Jan. 18, 2022 By Allie Griffin
The NYPD cracked down on moped drivers crossing the Queensboro Bridge via the bicycle/pedestrian lane Tuesday.
Officers from the 108th Precinct issued numerous summonses and confiscated three gas-powered mopeds at the entrance of the 59th Street Bridge bike and pedestrian path. The drivers were illegally using the bike lane to cross the East River, according to the NYPD.
Mopeds, motorcycles and other vehicles that require a license plate and DMV registration are banned from bike lanes by law. E-bikes and e-scooters, however, are permitted on bike lanes.
Mopeds rented from the rideshare company Revel are prohibited from crossing the bridge altogether.
Many New Yorkers and transit advocates have noted that the Queensboro Bridge bike and pedestrian path is dangerous even when moped drivers aren’t illegally using it.
Pedestrians and cyclists currently share the single lane — which is split with a line down the center for opposite traffic — on the bridge’s northern outer roadway. The advocates have said for years that the current pathway is too narrow to be safely shared by pedestrians and cyclists, who walk and bike in both directions.
The addition of mopeds illegally using the path makes the situation even more dire, according to a recent report. The New York Post spoke to multiple Queens residents who had been personally struck by a moped — or know someone who has — on the Queensboro Bridge pedestrian and bike path.
One 54-year-old Sunnyside parent told the newspaper that she was hit by a moped as she was walking over the bridge last month. She was walking to her job in Manhattan on Dec. 14 when a moped smashed into her and threw her like “a rag doll,” she said.
She said she suffered bruising, scraped knees and a welt on her head. She has since opted to take the bus instead of walking to work, according to the Post.
The newspaper recently reported counting more than 30 mopeds and motorcycles driving over the pathway in just one hour.
Moped and motorcycle riders are required to drive over the bridge using a car lane.
One car lane, however, is planned to be converted into a pedestrian pathway to help improve safety on the bridge.
Former Mayor Bill de Blasio announced in April that his administration allocated $5 million in capital to create a separate pedestrian path. The city will use the funds to convert the southern outer roadway — currently used by cars — into a pedestrian pathway. The existing shared pathway on the northern outer roadway will become a two-way bike lane.
When the “bike” lanes were first proposed, there were hardly any motorized wheeled riders. It was marketed as great way to exercise. Wonder what the 3-speed Schwinn guy thinks now?
I hate these mopeds. They are dangerous. I do however think the city should do a better job at enforcing the law before the confiscations begin. I go over the bridge a lot. There are no police ever. I am not even sure that there is a sign, maybe I just have not noticed. It needs to become a permanent concern for the NYPD. Just confiscating a few mopeds a few times a year will do nothing except take mopeds from someone who probably can’t afford to lose a moped. To be honest though, the super fast stand up scooters are just as dangerous. If someone is wearing a motorcycle helmet, they should not be in the bike lane.
I see that the electric mopeds with out license plates and vin numbers are illegal. Those are the ones used for delivery by many of the restaurants in LIC. Mister Chicken II on 21st street uses them, the delivery guys ride on the side walk and park them on the sidewalk. There have been several times that I have walked out of my building and almost hit by one. This is a busy sidewalk due to the other merchants and the subway stop at the corner. Why are they allowed to use these types? The city should be going to every place that delivers and check to make sure they are not using these illegal mopeds.
I can only hope that this crackdown will extend to bike lanes throughout communities (like Sunnyside) that lead riders to the bridge.
I live at 2173 45th street, Astoria NY 11105, we see Commercial trucks driving through our street every day going towards Astoria blvd and motorised noisy scooters without plates driving illegally at the wrong side of the street. If someone from 114th precinct spends just one day at the corner of Ditmars blvd and 45th street from 6:00 AM till afternoon, it will issue 50 tickets minimum.
They confiscated 3 lololololol there are approx 67,000 of them. This is a joke.
That’s a start. But to really crack down, you need to add cameras with some sort of weight sensor, so that when a motorized scooter, over a certain weight goes over it, it takes a photo, or something similar, like the toll booth sensor or red light camera snaps a picture of the vehicle’s license plate.
During rush hour, post cops at the entrance, on both sides, as many pedestrians are walking over the bridge. The lane is too narrow to accomodate bikes & pedestrians, & many bicyclers ride in the lane marked for pedestrians.
Please expedite the Southbound bridge for pedestrian use & make sure prominent signs read NO BINES, SCOOTERS, OR ANYTHING with WHEELS are allowed. IF IT HAS WHEELS USE THE BIKE LANE, or take the bus.
It is about time. That “bike/pedestrian” path is extremely dangerous.
They should put a 10mph limit on it. Did you know that there is an 8mph limit for e-bikes/scooters in central Paris and similar limits in other countries? (they don’t even allow the gas powered ones)
An separated lane for low speed Mopeds/small Motorcycles should be created. Car lanes are too dangerous for low speed Small Mopeds/small Motorcycle riders. Cars run high speed/over speed on the bridge.