2011-06-01 – Cyclist Chews Out Cop – Gothamist

Video: Cyclist Chews Out Cop Parked In Bike Lane
June 1, 2011
By John Del Signore


Some of you may have seen that video of the NYPD arresting a man for heckling a cyclist as he got a ticket and decided to meekly keep your mouth shut when witnessing police action. Not Barbara Ross, a Time’s Up! volunteer and self-professed “frequent user and fan of 2nd and 1st avenue downtown bike lane.” Here’s video she took last night of an NYPD officer writing a cyclist a ticket for running red light on Second Avenue near Fifth Street. As much as it irks us when cops block bike lanes, we can’t deny our urge to applaud this officer for showing such patience as Ross pounces on him.

The officer’s voice is a little low on the recording, so in case you can’t hear it, here’s a partial transcript:

Ross: “Do you have to block the bike lane to give a ticket?”

Officer: “Well, if someone actually stopped to pull over, I wouldn’t have to.”

Ross: “You had to park in the bike lane to get a bicycle. Can’t you move then because isn’t that weird to give someone a ticket for doing something illegal when you’re doing something illegal yourself?”

Officer: “Ma’am, if you would like to, you can go to the police academy and become a cop.” “No, I don’t want to become a cop. That means if a cop breaks the law that I have to go to the academy to fix it?

Officer: “Ma’am, in order to affect a lawful stop, I had to park in the bike lane.”

Ross: “I know, but it’s illegal to park in the bike lane, and I had to go all the way around in traffic!… Why couldn’t you park right there.”

Officer: “Because she didn’t stop back there.”

Ross: “So then couldn’t you park right there!”

Ross adds, “I saw that same officer a couple of weeks ago near the same corner giving out tickets, only to cyclists, on 2nd avenue bike lane. NYPD need to focus their limited resources on specifically RECKLESS street users. Sitting on a corner picking off any cyclists, including the majority that are safely riding through the intersection, right along-side streams of pedestrians jaywalking, just doesn’t make logical sense when cars are killing people almost every other day.”