

May 9, 2019 By Christian Murray

Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer joined forces with members of Transportation Alternatives in Long Island City this morning to condemn motorists who block sidewalks, bike lanes and crosswalks—and to call on the NYPD to ticket these drivers.

Van Bramer also announced his support for a pilot program that would bring 20 cameras to the streets of New York tasked with catching drivers who block bicycle lanes and pedestrian pathways. The program, which is likely to be introduced as a bill before the council, is part of Transportation Alternatives’ new #TechforSafety campaign.

“When cars turn our sidewalks into parking lots and block our bike lanes and crosswalks, they put pedestrians and cyclists in danger,” Van Bramer said. “The NYPD must step up its enforcement against illegal parking and ticket and tow cars that are blatantly breaking the law. We need a comprehensive, zero-tolerance policy and legislation to increase penalties.”

Juan Restrepo, Queens Organizer at Transportation Alternatives, urged the council to support #techforsafety, which he said would save lives.

Photo: Courtesy of Jimmy Van Bramer

email the author: [email protected]

71 Comments

Sunnyside

Do you really think anyone ever responds to these? How do they actually catch the idling trucks or buses? Cops can easily see these but they decide not to ticket the properties, maybe the store owners donated a lot of money or something I don’t know but I see supermarkets block sidewalks and traffic signals EVERY SINGLE DAY. Reported to 311 few times, makes no difference. Cops just ride by, don’t care.

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jim ryan

Check the form out. You haven’t looked at this process. There are some people (that is, non City Employees) who have made thousands by filing these complaints.

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VMGillen

The problem lies in having to testify at the hearing. Local residents are not going to risk it – some of these polluters play rough.

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Oh, Lily

Who are the hipsters with signs in back of Jimmy? I have seen on any given day maybe THREE people on bikes in the lanes. The Grand Tour of Sunnyside/Woodside is a hipster transportation alternative joke. Can’t wait for Jimmy to go back to shelving books in the library!

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Anonymous

Good catch! I recognize from his Sunnyside office. Another staged photo-op! We, the residents and voters of Sunnyside, Woodside and LIC are so onto these staged moments.

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Anonymous

For Sunnyside and Woodside residents, let us hope that he will not be stationed at any of our local library branches.

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Little Jimmy

Expect more and more of these tricks from little Jimmy. He’s running for Borough President and will try to get his name and picture in the paper everyday. That’s probably his little cohort behind him. They jam negative comments about him on this site with thumbs down to make it look as if the public is on his side. We’re on to you little Jimmy. You little rascal.

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Bill

The one in the photo right of Jimmy is one of his little supporters that hold fund raisers for his borough president campaign and a bike nut. These people are all connected to little Jimmy and are his puppets.

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Sher

I see a lot more bikes cycling the wrong way in the bike lanes and ignoring stop signs and traffic lights. Plus not giving pedestrians the right of way. Do the ever get tickets?

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LIC Direct

Slow week for JVB — what a sham – cars parked on sidewalk by the Speedway gas station for years on the corner and 39th Street – no one cares – where’s Jimmy? Had to get his name in the news. Where’s Medrano and his goo goo eyes for Jimmy only… Taking the photograph?

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Curlicue58

Someone should ticket the cyclists. They ride so fast I’ve almost gotten hit so many times it’s frightening! They also go the wrong direction, especially on 43rd Avenue. Their speed is as if they are in a race. They should have some kind of light and a horn to alert pedestrians some forget they are standing in the lane. It’s too dangerous though our neighborhood especially there are so many parents with small children and baby carriages.

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The NYPD regularly tickets cyclists

Cool story, but this article is about cars double parking. You should at least read the title.

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Sunnyside_Native

FYI-I’m a rule follower and don’t park in the bike lanes or sidewalks, intersections, fire pumps, etc. However, here’s one for all of you road diet supporters…yesterday, broad daylight, I’m making a right turn from Skillman onto 48th Street in my vehicle, that I use specifically to transport my elderly and mobility impaired mother and aunt, and I slow to about 0 miles per hour, to make the turn, check my mirrors and my blind spot. Nobody there, proceed to turn, and what do you know? Cyclist screaming at me! How does the idea of a cyclist stopping rather than being mowed down by a big ol’ minivan sound? WE CANNOT SEE THROUGH THE LINE OF PARKED CARS, AND YOU SHOULDN’T BANK ON THE FACT THAT WE SEE YOU.

