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108 Precinct cracks down on cyclists, issues more than 100 summonses this month

April 26, 2017 By Christian Murray

Following the death and injury of two bicyclists in Sunnyside earlier this month, the 108 Police Precinct has stepped up its enforcement of law-breaking cyclists.

The precinct, which covers Sunnyside, Woodside and Long Island City, issued 147 summonses to cyclists for the 28-day period ending April 23, compared to just 14 for the same period in 2016.

Captain Ralph Forgione, the commander of the precinct, said at the Community Council Meeting in Sunnyside last night that his officers have increased their traffic enforcement and have been ticketing both bicyclists and motorists for going through red lights, failing to yield and a multitude of other traffic-related offenses.

Forgione said that the death of Gelacio Reyes, a bicyclist who was struck and killed by a drunk driver at 43rd Avenue and 39th Street on April 1, was a catalyst for enforcement. He said that Reyes had gone through a red light at the time of the tragedy, which played a role in his death.

Just 10 days later, David Nunez was critically injured at the same 39th Street location when a box truck that was turning plowed into him—a further indicator that enforcement was needed, Forgione said.

Officers were out ticketing drivers and bicyclists at that intersection on April 12, a day after Nunez was hit.

Angela Stach, a Jackson Heights resident who is a member of Transportation Alternatives, said that the ticket blitz sent the wrong message to cyclists. “By ticketing cyclists, the day after the cyclist was maimed gave the signal that we were at fault. It was disrespectful.”

Forgione responded by saying that the precinct was just enforcing the laws.

Stach said that bicyclists must contend with cars that double park–blocking bike lanes– speed, as well as go through red lights. She said that 43rd Avenue is an area that the precinct needs to pay attention to in terms of double parking.

Forgione said that the precinct has also increased its ticketing of motorists. The precinct issued 1,076 tickets for moving violations for the 28-day period ending April 23, up 13 percent from the same period a year ago.

Several residents at the Community Council Meeting were critical of cyclists.

Carol Terrano, who lives in Maspeth, complained to Forgione about wayward bicyclists.

“I recently had a bicyclist crash into my car while I was stopped at a light,” she said. “I had $2,500 worth of damage and the person didn’t have penny so I had to eat it.”

Terrano said that cyclists “should have to pay their way, by having insurance, being licensed and being mandated to wear safety equipment. The person who rode into my car didn’t have safety equipment.”

She called for legislation that would require bicyclists to wear helmets.

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32 Comments

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Stephen

Does the 108th precinct see the irony of parking in bike lanes and then ticketing cyclists for riding outside the lanes? Follow the law and then people won’t laugh when you enforce it.

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Anonymous

First explain the word irony to them and then take it from there. But maybe instead of vocabulary lessons, we could request that they stop leaving their cars on the sidewalk and adorning the area with wrecks. It’s a small ask. I’ll wait for their prompt response!

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MRLIC

The FAKE MRLIC wrote the April 28th 11:28 a.m. post about Bowling & Bike lanes. get your own screen name.

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Anonymous

If everyone stopped ordering take out there would be a lot less accidents. Most of the illegal cycling activity is done by bike deliveries. Either order pick-up, stay in a restaurant or cook at home.

Delivery people have to hurry with their orders to get as many tips as possible. Not saying that running red lights is justified but there is a lot of pressure for them to move their deliveries as fast as possible. People being lazy and demanding delivery in under one minute is the cause of a lot of this.

Same can be said for taxi driver. Most are bad, aggressive drivers due to the fares they need to collect.

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MRLIC

The FAKE MRLIC wrote the April 27, 2017 11:28 a.m. post about Bowling . I wish they would password protect someone’s screen name so jerks like this don’t get their way.

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a world where bikes and cars get along

There is a brand new mercedes that parks in the bike lane and also double parks in the street and for hours on end outside of the Crab House. I’m assuming it’s one of the owner’s or managers and it’s there every other day.I walk by there everyday and each time no parking ticket. On the weekends it’s horrible with cars from out of the area double parking, illegal parking everywhere near center blvd. Obviously there is enough demand for bikes that there should be dedicated bike lanes, new or expanded lanes as there are more bikers.
As for the crazies, they’re obviously just saying crazy things because they’re just trolls or just trying to get a reaction, either case, these trolls don’t deserve a response. Bike lanes are here to stay. Dedicated lanes would push the bikers to the lanes and they would learn to stay there and obey the laws as long as there is some enforcement as well as towards the drivers.
Not sure where all the anger from residents are coming from. Same people who never learned to share I imagine.

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brooklynmc

Yeah, what is going on at the Crab House? That place triple parks! Too many Long Islanders with cars in LIC.

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Equal Enforcement

I also hope that they are cracking down on the cars that are double parked in bike lanes. It is a daily occurrence on Vernon once you get to to 46th Ave heading North. After many confrontations with these truck/car drivers who for the most part don’t care about anyone but themselves I looked at other alternatives. There is a website that you can post photos to for the offenders (although it doesn’t do much unless the 108 starts enforcing). As you can see there is a high concentration in the 46th Ave/Vernon vicinity with the photos to support it. It is very interesting to see the photos and see just how unsafe of a situation the parking in bike lanes causes. https://carsinbikelanes.nyc/ I don’t understand why I see the 108 patrol cars pass these situations every day without even giving a warning.

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MRLIC

The average bowling lane is 60 ft long. On Vernon Ave there are about 2.3 mi of bike lane. That’s room for nearly 200 lanes in LIC on Vernon Ave alone! We need to stop this HIPSTER fad of “alternative” transportation and reclaim our space.

