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108 Precinct cracks down on cyclists, issues hundreds of summonses

Injured cyclist in Sunnyside in 2012 (allegedly riding against traffic)

Injured cyclist in Sunnyside in 2012 (allegedly riding against traffic) PHOTO: By PAUL KER

July 1, 2015 By Christian Murray

The 108th Precinct has been targeting law-breaking bicyclists.

The precinct–which covers Sunnyside, Woodside and Long Island City—issued 352 bicycle summonses over the past 28 days, compared to just three for the same period a year ago.

The summonses were for a range of offences—such as going through red lights, riding against traffic and failure to adhere to a multitude of road rules.

Captain John Travaglia, the commanding officer of the 108 precinct, said that 560 bicycle summonses have been issued in the precinct year to date, up from 75 for the same six-month period last year. He said the number also included wayward bicycle delivery people.

Travaglia said the clamp down is partly the result of adhering to Vision Zero, a concept that aims to reduce traffic fatalities to zero.

He said that the precinct has yet to have any traffic fatalities so far this year and that this push is to help minimize deaths.

“We have all witnessed it,” Travaglia said. “Some bicyclists are like dare devils; they go through red lights fast and yet they don’t know what is coming.”

He said that he has been targeting bicyclists just like motorist to reduce injuries and fatalities.

However, Travaglia recognized that there are two sides to the problem. “Many bicyclists just try and do their thing and there are cars that impede on their bicycle lanes.”

Travaglia said that the enforcement has been taking place throughout the command and particularly at accident prone locations where both bicycles and motorists are ticketed. These include stretches of Queens Blvd., Roosevelt Avenue, Broadway, Van Dam Street and Vernon blvd.

The bicycle advocacy group Transportation Alternatives warned its members on a June 22 Facebook post that the NYPD was cracking down on cyclists in Long Island City.

“While it is great that the NYPD is enforcing VisionZero it is very disappointing that after years and years of lax enforcement over drivers of motor vehicles, who have been responsible for virtually all of the deaths and serious injuries of pedestrians and cyclists, the NYPD is focusing valuable resources on a group that is disproportionately the victims of reckless driving.”

However, Travaglia said that 500 summonses are not that many given the number of bicycles that are now on the road. He said that he plans to maintain the level of enforcement just like with vehicles.

Meanwhile, the number of reported crimes has dropped considerably in the precinct year to date—down nearly 24 percent compared to the same period a year ago.

Crime has fallen across the board, with the number of reported burglaries down nearly 28 percent compared to a year ago. The number of reported robberies and grand larcencies are both, respectively, down about 35 percent. The only significant increase has been the in number of reported rapes, up from 6 at this time last year to 10 in 2015.

In terms of crime overall, “We are having a fantastic year,” Travaglia said. “This is a great trend.”

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Click for Comments 
mike cruz

I have been cycling in NYC since 1978. Of course this does not make me an authority on bicycling in NYC, only from my perspective. But sometimes that would be enough to have points of view look at and examine. You can not have electric bicycles on streets, driven by unlicensed drivers, who are not aware of traffic laws. These “bicycles” doing 30 to 40 MPH should be in hands of a registered, licensed and insured person. Especially when they ride against traffic, are in the wrong lane, on the sidewalk, no helmet, etc. They should have a basic course in traffic driving and pass an exam. Thank You Very Much


They should focus on enforcing the stop signs on Center Blvd first. Cars blow thru them as if they don’t even exist, sometimes with people already in the crosswalk!

George Steele

These cops are so useless. Don’t blame the people on the bikes blame the city Bloomberg little Hitler that turned it into Tour de France on every major roadway. They ride against traffic, no helmets, no signals, no brains. Keep putting more bike lanes in don’t put garbage cans don’t hire more sanitation workers keep taxing everyone keep screwing over everyone. Thanks NYC.

Astoria Resident

You say not to blame the people on the bikes then go on to list all of THEIR traffic infractions. You make no sense. If people want to ride dangerously then it’s completely THEIR fault when they get hit by cars or run people over.


Wow! Just perfect… every day I see numerous autos sailing through stop signs and blocking crosswalks (including police vehicles), and the police farce decides to crack down on bicyclists? The 108th defines USELESS.

Delivery Guys

Deliver guys on electric bikes need to be cited for riding all over the sidewalks.


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