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Anonymous

I had the exact thing happen to me today. Almost got hit buy a guy on an electric bike. Closest that I have to to an accident in years. This is a serious design flaw.

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Gardens Watcher

Turning right off Skillman onto 45th and 47th it’s the same problem. Way more dangerous turns than before the bike lanes. Not only is it much harder for the driver to see cyclists coming on that side (even if you slow to a crawl), but the speed of the bikes and e-bikes compounds the problem.

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Sara Ross

Up and down Queens Blvd, you have double parked cars and with those stupid polls in the bike lanes, you can’t drive around them! The only time the poles are removed is when it snows. I’m tired of people on bikes zigzagging against lights, stop signs and in and out of traffic. I work near city hall and it happens on Broadway all of the time. I’ve lost count on how many times I’ve seen a bicyclist coming down Broadway, when it’s MY light and I’ve had to step aside before my foot is under his wheel. Get rid of the dam bike lanes – there are enough stupid people on the road.

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Verdaddy

The problem isn’t so much WHERE the cars are parked — it’s the parking privilege itself and the solution is to get rid of it. Why should the public have to give up two lanes on every public street just so the car people can have a place to store their machines when they are not using them? If you insist on driving a car, keep it on your own property, not the public’s property.

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Really

We pay registration fees taxes and gas taxes tolls metersfor the use of the streets and parking on streets and jvb always like the idea of raising prices of things

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cg

Why doesn’t this nit wit argue for more public parking – (rooftop parking on low elevation warehouse and retail structures. The last time I checked ROADS were designed for Cars and Trucks. Where did all this bicycle rights nonsense come from anyway – as if we dont’ have enough traffic and road hazards and pedestrians to look out for – now you have to make sure someone on a bike skooter or skateboard isn’t about the zoom past you as you are trying to navigate the roadway… it’s CRAZY. Enough already. Go ride your bicycle in the park or on the sidewalk or something. There were no bike lanes when I was a kid. and the Bicycle rider was the one who needed to look out because the roads were for cars.

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dem bikes i tell ya whut

> The last time I checked ROADS were designed for Cars and Trucks

Check again? They were also designed for bikes, which have full legal use of them. Are you this misinformed about everything you rant about?

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Driver that regularly drives above the speed limit

ONE TIME I SAW A CYCLIST RUN A STOP SIGN

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Liz

Most cyclists do not follow traffic lights and don’t wear helmets. Since the bike lanes have been installed, I’ve witnessed approximately 12 pedestrians hit by cyclists who have run through red stop lights and pedestrians falling down.

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neat anecdote

I’ve witnessed approximately 12 pedestrians hit by cars

who’s anecdote wins?

Or should we just go by the DOT stats that say cars kill WAY more people than bikes?

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Fan Of Doughboy Park

“ BuT cArS hIT pEoPlE tOo” justifying people get hit by cyclists is ok because people get hit by cars also is infantile. If the laws were enforced we wouldn’t have this problem with anyone. How many gas stations/ mechanics/ delivery depots park cars however they please? Enforcement is the key, start mass ticketing , when their wallets hurt, they’ll obey the rules. and getting flooded with more cars because of Uber, Lyft etc has been a nightmare.

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Garrett Morgan

I witnessed hundreds of bikers go through red lights this month. I’ve seen bikers clip people about 20x since these ill conceived lanes were dumped on us. Stop acting like the majority of bikers care about anyone’s safety, not even their own based on their moronic behavior. Follow the rules of the road. There’s no debate. Having 2 wheels doesn’t mean traffic laws don’t apply to you. Get off your millenial high horses and understand the world doesn’t revolve around you. Even though mommy keeps telling you so

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on yer bike van bramer

van bramers pathetic attempt to claw his way back into the good graces of Queens people in his (im calling it..”failed) attempt to become Queens borough president. van bramer, pack up and leave, you have failed us terribly.

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Little Jimmy

Now that little Jimmy is running for borough president, except more and more of these gimmicks to get publicity. Little Jimmy you haven’t a snowball’s chance in hell getting elected.

