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Astoria Assembly Member Calls for Cameras to Keep Motorists Out of Bike Lanes

Protected bike lane Skillman Ave. and 48th St. Sunnyside (Photo: QueensPost)

June 6, 2022 By Alexandra Adelina Nita

Queens Assemblymember Zohran Mamdani is calling for the installation of enforcement cameras to keep motorists out of protected bicycle lanes.

The Astoria assembly member introduced a bill last month that would see motorists who drive on protected bike lanes ticketed. The fine would be $50 for each infraction, and it would be sent to the registered owner of the vehicle.

Failure to pay the ticket by the date listed would result in an additional $25 fine.

The bill aims to deter motor vehicles from encroaching on protected bicycle lanes. The bill would see 50 cameras go up across the city as part of a pilot program.

The legislative session in Albany is now over for the year—and Mamdani aims to gain momentum for the bill and reintroduce it in 2023.

Mamdani’s bill has been prompted by an increase in traffic deaths in New York City, including a jump in cyclist fatalities.

In 2021, 273 people were killed on New York City streets, a 33 percent increase over 2018, the safest year in recent history. Crashes last year, according to city data, killed 124 pedestrians, 50 motorcyclists, 19 cyclists and 15 people on mopeds and e-bikes.

“Every day across NYC, cyclists like myself go head to head with cars in bike lanes — an incredibly scary & dangerous experience,” Mamdani tweeted.


Mamdani’s tweet included a photo of a car on top of a concrete barrier used to protect a bike lane. The tweet also includes video of a woman being spat on by a driver after she took footage of him being in a protected bike lane.

The bill is modeled after the New York City Department of Transportation’s speed camera program, which Mamdani says is effective. Mamdani cited a DOT report that said speeding dropped an average of 72 percent in areas where cameras are installed.

Mamdani’s bill has support in the state senate. Brad Hoylman, from Manhattan, is sponsoring the legislation in the upper chamber. Both bills did not get out of committee this year.

The bill would need the support of the city council, which is likely to back it.

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8 Comments

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Fed up real New Yorker

People need to stop making cyclists the victims. They’re driving against traffic, riding on sidewalks, riding against opposite lanes, no lights at night. And most importantly blowing every red light without looking. It’s a shame common sense is the one thing lacking in the world. They need to be registered, licensed and insured. The government will profit and I bet you the amount of accidents will drastically decrease. And you gotta love seeing the reckless biker who’s got a kid on a back seat. Smart move

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Anonymous

“Mamdani aims to gain momentum for the bill and reintroduce it in 2023.”
His current term ends on January 1, 2023.
Hopefully he will be gone when his term ends.

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Anonymous

Here’s a better suggestion … how about making bicyclists register, and mandatory plates on all bikes, and giving them tickets for being such a**holes? They do not obey any traffic laws, don’t care about lights, will ride on sidewalks, streets, and anywhere they chose. God help you if you are a pedestrian in their way, they will mow you down and give you the finger as they do so.

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Anonymous

Hey, what are you gonna do for the scooters, motorbikes riding on the bike lanes, sidewalks, going the wrong way in traffic, passing red lights, stop signs??? You don’t care about cyclists, or the pedestrians… you just hate cars.. typical hypocrite progressive dem…

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Brian Fraser

Zohran Mamdani please get rid of ugly and unsafe restaurant sheds on the streets of ASTORIA . They are taking up you bike space also!!

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Brian Fraser

This is another revenue stream for the city. Bikes need to follow rules also. I have witnessed bikes going against traffic every day. E-bikes go faster than cars in Astoria! Register all bikes and give them tickets also for breaking the rules! Driving and biking isn’t perfect but more enforcement on just cars isn’t fair.

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Brian

This is another way to create revenue for the city. Bikes need to follow rules. I have witnessed bikes going the against traffic all the time! E-bikes travel over the posted speed limits all the time in Astoria and have no regard for traffic lights or traffic rules in general. I always look out for bikes . I have to drive with my head on a swivel because bikes seem to think they own the streets . Penalize bikes also for bad driving . E-bikes should be registered. Perhaps all bikes should be registered .

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Never Left Astoria

How do you do that when the bike lanes are in the roadway lanes? Example 23rd Ave & 33rd Street

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