Brooklyn Bicycle Sting Shows Bike Lanes a Mixed Blessing

Heads up, bikers! The Brooklyn Paper tells us cops rang a cyclist sting in Fort Greene and Clinton Hill Friday and nailed 36 velocipedists for running red lights along those neighborhood's bicycle lanes. While they had them stopped, the cops also gave the cyclists summonses for minor infractions, such as the lack of a bell.

This raises a question. The city has been aggressively adding bike lanes, planning 200 miles of them to be completed in 2009. We have noticed such a path freshly painted on Driggs Avenue. At the same time, the city has become more aggressive about ticketing bikers -- on or near bike paths, because that's where the cyclists are. Might the DOT's magnanimity have come with a price? Are these lanes also meant to sluice revenues from summonses to the city's coffers?

It may be that, if you want to enjoy the traditional freedoms of the city cyclist, such as breezing through red lights and rolling against traffic, you'd be well advised to find a route away from the bike lanes.


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