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Anonymous

Yes. Recognize the faces in the photo from his office? Agree, you will see more and more of this to fool the voters beyond Sunnyside, Woodside and LIC into the Borough now. It will be a weekly event photo-op. But, we are onto this now, as you have said.

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bxgrl

VanBramer is right. Parking in the bike lanes just causes more problems for cyclists, pedestrians and other drivers. Bike lanes are for bikes. Get used to it.

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Harry

There’s this white SUV that is always parked on the corner of 40th St & 43 Ave with some NYPD placard that looks totally phony like they made it on MS paint. He parks on 43 Ave in the turning lane. If you’re gonna park illegally at least try to stay out of the way. He parks right in the freaking turning lane. Makes it really dangerous for everybody. Then sometimes he parks on the corner of 40th near the hydrant with the back of the car in the crosswalk. Unbelievable. Although the best was when I saw a little smart car drive in the bike lane to pass a few cars to get to a parking spot. As a driver, cyclist, walker and train taker I see all kinds of stupid stuff but drivers are the worst I would say.

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Roxy

What about bicyclists and delivery people who are increasingly riding on the sidewalks and endangering pedestrians?

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Agreed, cars kill WAY more people than bikes

Great, let’s address that issue too. Do you know what this article is about? The headline should give you a hint.

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Good point, we need to keep the bike lanes unobstructed for safety

I’m shocked you found a republican tabloid that agreed with you.

You make a great point though, people should stop doubke parking in bike lanes, for safety.

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That's a good point, one person did something else once

And

Video Shows Horrifying Williamsburg Hit-And-Run On Deadly Day For City Streets
http://gothamist.com/2019/05/09/video_hit_run_williamsburg.php

Video: Brooklyn Building Collapses After Driver Slams Into It
http://gothamist.com/2019/05/07/brooklyn_building_collapses_after_d.php

Toddler Struck And Killed In Bath Beach, Driver Arrested
http://gothamist.com/2019/05/02/child_killed_bath_beach.php

7-Year-Boy Killed By Van Driver After Getting Off School Bus In Far Rockaway
http://gothamist.com/2019/04/18/van_driver_kills_queens_boy.php

Video: Car Jumps Sidewalk To Get Around School Buses, Nearly Hits Children
http://gothamist.com/2019/02/21/borough_park_school_bus_investigation.php

… should we keep going?

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with the lane comes responsibility

Jimmy, when are you going to do the right thing and step up to bikers that break the law? Will it take an elderly person, a child getting hit before you say something about biker behavior on our roads? There are barely any bikers going thru our ‘hood and they still are a menace due to their continuous lack of responsibility when it comes to obeying traffic laws

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Feets don't fail me now

A woman was killed by a cyclist in Manhattan recently. Like most of the fools that tour de france it thru Sunnyside, this clown when through a red light, striking her. She went into a coma and died. http://gothamist.com/2019/05/06/pedestrian_cyclist_death.php It’s time for JVB to push the 108th to set up cops on bikes to dole out tickets to these reckless idiots.

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DB

This is very unfortunate so don’t take my comment as disregarding this woman and her life, it’s absolutely shameful that this cyclist rode right through the red light without regard for the many pedestrians around and a death is a death no matter how it happens.

But the fact of the matter is that this was the first pedestrian death by a cyclist in New York City since 2017 (it says so in the article you linked). Meanwhile, 65+ people have been killed by cars in NYC in 2019 alone and yet for some reason no one even thinks anything of this because “that’s just the way things are.” So remember that when people come out of the woodworks freaking out about anything bad happening with a bicycle because it is significantly less likely to happen than with a car. Creating safer bike lanes will encourage more cyclists to remain in them and reduce reckless behavior.

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/may/07/traffic-deaths-new-york-city-surge-2019

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Carbie Barbie

Come on, be honest. Cars are way more dangerous and cause many more accidents, injuries and deaths each year in the city.

It it was really sad that the woman was killed by a cyclist. That is rare. And of course unsafe cyclists should be dealt with. But motorists are the most dangerous and should get enforcement priority.

This is just a recent sampling of motorists running amok.

