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If a Cyclist Rides in a Forest…

February 22, 2011

I’m glad Chasing Wheels posted this video of Central Park during car free hours.  In fact, we need more videos like this to help make the case that the NYPD bike crackdown, especially in city parks, is a complete misallocation of resources.

On any given weekday there are few problems with cyclist and pedestrian interactions, hardly enough to warrant the $270 tickets and large police presence that have become so common this winter.  When one considers that overall crime in the park was up 44% last year when compared to 2009, the cycling crackdown seems like an even bigger waste.  NYPD resources are hydraulic: An officer who’s staked out by a traffic light waiting for a cyclist to run a red light can not be elsewhere in the park, preventing more serious crime.

I wonder how it feels for any of those 101 robbery victims to know that while they were being held up an NYPD squad car was probably a hundred yards away, waiting for a member of the NYCC to go through a red light.  If our tabloid media wasn’t falling over themselves to report on the next hyped-up case of bike bedlam, it’s exactly the kind of scandal they usually love to report: Average New Yorkers wronged by bureaucratic ineptitude.  Where have you gone, Marcia Kramer?

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