Been ticketed while riding a bike? Join This Crowdsourcing Project

Tuesday, May 03, 2011 - 10:02 AM

Victor Velasquez was ticketed for not riding in an available bike lane.

(Alex Goldmark, Transportation Nation) Have you been ticketed while riding your bike? Know someone who has, or even just seen someone getting a ticket on their bike? We want to hear about it.

Cyclists have to obey motor vehicle laws in New York City. There are more cyclists on the streets—just see this chart. Now, we'd like to map how many more violations are being issued.

We've reported on tickets for speeding, running red lights in Central Park, for not riding in the bike lane on Lafayette street, and riding on the sidewalk in Brooklyn, but we know there are other pockets of increased enforcement out there as well.

Mapping the Bike Tickets of 2011

We're looking to map where, and for what the recent increased enforcement of violations by cyclists.  Please spread the word to all the cyclists you know.

Send them this link:

Or have them come to this post and answer the short questions below.

Follow Transportation Nation on Twitter.


Comments [10]


Pedestrians are more dangerous to bikers then bikers are to pedestrians in NYC. Just hang out at 43rd and 8th avenue around 5pm and see how many walk in the bike lane. Pushing bikers onto car traffic. I have no respect for those walkers and often ride right into them.

Jul. 01 2011 10:53 AM

I was spanked with a ticket for running a red light where the street didn't go all the way across and there were no cars coming. It was right off the bike path on the Manhattan Bridge, I might add, so beware of that area. What I did was illegal, but not unsafe. I am going to plead not guilty and see if I can get the surcharges knocked off that apply only to cars if I'm not lucky enough that the officer doesn't show up.

My personal theory is that the city is ticketing cyclists more because they've accommodated them more. In the last few years they've built and painted more bike lanes. Maybe now they're using cyclists to pay for them.

With the uptick in bicycles in the city, now is the time to clarify the difference between how the traffic rules apply to cyclists as opposed to cars. We HAVE to do this NOW. Hopefully the upcoming class action lawsuit will address it:

The "stop sign as yield, red as stop" law in Idaho should lead the way. No, New York City is not Idaho, but it is still a fair and safe way to ride in the city.

Jun. 02 2011 10:20 AM
Peter E.

Nn the same morning I was ticketed last Friday, I was nearly sideswiped by a speeding truck, nearly doored twice, witnessed at least 30 cars going 40mph or more, and witnessed at least 20 cases of double-parking in bike lanes. There's also the non-enforcement of delivery people going the opposite way against traffic and riding their completely illegal electric bikes. Yet, now that the Central Park ticketing blew up in their faces, this is what the NYPD wastes its resources on? I'm getting my day in court and there's no way I'll pay $210 or $270. If found guilty, I'm contemplating refusal to pay to make a point about this policy of selective enforcement. I'd be willing to take a few days of free meals courtesy of NYC's Dept. of Corrections.

May. 31 2011 11:51 AM
Daniel .. Toronto

@dandmb50 - We are experiencing the same problems here in Toronto but just like here I'm sure there are people that don't like red light cameras and photo radar for car drivers. It's simple, if you want respect, respect the rules of the road and stop whining. Just follow the rules, it's for your safety and others.
Daniel .. Toronto, CANADA ..

May. 31 2011 05:04 AM
Stephen B

Bikes ≠ Cars

It is a strained analogy to equate thirty pound bicycles with three ton cars, five ton trucks, and thirty ton big rigs. But out of a desire to increase revenue, appease Marty Markowitz, and/or spread Sadik-Khan's disregard for how people actually use bicycles more widely, the city is again misappropriating its resources.

I was ticketed yesterday for disobeying a red light. I stopped, waited for all the cars to pass, and then crossed the street. Only the most hyperbolic analogy can be drawn between my 'disobedience' and that of a car speeding through a red light. A more appropriate one would be with a pedestrian jaywalking.

That said, I do believe that cyclists should obey traffic rules; however, those rules should be written specifically for bikes.

May. 29 2011 11:01 AM
Deborah Harkins



The bike-ticket money can help save our teachers, firefighters, libraries---and walkers! Please do use this information trove to see how much revenue the city has rightly garnered by ticketing cyclists. Multiply that by 1,000 (for all the bikers who refuse to get a light on the front of their bike, as required by VTL 1236) and add in estimates of the thousands of traffic violations that haven't been ticketed, and we'll have an idea how the city can save worthy programs that are on the chopping block---easily and painlessly.

Improving safety and enriching the city---a win-win situation! Your mapping project is a way to quantify the financial gains available to the city if it finally ditches its tolerance for dangerous biking behavior.

May. 27 2011 11:03 AM

I agree that some cyclists ride without disregard for safety. However, I've seen a rapid rise in the number of pedestrians crossing streets against the light without paying any attention. Apparently texting is more important than checking for traffic (auto or bike).

May. 27 2011 09:36 AM

Why all the hate for cyclists? This is NYC people. How many of you wait patiently on the curb for the light to change before crossing? How often do you see cars and trucks speeding and running red lights in the City? I'd guess NEVER and OFTEN. Unless you also follow the traffic laws and obey crossing signals 100% of the time, put your rage away and wait for the results. You might learn something.

May. 24 2011 05:56 PM
Mr. Griff

Over 75% of cyclist that have been involved in accidents was by them disobeying the traffic laws of the state in which they operate. Cyclists have even stated that those rules don’t apply to them. With that attitude the only way to get them to understand is by stricter enforcement of the laws that are already on the books. If that is what it takes to possibly save a live, so be it!

May. 19 2011 04:44 PM

The bike lanes and bike riding seems to be increasing safety. My son loves that the protected bike lanes both form pedestrian islands so the avenue crossings are shorter and also now he can bike ride to school whereas it was too dangerous for him before.
Everyone, car drivers, pedestrians, and bike riders all need to work together more so they can all be safe (with thousands of serious injuries per year by car drivers hitting pedestrians & cyclists this is *painfully* obvious).

May. 19 2011 09:38 AM

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