- The 78th precinct’s Prospect Park cyclist crackdown. (Courtesy Michael Mandiberg)
The 78th precinct was out in fullest force last weekend, ticketing cyclists in Prospect Park who were running red lights or going over the speed limit in response to concerns about downhill speeds on East Lake Drive, and recent cyclist-pedestrian crashes in parks. Various anecdotal accounts include seeing “9 bikers get tickets within 10 minutes.” But on December 1st, while the NYPD barricaded East Lake Drive and handed riders leaflets warning of the imminent crackdown, a man was hit and severely injured in an apparent hit-and-run inside the park.
A post on a Brooklynian forum offers a few clues about the collision, which occurred during a moment of intensified police activity targeted at reigning in rogue bike riders:
My husband was cycling in Prospect Park yesterday, 12/1, at approx. 4:30pm when an agressive grey van hit/swerved/ran off the road/ran into him. His injuries are quite serious.
The park’s major roads are only open to motor vehicles between 5pm and 7pm.
Brooklyn Spoke, meanwhile, compares the observed bike ticketing numbers from this weekend’s Prospect Park cyclist crackdown to the 78th precinct’s overall numbers for the entire month of October, and concludes:
Does the NYPD believe it’s a good allocation of resources to crack down on cyclists going 28 mph or on drivers going 40, 50, or even 60 mph through residential streets? The fact that the 78th issued just 5 speeding tickets for all of October [may] answer that question for you.