Video Shows Horrifying Williamsburg Hit-And-Run On Deadly Day For City Streets
http://gothamist.com/2019/05/09/video_hit_run_williamsburg.php

Video: Brooklyn Building Collapses After Driver Slams Into It
http://gothamist.com/2019/05/07/brooklyn_building_collapses_after_d.php

Toddler Struck And Killed In Bath Beach, Driver Arrested
http://gothamist.com/2019/05/02/child_killed_bath_beach.php

7-Year-Boy Killed By Van Driver After Getting Off School Bus In Far Rockaway
http://gothamist.com/2019/04/18/van_driver_kills_queens_boy.php

Video: Car Jumps Sidewalk To Get Around School Buses, Nearly Hits Children
http://gothamist.com/2019/02/21/borough_park_school_bus_investigation.php

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DB

Wow. I mean, I knew that cars were a much greater threat than bikes (obviously) but these videos really drive the point home. If a bike hits you at full speed it will knock you over but if a car hits you even at medium speed it will flip you in the air.

I’m not on an anti-car crusade but anyone who thinks they are remotely similar is insane.

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John O'Reil

Wouldn’t it just be easier to have the signs read “No More Cars”? Maybe the extra space on the placards could be used to announce the current opening date for the Hunters Point Library or what the $6.5 million is going to be used for at the Woodside Library.

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Maybe learn anything?

There’s no such thing as car lanes. If you were informed you’d know the law give cyclists full use of the lane.

Maybe if you knew anything you wouldn’t be so mad all the time?

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Tree of Liberty

It’s unfortunate that the people that suffer are the immigrants with there motorized bikes. Sad that they must slow down or stop to get around these illegal parked cars. Now they must peddle again for 10 seconds to get back to 30 mph….

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Pa Ingalls

But they shouldn’t be even going 30 mph.

Speed limit is 25.
For all vehicles.
Even bicycles.
Which are considered vehicles in NYS.

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Johnny boy

This guy has really lost the plot. Cyclists now present as great a danger to pedestrians as cars, yet there are no laws or insurance requirements for them. I am more fearful of bikes when crossing the street than cars, because they are much more likely to run a light or drive in the wrong direction. We don’t need transportation alternatives. We need SUBWAYS AND BUSES THAT WORK!!! Spend money fixing the MTA, which is used by millions of people every day, instead of wasting it on bike lanes, which are used by thousands at most.

And stop being so smug.

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DB

I don’t like to use hyperbole but the statement “Cyclists now present as great a danger to pedestrians as cars” is absolutely inane and lacking any logic. If you decided to do even 1 minute’s worth of research you will find data that completely goes against your statement.

In 2017, 10,561 pedestrians were hit by a car vs 315 hit by a bicycle. Thats 33 times more likely to be hit by a car than a bicycle. Sure, there are likely people who don’t report getting hit by a bike by the difference is absolutely staggering. You may feel less safe with bicycles than cars but that is 100% your perception and not based in reality. Even if you did get hit by a 20lb bike with a 200lb person on it going 30mph.

So keep these things in mind before falsely claiming that cyclists present as great a danger to pedestrians as cars do.

http://www.nyc.gov/html/dot/downloads/pdf/bicycle-crash-data-report-2017.pdf

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Johnny boy

People are less likely to report being hit by a bike. And the bikers often leave the scene. You smug cyclists have all this data but you won’t admit that bikes can be very dangerous. Especially at night!

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Wut? Cars have killed WAY more pedestrians

>Cyclists now present as great a danger to pedestrians as cars

That’s completely false, if you relied on facts instead of blind opinion. Look up the DOT stats. Or just use common sense.

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Moe Green

Donna Strum died today having been hit by a cyclist who ran a red light at 6th ave and 57th street.

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Pa Ingalls

You
Will most likely
Hear a car coming.

You will NOT
Hear a bicycle.
Especially if they come up from behind you.

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Anonymous

my question is who owns the data from the cameras and what can it be used for other than checking for cars blocking bike lanes? Can ICE use it? Can the NYPD use it for other purposes? there are real privacy concerns with adding additional cameras

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JimmyJerky

Cameras for parking, forget about the crime!
There is no other issue in the neighborhood, only bicycle lines.

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Friendly Neighbor

Will NYPD self-enforce when they park in bike lanes/crosswalk/sidewalk?

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Chris Froome

dont you watch crime/mob movies liek Serpico? cops dont investigate cops lol

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