June 6, 2022 By Alexandra Adelina Nita
Queens Assemblymember Zohran Mamdani is calling for the installation of enforcement cameras to keep motorists out of protected bicycle lanes.
The Astoria assembly member introduced a bill last month that would see motorists who drive on protected bike lanes ticketed. The fine would be $50 for each infraction, and it would be sent to the registered owner of the vehicle.
Failure to pay the ticket by the date listed would result in an additional $25 fine.
The bill aims to deter motor vehicles from encroaching on protected bicycle lanes. The bill would see 50 cameras go up across the city as part of a pilot program.
The legislative session in Albany is now over for the year—and Mamdani aims to gain momentum for the bill and reintroduce it in 2023.
Mamdani’s bill has been prompted by an increase in traffic deaths in New York City, including a jump in cyclist fatalities.
In 2021, 273 people were killed on New York City streets, a 33 percent increase over 2018, the safest year in recent history. Crashes last year, according to city data, killed 124 pedestrians, 50 motorcyclists, 19 cyclists and 15 people on mopeds and e-bikes.
“Every day across NYC, cyclists like myself go head to head with cars in bike lanes — an incredibly scary & dangerous experience,” Mamdani tweeted.
If you’re an NYC cyclist, you’ve seen a car drive into a protected bike lane
That’s why I’m introducing A10446 (w/ @bradhoylman holding it in the Senate)
This would install cameras at 50 NYC PBLs to deter cars from driving into them w/o requiring additional police interactions pic.twitter.com/FtR3qhOmEC
— Zohran Kwame Mamdani (@ZohranKMamdani) June 2, 2022
Mamdani’s tweet included a photo of a car on top of a concrete barrier used to protect a bike lane. The tweet also includes video of a woman being spat on by a driver after she took footage of him being in a protected bike lane.
The bill is modeled after the New York City Department of Transportation’s speed camera program, which Mamdani says is effective. Mamdani cited a DOT report that said speeding dropped an average of 72 percent in areas where cameras are installed.
Mamdani’s bill has support in the state senate. Brad Hoylman, from Manhattan, is sponsoring the legislation in the upper chamber. Both bills did not get out of committee this year.
The bill would need the support of the city council, which is likely to back it.