Joanna Oltman Smith

A new Tumblr documents NYPD vehicles obstructing the city's much-vaunted dedicated bike infrastructure.

The relationship between police and people who ride bikes in New York has never been all hearts and flowers. Many regular riders complain that the NYPD expends disproportionate resources on bicycle ticket blitzes while allowing drivers to violate traffic regulations with impunity. Some feel that the police don’t investigate aggressively enough in cases where people on bikes have been killed by drivers, as was Mathieu Lefevre. And a lot of people in the cycling community still remember the 2010 case of a cop who was caught on video pushing a Critical Mass rider from his bike, convicted of falsifying a report on the incident, and then let off without serving any time or even doing community service.

Photo submitted by Mikey Q.

Now a brand-new Tumblr blog, Cops in Bike Lanes, documents just what the name describes, publishing photo after photo documenting NYPD vehicles obstructing the city’s much-vaunted dedicated bike infrastructure.

"I’ve been biking in New York City for awhile, and I’ve dealt with plenty of lane obstructions," says the blog’s creator, who asked to remain anonymous. Seeing how frequently cops block the lanes, though, was the final insult, and so a blog was born -- inspired in part by filmmaker Casey Neistat’s fabulous video in which he crashes into a variety of obstacles in the city’s bike lanes.

Cops in Bike Lanes

There is no shortage of fodder for this particular Tumblr. Cops in Bike Lanes, according to its creator, has already received about 50 submissions from readers in its first couple of weeks online. And he plans to keep it going for the foreseeable future, to make a point.

"They’re supposed to be there to protect and serve us," he says. "And what they do when they’re blocking bike lanes is actively endangering cyclists."

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. Equity

    We'll Need To Reopen Our Cities. But Not Without Making Changes First.

    We must prepare for a protracted battle with coronavirus. But there are changes we can make now to prepare locked-down cities for what’s next.

  2. photo: South Korean soldiers attempt to disinfect the sidewalks of Seoul's Gagnam district in response to the spread of COVID-19.
    Coronavirus

    Pandemics Are Also an Urban Planning Problem

    Will COVID-19 change how cities are designed? Michele Acuto of the Connected Cities Lab talks about density, urbanization and pandemic preparation.  

  3. photo: a bicycle rider wearing a mask in London
    Coronavirus

    In a Global Health Emergency, the Bicycle Shines

    As the coronavirus crisis forces changes in transportation, some cities are building bike lanes and protecting cycling shops. Here’s why that makes sense.

  4. photo: an empty street in NYC
    Coronavirus

    What a Coronavirus Recovery Could Look Like

    Urban resilience expert Michael Berkowitz shares ideas about how U.S. cities can come back stronger from the social and economic disruption of coronavirus.

  5. An African healthcare worker takes her time washing her hands due to a virus outbreak/.
    Coronavirus

    Why You Should Stop Joking That Black People Are Immune to Coronavirus

    There’s a fatal history behind the claim that African Americans are more resistant to diseases like Covid-19 or yellow fever.

×