Brooklyn Life: Pulled Over on a Bike

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I got pulled over by the cops yesterday. While riding my bike. To set the scene, it was around 5pm and I was riding the wrong way down the busy, two-way street I live on. This is a practice I feel mildly bad about but engage in all the time. I wanted to make a left at the end of the block, so I tend to ride the wrong way for the half block for ease of turning, even though I do think it’s kind of dangerous on my street, since traffic moves pretty fast and there tend to be a lot of double-parked mini-vans. I hear a siren and glance behind me, and to my surprise a cruiser is pulling across a lane of traffic to pull me over. The conversation went something like this:

Cop: You know it’s illegal to ride on the sidewalk, right?

Me: The sidewalk?

Cop: Yeah, the sidewalk.

Me: (looking down to double check) But, um, but I’m not on the sidewalk.

Cop: Didn’t you just ride off the sidewalk onto the street?

Me: I live in that building. I walked my bike out the front door, got on, rode 10 feet to where there’s a dip in the curb and got onto the street. There was no one walking on that 10 feet of sidewalk.

Cop: Oh, you live right there?

Me: Yeah, I couldn’t fit my bike between those double parked cars so I rode down the sidewalk for like, 10 ft.

Cop: Oh. Well be careful, you can get a summons for the smallest thing.

Me: (Thinking, isn’t it illegal to ride on the wrong side of the street? Ok, thank you.

Cop: Have a good one.

7 Responses

  1. JR -

    “so I rode down the sidewalk for like, 10 ft.”

    ……that’s the illegal part……

    Reply
  2. JR -

    “so I rode down the sidewalk for like, 10 ft.”

    ……that’s the illegal part……

    Reply
  3. Eric -

    The cop gave you a break (I assume the cop was a “he” and you being a “she” had something to do with it.

    So learn from his kindness and don’t salmon, on your street or elsewhere. Let’s ride like we actually care about the pedestrians we are when we’re not on our bikes.

    Reply
  4. Eric -

    The cop gave you a break (I assume the cop was a “he” and you being a “she” had something to do with it.

    So learn from his kindness and don’t salmon, on your street or elsewhere. Let’s ride like we actually care about the pedestrians we are when we’re not on our bikes.

    Reply
  5. arty -

    Same thing happened to me… I was riding my bike from a parked position on the sidewalk down to the street in South Williamsburg. A pig caught glimpse of my 10 sec joy ride and wrote me a court summons. The case was ultimately dismissed but what a pain in my balls for the most trivial infraction. For shame NYPD for shame!

    Reply
  6. arty -

    Same thing happened to me… I was riding my bike from a parked position on the sidewalk down to the street in South Williamsburg. A pig caught glimpse of my 10 sec joy ride and wrote me a court summons. The case was ultimately dismissed but what a pain in my balls for the most trivial infraction. For shame NYPD for shame!

    Reply

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