Parked Cars Create Risks for Bicyclists and Others
To improve bicycle safety, New York City has created dedicated bike lanes. Unfortunately, drivers also love these bike lanes—to park in.
According to Patch, the data analysis firm localize.city has check citation data for bike lane parking offenses for a one-year period spanning September 5, 2017 to September 4, 2018. What they found should not surprise Brooklyn cyclists.
Brooklyn Leading the Pack
As localize.city found, there were 4,230 complaints of motorists parking their cars in bicycle lanes. The highest number of complaints happened in eight areas in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens.
Breaking out the numbers, Brooklyn unfortunately occupied several of the top eight spots:
● A section of 72d Street in Bay Ridge garnered 94 complaints and ranked as #2 on the list
● Smith and Fulton Streets in Downtown Brooklyn notched 38 complaints to rank #3 on the list
● Jay and Chapel Streets in Downtown Brooklyn garnered 36 complaints to rank #4
● 900 Bergen Street in Crown Heights pulled down 30 complaints for the #7 spot
● Lincoln Road in Prospect-Lefferts Gardens notched 28 complaints, earning itself the #8 spot
With 5 of the 8 worst areas, Brooklyn has certainly surpassed the other boroughs.
Motorists are Unconcerned
If motorists cared about bicycle safety, they wouldn’t park in the bicycle lanes. However, a recent story last week shows that some motorists are outright hostile.
According to reports, Tom Flash asked motorist Chris Chernak to move his car out of the new bicycle lane on Ninth Street in Brooklyn. Rather than comply, Chernak punched Flash in the face before being promptly handcuffed and arrested. He has been charged with misdemeanor assault.
Instead of confronting motorists, bicyclists should file an illegal parking complaint with the city. You can file one at the city’s official website. Fill out the complaint form with information about the car, including license plate number, and the date and time you came upon the vehicle. With luck, if enough cyclists complain, drivers will get the hint not to park where cyclists ride.
Why Parking in a Bike Lane is Dangerous
Some motorists might think nothing of parking in a bike lane, but they are seriously compromising everyone’s safety by doing so. Because of the obstruction, bicyclists will probably swerve back into traffic, endangering themselves. Other vehicles might need to swerve to avoid the cyclist, which can also lead to crashes and possible injuries to pedestrians.
A single parked car in a bike lane could set off a deadly chain reaction—which is entirely avoidable if motorists would simply follow the law.
Committed Legal Representation
In spite of the city’s commitment to bicycle safety, other community members can undo all of this good work. If you were injured because a vehicle was illegally parked, you might be entitled to compensation, but you need to be prepared to act fast.
The lawyers at the Law Offices of David J. Hernandez & Associates have decades of combined experience with Brooklyn car accidents, and we want to put that experience to work for you. To start the process, please schedule an initial free case review with one of our lawyers. You can reach us by calling 718-407-4123.