New York City Council member Lincoln Restler, is pushing for the passing of legislation that would allow private citizens to report transgressions committed by drivers with vehicles in bicycle and pedestrian lanes.
The proposed legislation will apply in situations where motorists block a bicycle lane, the exits, and entrances of school buildings, crosswalks, and sidewalks. The citizen reporting the crime would have to obtain and present evidence to the Department of Transportation, which would then study the evidence. The citizen responsible for filing a report would receive 25% of the proposed fine of $175 as a reward.
“I feel the safety risks every day that are associated with illegal parking,” said Lincoln Restler, who is pushing the legislation and is also a cyclist. “It’s even more problematic for the parent pushing a stroller or a person in a wheelchair who can’t get by on the sidewalk because of illegally parked cars. That’s why we are creating, in this legislation, a new structure to bring real accountability.” The legislation is supported by 20 other sponsors and Restler hopes it will pass.
Along with this bill, there is another piece of legislation that Restler hopes to pass. This is a bill that proposes the elimination of city-issued permits (placards) that are abused by those who hold them to park in the above-mentioned places, illegally. “The reason we introduced these two pieces of legislation together was because so many of the most egregious parking abuses are perpetrated by people with real or fake placards in their dashboard,” Restler said.
Still on the News…
The aim of the bills is to make the city safer for all citizens and encourage motorists to leave their vehicles at home and seek alternative modes of transport. Motorists who drive into the city and park where they are not supposed to, end up forcing cyclists and pedestrians into dangerous situations that may cause injury or be fatal. The city has taken major steps towards introducing a safer road environment for all citizens. This includes the introduction of a system in city-owned vehicles that prevents them from surpassing the speed limit. The state is reported to have looked at the idea of installing cameras in bike lanes so as to capture perpetrators. The city has also overseen the extension of bike lanes in the city by 32 miles, adding to an existing 1,375 miles.
The death toll of pedestrians and cyclists dropped in 2022. Reports indicate the death toll has remained steady over the years, meaning there is still a lot of work to be done to keep all of them safe.
The idea to introduce the reward-paying legislation has not been welcomed by all. The NYPD expressed concerns over the proposed legislation, suggesting that the process of private citizens reporting transgressors parking in bike and pedestrian lanes could lead to violent incidents between the relevant parties. A representative of the Department of Transportation said the agency would be studying the proposed legislation.