Jan. 18, 2022 By Allie Griffin
The NYPD cracked down on moped drivers crossing the Queensboro Bridge via the bicycle/pedestrian lane Tuesday.
Officers from the 108th Precinct issued numerous summonses and confiscated three gas-powered mopeds at the entrance of the 59th Street Bridge bike and pedestrian path. The drivers were illegally using the bike lane to cross the East River, according to the NYPD.
Mopeds, motorcycles and other vehicles that require a license plate and DMV registration are banned from bike lanes by law. E-bikes and e-scooters, however, are permitted on bike lanes.
Mopeds rented from the rideshare company Revel are prohibited from crossing the bridge altogether.
Many New Yorkers and transit advocates have noted that the Queensboro Bridge bike and pedestrian path is dangerous even when moped drivers aren’t illegally using it.
Pedestrians and cyclists currently share the single lane — which is split with a line down the center for opposite traffic — on the bridge’s northern outer roadway. The advocates have said for years that the current pathway is too narrow to be safely shared by pedestrians and cyclists, who walk and bike in both directions.
The addition of mopeds illegally using the path makes the situation even more dire, according to a recent report. The New York Post spoke to multiple Queens residents who had been personally struck by a moped — or know someone who has — on the Queensboro Bridge pedestrian and bike path.
One 54-year-old Sunnyside parent told the newspaper that she was hit by a moped as she was walking over the bridge last month. She was walking to her job in Manhattan on Dec. 14 when a moped smashed into her and threw her like “a rag doll,” she said.
She said she suffered bruising, scraped knees and a welt on her head. She has since opted to take the bus instead of walking to work, according to the Post.
The newspaper recently reported counting more than 30 mopeds and motorcycles driving over the pathway in just one hour.
Moped and motorcycle riders are required to drive over the bridge using a car lane.
One car lane, however, is planned to be converted into a pedestrian pathway to help improve safety on the bridge.
Former Mayor Bill de Blasio announced in April that his administration allocated $5 million in capital to create a separate pedestrian path. The city will use the funds to convert the southern outer roadway — currently used by cars — into a pedestrian pathway. The existing shared pathway on the northern outer roadway will become a two-way bike lane.