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brooklynmc

It is hard to actually be the biggest loser on a comments board but you have successfully achieved this status Mr Fake LIC. Congrats! What fun you must have! Yay.

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Simon Phearson

Don’t worry, the bike lane on Vernon Ave. is practically useless. It’s mostly a parking area for trucks and buses.

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Licfan

Cyclists, especially, delivery cyclists need to be reigned in; I’ve been hit twice and have had many other close calls. Riding on the sidewalk, riding against traffic, not stopping at red lights are basic common sense rules not followed by them. There’s also the issue of the motor bikes riding on the sidewalk or in bike paths – even more dangerous. I’m glad to read of this crackdown.

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how

How do they know after an accident, what the state of the stop light was? Are eye witness accounts all there is to go on? Is there a record somewhere of the time the lights change? Just curious, in this case of a drunk guy and a presumably sober dead guy.

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Paul

Bravo! Its a good start. Those idiotic cyclist needs to understand that NYC is a CAR central city. That’s how it is and if you have an issue–move to missouri and have a ball! Now we just need to get rid of the bike lane.

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Peter B.

Ironic. You need a car in Missouri. You don’t need one in the 108th with 7 subway lines, many buses, bike lanes and a short hop over the bridge to Manhattan. Also bizarre to call this a car centered City when a majority of people in it don’t own cars. In fact a majority of people in the 108th don’t own cars.

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brooklynmc

NYC is not a car city at all. It is a pedestrian city. Missouri on the other hand, you need a car. Cars AND bikes both need to chill.

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Paul

No irony is Missouri at all…it’s one large swampland for all you cyclists to have a field day without bugging the rush hour crowd.

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Simon Phearson

New York is not a car-centric city. Even in the boroughs with higher-than-city-average car ownership, you’ll find significant numbers of drivers who drive once a week or less. Millions commute by subway. Only hundreds of thousands drive.

Drivers are too solipsistic to understand this, but bike lanes help them, by giving cyclists a predictable and consistent place to be (out of car traffic). That improves traffic flow and minimizes the chance that a cyclist “pops out of nowhere” and surprises you. Being opposed to bike lanes is like being opposed to sidewalks – would you prefer pedestrians walked in the street, instead, if it meant being able to drive and park on the sidewalk?

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Basta

Nope. You don’t get it. Bikes only have appeal to a very limited group, and most real NY’ers have no use for them, all the while taking away viable traffic lanes. Bikes are just one more thing fucking up the city.

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Harry Ballsagna

Basta, a mentally retarded Queens “old timer”. Another angry white man who doesn’t have anything to do and is bored out of his mind.

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Brooklynguy

Did the author of this story verify Terrano’s claim that a “bicyclist” crashed into her car while she was “stopped at a light”? Did Terrano show a bill for the $2,500 she claims she paid for repairs?

Come on. Terrano is a joke.

Not a single driver has ever been killed by a cyclist. Yet hundreds of cyclists have been killed and maimed by drivers. Forgione needs to do the math.

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Eletra Johansen

There are too many cyclists who ride through red lights and stop signs, who make turns into the wrong lane, who ride like the rules don’t pertain to them. Cyclists, like motorists, are supposed to obey the rules of the road. If they want to be acknowledged, they must obey the laws. If they don’t know they rules of the road they can pick up a driver’s manual at any DMV office.

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ItsEasyBeingGreen

Drivers break the law every day with complete impunity. Have you ever seen an unblocked bike lane or a street without double parking? Or a place where no one speeds, or fails to yield to pedestrians?

These things are dangerous and kill hundreds of people a year in NYC.

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LICLady

Yes, yes, yes! I cannot tell you how many times I have had to dodge cyclists who feel that red lights do not apply to them. The bike lanes are treated like some Wild West zone where they can do anything they want. And since, unlike cars, you can’t hear them coming, they are very dangerous. It’s also very foolish behavior because they are vulnerable too. Thrilled to see that the police are finally doing something – hopefully the word will get out.

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Tyson White

Funny, because that driver’s manual states that it’s illegal to:

Speed
Speed through yellow lights (oops, was red?)
Text
Violate a pedestrians right of way
Block a crosswalk
Make illegal u-turns
Fail to signal
Honk illegally
Idle the engine more than 3 minutes
Idle the engine more than 1 min near a school
Pass a school bus with flashing lights
Fail to pull over and stop for emergency vehicles
Shall I go on?

Yet the precincts give out maybe 2 tickets a day to drivers who text and fail to yield. You could have vision zero by the end of next week if they started going after drivers who break the law the way they go after people on bikes!

Where’s the outcry?

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Anonymous

The cops at the 108th would be spending all day writing themselves tickets for their own driving offenses.

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Jake

As a cyclist, I’ll take you up on your offer. I get the same responsibilities and I’ll take the rights too. I’m glad I can now put my bike in your parking spot, I can double park it outside while I’m eating breakfast and I can now kill 20 pedestrians per month with it, right? All “rights” you car owners have. I swear, nobody more ignorant than a NY car driver.

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Basta

Where are you from, Jake? Have you thought about going back there? I swear, nobody is as ignorant as transplant bikers that think the city should completely change to meet their needs.

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smh

Where are you from, Basta? Have you thought about going back there? I swear, nobody is as ignorant as locals that think the city should stay completely the same with no innovation to meet their desire to keep anybody they don’t like out.

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