Ticketed for not being in bike lane, cyclist films fake crashes with bike lane obstacles

New York City cyclists have many complaints about perceived gratuitous ticketing by the NYPD.

Casey Neistat, for one, received a ticket from a police officer for not riding in the bike lane. Neistat tried to explain to the officer that riding in the bike lane isn’t always safe or even possible, but the officer shrugged him off.

“Mail it in, guilty or not guilty,” the officer tells him. “You’re a bicyclist so [the fine is] anywhere, um, from $10 to, uh, $130.”

“But it’s a bicycle summons, a bicycle summons is for not riding in the bicycle lane,” he added helpfully.

Neistat pointed out that a nearby car was double-parked in a bus lane.

“You’re not giving him a ticket!” he protested, but to no avail.

So Neistat decided to show the policeman — and everyone — exactly what the problem is. He filmed himself biking through New York City, crashing into all the various obstacles that end up in bike lanes, from construction equipment to taxis, and even cop cars.

WNYC’s Brian Lehrer and a mysterious mostly silent man who goes by Alex, who may be Alex Goldmark of Transportation Nation, make a guest appearance via a radio call-in near the end of the video. Neistat tells them about his $50 ticket and Lehrer muses, “Not in the bike lane.”

“Alex is holding up a sign that says — you could’ve just said it — the sign says ‘not illegal,’” Lehrer says. Neistat cuts away before Goldmark’s explanation of why not riding in the bike lane is not illegal.

Neistat ends the video with a request for the NYPD to reimburse him his $50.

Follow Danielle Tcholakian on Twitter @danielleiat


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