I am fairly sure mine is.
Today, the New York City Department of Transportation announced a new campaign seeking to increase the safety of bike riders in the Bronx. New bike lanes? Protected ones, with barriers, painted green, with lots of clear signage to stave off inattentive drivers? Nope!
The city is turning to the police thinking they’ll solve the problem. They won’t, as Streetsblog reports:
After four cyclist fatalities in the Bronx in just three months — and months of steadily rising bike injuries — the Department of Transportation is refusing to commit to providing the beleaguered borough with anything like a robust, protected bike-lane network.
Instead, DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg is doubling down on throwing cops at the problem, even though a four-week enforcement blitz earlier this summer did nothing to bring down the soaring number of bike injuries and crashes, according to NYPD Chief of Transportation Nilda Hofmann.
Wait, even the cops think this is a bad idea? Here’s a bit more detail from Streetsblog:
Hofmann said Tuesday during a press conference in the South Bronx that the NYPD conducted a four-week educational operation and ticket sting, starting on June 29, to crack down on speeding and reckless drivers, especially at high-crash corridors, such as the Bruckner Boulevard, where the city is lowering the speed limit from 30 miles per hour to 25 miles per hour.
Pedestrian injuries did fall 80 percent — from 16 to 3 — during the police crackdown, which ended on July 26, but bike injuries didn’t budge, Hofmann said. The operation focused on dangerous driver behaviors, such as speeding and failure to yield.
Again, even the cops are well aware that using cops to solve specific traffic problems doesn’t work. If it were me I would just stop using cops to police traffic, as New Yorkers are increasingly demanding.
Hell, I would just end all traffic stops because they are a looming threat to American drivers without showing a decrease in crime.
What casts this all in a horrifying light is that the NYC DOT’s announcement to increase police traffic enforcement in the name of bike safety comes just says after two Los Angeles sheriff’s deputies shot and killed a Black man, 29-year-old Dijon Kizzee, riding his bike over a “vehicle infraction,” as CBS Los Angeles reported on the 31st:
Authorities were investigating Monday after deputies with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department shot and killed a Black man who allegedly punched one of them and dropped a handgun.
Sheriff’s investigators said the incident started around 3:15 p.m. near West 109th Place and Budlong Avenue when deputies attempted to stop a man riding his bike for a vehicle code violation. Investigators said the man then took off running.
I was moved by this quote from an eyewitness who asked not be identified:
“What’s the use of having the prison system if y’all are just gonna kill us,” the woman said through tears. “What are y’all here for? Who are you protecting?”
In the days since, news reports run counter to what the cops said to justify shooting Kizzee, as Reuters notes in a story yesterday:
Prominent civil rights attorney Ben Crump, who was retained to represent Kizzee’s family, posted on Twitter: “They say he ran, dropped clothes and a handgun. He didn’t pick it up, but cops shot him in the back 20+ times then left him for hours.”
A neighbor who said she watched the scuffle and the shooting that followed from her home directly across the street from the scene told Reuters on Tuesday that she never saw Kizzee throw a punch, never saw a gun, and that he “wasn’t a threat.”
Deja Roquemore, 31, said the two deputies kept firing at Kizzee even as he lay motionless, face down, on the ground.
The LA Sheriff’s department could not even tell the media what vehicle code Kizzee supposedly violated.
How New York City can justify throwing more cops at the problem of bike safety, I also do not know.