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City targets bikers

Don’t zip through red lights. Watch out for walkers. These messages and more need to be drilled into Manhattan’s more reckless cyclists, officials say in the Department of Transportation’s upcoming “Don’t Be a Jerk” campaign.

Don’t zip through red lights. Watch out for walkers. These messages and more need to be drilled into Manhattan’s more reckless cyclists, officials say in the Department of Transportation’s upcoming “Don’t Be a Jerk” campaign.

“It’s illegal behavior and it’s dangerous,” said Manhattan Council Member Jessica Lappin. “They’re putting lives at risk.”

The campaign, rolling out in the next few months, features celebrity New Yorkers on radio, television and billboards.

As many as 200,000 New Yorkers cycle daily, and as of Oct. 31, 3,505 bikers were injured in crashes with motor vehicles. Recently, the city also announced a 2012 bike-sharing program and is expecting a cycling surge.

“There a lot of bicyclists out there that don’t obey the rules,” said Ken Podziba, CEO of Bike New York. “They give the good ones a bad name.”

The Coalition Against Rogue Riding’s Jack Brown, a cyclist himself, said overtures to more
bikers are premature.

Outside his Lower East Side apartment, cyclists flout laws, riding on sidewalks. The city doesn’t enforce bike rules, he said, and he’s outraged that they’d then tell riders how to rule the road.

“I feel that we are in the midst of a reality show called ‘Who’s the jerk?’” he said.

During decades of daily runs in Central Park,

Gordon Bakoulis, editorial director for New York Road Runners, has escaped being nicked by wheels.

“You don’t assume that other people know the rules or are following the rules,” she said.

 
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