As it prepares to roll out its new city-wide bike share program, Manhattan is also cracking down on law-breaking cyclists, sending them to humiliating remedial traffic classes.
“You couldn’t possibly ticket all of the stuff you see irresponsible cyclists do,” said a judge who collaborated with with Bike New York to develop the new program, adding, “There are a lot of laws and not always clarity about abiding by the law.”
Thus, in addition to community service, cyclists who have run afoul of the law now have to sit through 90 minute lectures on things like hand signals and the proper boundaries of a bike lane, and they’re not too into it.
“This whole thing is nuts. It’s like I’m in a Russian novel — a crazy Russian novel,” complained one pupil, who claims he was ticketed for having his bike on the side was for “literally three seconds.”
The Times also reports that “there was palpable resentment after each described the reason for his ticket,” all of which were relatively minor offenses. But if you really, really hate the idea of these classes, not to worry, because new bills are in the works that will allow delivery cyclists to be hit with fines of up to $100 instead of mere criminal penalties.
It’s possible I’m biased, given the number of times I’m nearly mowed down and left for dead in the street by cyclists every single goddamn day of my life, but it looks to me like everyone wins here! Brooklyn, consider yourselves on notice.