NYPD’s Assault on Bicycles (and on Reason)

As a bicycle rider, I’m a fan and a practitioner of the “Idaho Stop,” a practice in which a bicyclist makes a rolling stop or a pause at a stop sign and a full stop at a red light, then proceeding if the coast is clear. Essentially, for bicyclists, a stop sign is treated like a yield sign, and a red light is treated like a stop sign. For the operator of a 30 pound bicycle with no blind spots as opposed to a 4 ton SUV with plenty of them, it’s reasonable and logical.

The other night, I was stopped by an NYPD officer after practicing the Idaho Stop, carefully pedaling maybe 3 m.p.h. through a red light on 9th Avenue at West 40th Street (or “Reckless Operation of a Bicycle,” according to my summons). According to officer Kramer, who stopped me and issued me the summons, there is a renewed crackdown on traffic violations in keeping with the city’s Vision Zero program. Continue reading “NYPD’s Assault on Bicycles (and on Reason)”