As City Builds ‘Green Wave,’ Cops in Downtown Brooklyn Still Fight It

When cops park in bike lanes — or illegally — cyclists are forced into traffic. Photo: Gersh Kuntzman
When cops park in bike lanes — or illegally — cyclists are forced into traffic. Photo: Gersh Kuntzman

City officials announced on Wednesday a minor tweak of signal timing on two roads in Downtown Brooklyn to help cyclists — but NYPD obviously didn’t get the memo.

As DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg took to a podium in East New York to announce “green wave” timing for Hoyt and Bond streets, police officer-owned vehicles — a majority with multiple serious moving violations on their records — filled the bike lane on Schermerhorn Street, which connects the two bikeways in question.

As part of our ongoing investigation into the reckless driving of police employees in their personal vehicles, Streetsblog has been checking the plates on all vehicles stored in “NYPD-only” parking spaces or parked illegally near stationhouses with NYPD placards (or hats or PBA cards).

full totals latestAcross the city, this investigation has revealed that 76.7 percent of NYPD employees have received tickets for parking or moving violations, 58.4 percent have received at least one serious moving violation (for speeding or for running a red light), and 37.8 percent have received multiple serious moving violations.

But the employees and officers at the NYPD’s Transit Bureau on Schermerhorn Street are far worse than the citywide average.

Of the NYPD cars parked on Schermerhorn Street on Wednesday morning, 78.3 percent had been ticketed, 69.5 percent had at least one moving violation and a whopping 52 percent had multiple, serious moving violations.

One cop's record.
One cop’s record.

That includes one cop with 26 serious moving violations, another with 21, a third officer with seven and another with six — and in such a tight timeframe that his or her car would have been impounded under pending Council legislation.

It remains incomprehensible that the city has done nothing to crack down on the personal driving of its officers, who are encouraged to drive to work thanks to the free parking provided to them — even to officers who work near transit (or, in the case of Transit Bureau 30, at transit).

Mayor de Blasio said in April that he was very concerned about the reckless driving by his officers, and vowed to act. City Hall declined to comment on what actions the mayor has undertaken.

Blocked bike lanes is one of the contributing factors to rising cyclist fatalities in New York City. So far this year, 26 cyclists have been killed in New York — up from 10 all of last year.

We have reached out to City Hall and the NYPD and will update this story if we hear back.