Gothamist: “Cops Ticketing Cyclists For Biking On The Left Side Of The Road”

Gothamist reports on mistaken ticketing for lawful cycling conduct in midtown.  After publication of the article, Vaccaro & White negotiated an agreement with NYPD to void the bogus summonses.

Brian McQuillen was riding a Citi Bike down Fifth Avenue near 42nd Street yesterday afternoon when a policeman ordered him and two other cyclists to pull over. The officer told them they were guilty of biking on the left side of the street, which in New York City, is not a crime.

“The officer said there had been a lot of cycling accidents recently, and that he was doing this for my safety,” McQuillen says. “My safety? And you’re telling me to ride in the bus-only lane?”

“This is the model of how not to do enforcement,” says attorney and cycling advocate Steve Vaccaro. “I couldn’t imagine a worse setup: ticketing cyclists for completely lawful and safe cycling conduct, then giving them bad information about the consequences of the ticket.”

Vaccaro said he called the Midtown South Precinct, which is headed up by Inspector Edward Winski, and was told by a detective that they would stop citing the cyclists for the imaginary infraction, but Vaccaro says, “I’ll believe it when I see it.”

“The NYPD is wasting time writing garbage summonses, all of which should be dismissed, when there’s important work to do to make our streets safe.”

Click here for the full report.