The New York Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) has informed bicyclists that it will no longer penalize cab drivers for stopping in bike lanes. A report by the Department of Transportation found that designated lanes for bicyclists reduce serious accidents by about 40%. However, when taxi cabs or other vehicles block any of New York City’s bicycle lanes, it can be extremely dangerous as it forces cyclists to to merge into traffic.
For this reason, New York City law prohibits cars from driving or stopping in bicycle lanes. If a vehicle obstructs a bike lane and causes a crash, the driver may be held liable for the accident as well as for any resulting injuries. These consequences also apply to taxi drivers who veer into bike lanes to pick up or drop off customers.
In the past, the TLC responded to complaints about cabs blocking bike lanes by subjecting the cab drivers to fines. Bicyclists posted pictures to social media using hashtag #cyclistswithcameras to report cabs. Now, the TLC has begun to reply to complaints by citing a policy change that states it is no longer a violation of its rules to park a cab in a bike lane.
A representative for the TLC asserts that since the state’s laws do not prohibit blocking bicycle lanes, the agency does not need to enforce the New York City traffic rules that prohibit it. It remains to be seen what, if any, repercussions the TLC will face.
If you have been ticketed for driving in the bike lane, driving on the shoulder, or any other traffic offense in New York, it is advisable that you contact an attorney. Adam H. Rosenblum of the Rosenblum Law Firm is a skilled traffic ticket attorney who will fight vigorously against any penalties you may face. Email him or call 888-203-2619 today for a free consultation about your case.