Dec. 7, 2017 By Nathaly Pesantez
Police from Greenpoint’s 94th Precinct have issued a whopping total of 791 summonses in 2017 to motorists blocking bicycle lanes with their cars in the area, up from just 13 total summonses issued the year prior.
Captain William Glynn, the new commanding officer of the precinct, commented on the statistic during last night’s community council meeting, and noted that blocked bicycle lanes and pedestrian safety have been an ongoing issue in the area.
“They’ve heard what you’ve had to say, and they’ve addressed it,” Glynn said about his officers at the precinct. “And they will continue to address it.”
The spike in tickets comes in a year that saw an increase of 52 collisions in the precinct, but the statistic that “jumped off the page” for the commanding officer was the number of traffic fatalities this year—five people were killed in these incidents, including Neftaly Ramirez, whose death in July after a garbage truck struck him prompted an outcry over cyclist safety and stricter traffic enforcement, especially on trucks.
“That is a spike of three,” Glynn said. “It’s something we’re obviously concerned about and trying to address.”
The increased focus on trucks led to over 1,000 tickets issued to them this year, up 300 from last year. Cyclists were also given less tickets this year, with 468 issued compared to 604 in 2015.
Luke Ohlson, a senior organizer for Transportation Alternatives, said the efforts of the 94th precinct and NYPD Brooklyn North on truck traffic have been great, but issues still remain with garbage trucks and pedestrian safety, citing 43 city-wide fatalities involving waste hauling trucks since 2010, and seven fatalities alone that occurred this year.
“It’s important to remember that there is a systemic problem with private trash hauling in this city that needs to be addressed to ensure pedestrians and cyclists are safe,” Ohlson said.
In an October community council meeting, Captain Victoria Perry assured residents that they are being heard, and revealed that 174 summonses were issues to trucks since the month prior, when the discussion focused heavily on Ramirez’s death. “The enforcement is being done,” she said. “It’s not forgotten.”