Always Stay In The Bike Lane, Even When You Can't: Video

Casey Neistat pleads his case on YouTube. Image: Casey Neistat

Casey Neistat pleads his case on YouTube. Image: Casey Neistat

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Hell, it would appear, hath no fury like a New York City bicyclist filled with righteous indignation. 

Consider the case of Casey Neistat, a New York City bicyclist ticketed $50 for riding his bicycle outside of the designated bicycle lane. Despite his pleas that the bicycle lane isn’t always the safest place to ride (or even available to bicyclists), the ticketing officer was having none of it, and advised Mr. Neistat that bicycles ALWAYS need to use bicycle lanes.

To prove his point, Neistat put his cinematography (and stunt man) skills to work producing the video below, which demonstrates that “legal” doesn’t always translate into “safe” or even “practical.”

Adding insult to proverbial injury, after paying his fine, Neistat learned that his summons may have been invalid, since riding outside of designated bike lanes may not be illegal after all. Like all of us, he wants justice, and justice in this case is a crackdown on vehicles (including police cars) that illegally park in bike lanes.  

He also wants his $50 back, and we wish him the best of luck in fighting city hall.




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Comments (7)
  1. Well, it is not too bad here in Boston. But car and truck drivers do seem to find all sorts of uses for the bike lane; parking, changing lanes, straddling while driving. straddling while parked.

    I did have a persistent offender with a FedEx truck. Talking to him, he could not be bothered with my concerns. But I knew someone in FedEx management and talked to him. After that, the FedEx driver was parking completely off the bike lane and off the street and out of everyone's way. Thank you FedEx.

    Of course, it probably helped that I had a photo of the driver parked both on the crosswalk and half in the bike lane, and more than one foot from the curb.

  2. John, down here in Jacksonville a large part of the problem lies with cyclists, not drivers. Cyclists will deliberately ride three abreast to block traffic lanes, because they believe they're entitled the same lane rights as motorists. This is despite dedicated bike lanes, which these pelotons largely ignore; as you can imagine, it creates more than a little hostility between cyclists and drivers (and for the record, I'm both). I've even seen police attempt to stop a peloton, with obvious results (one bike stops, the rest scatter).

  3. Well, in Boston, cyclist are entitled to the same lane rights as motorists and occasionally, that is the only safe way to play the game.

    Fortunately, the bike lanes usually work very well. Now if only we could prevent people from opening their car doors into the bicycle lane.

  4. Amen on that, John. A little mutual respect goes a long way.

  5. Neistat's story is just one example of what has recently become practically a NYPD war on cyclists. One officer threatened to ticket a woman rider for wearing what he said was too short a skirt, because it could "distract drivers".

    Officers have issued tickets for having satchels on handlebars (legal) and other equally pathetic offenses. It is, quite frankly, an epidemic of cluelessness on the part of my otherwise quite effective and intelligent PD.

    Given that virtually no motorist is ever prosecuted for killing or injuring ANY cyclist, under ANY circumstance, I'm hardly surprised riders are aggrieved.

  6. Given the mechanics of cycling, I think short skirts for women should be required. Long skirt might be dangerous.

  7. Quite often cyclists where I live don't pay attention to the stop signs or lights and will continue into an intersection, disobeying basic driving laws. I would guess the reason the motorists weren't convicted is because they had right of way during the incident. It's almost like some cyclists feel that they are pedestrians while riding, yet they actually have the same rules as any vehicle on the road.

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