In January the NYPD announced they would more strictly enforce traffic code for bicycles, a directive that resulted in the issuance of more than 1,400 tickets to cyclists in the first two weeks of the month. In protest, bicycling advocacy group, Times Up! are handing out their own tickets to encourage cyclists to keep riding.
The protest demonstration is called Ticketing For Love, and is part of the Love Your Lane campaign that looks to call attention to the long-standing antagonistic relationship between the cycling community and the New York Police Department (NYPD) and to continue to encourage the city’s cyclists.
Tickets For Love demonstrators gathered on the Williamsburg and Manhattan Bridges outfitted in red ‘New York Peace Department’ uniforms to issue tickets to cyclists in honor of their bravery in the battle against the NYPD. The demonstration began on January 31 and will conclude prior to Valentine’s Day.
“The tickets of love counter the NYPD attack on cyclists and instead rewards and encourages more cycling,” said Barbara Ross of Times Up! “We are asking the NYPD to stop wasting tax dollars on harassing cyclists and instead work with the City on the continuation of street design improvements we have been seeing over the past three and a half years, that have proven to make city streets safer, including 40-percent decreases in the number of crashes and reduced car speeds on streets with protected bike lanes.”
As part of the NYPD January crackdown vehicular offenses such as not signaling before turning, tailgating and riding above the speed limit were strictly enforced, without warning. The move struck a cord with Times Up! due to the sheer number of tickets issued.
“We were concerned that the NYPD ticketing blitz targeting cyclists would have a negative impact on the growth of cyclists in NYC,” Ross said. “The NYPD claims they are concerned with safety, but their tactics show this ticketing blitz is really just a continuation of the NYPD's harassment campaign against cyclists.”
“The NYPD is focusing their limited resources on cyclists, when over 250 people are killed by motorists each year,” she added.
The Tickets For Love will conclude at a Love Your Lane Valentine’s Day ride held on February 11.