Bike lane blockers are coming under scrutiny again.
A new project by WNYC radio's "Only Human" podcast is seeking hot spots of so-called bike lane-blocking across the city. Project manager Elaine Chen said listeners have already sent in thousands of examples. See WNYC's map of the blocked lanes below.
"Blocked bike lanes are more than just a minor annoyance," said Paul Steely White of Transportation Alternatives. "It's a safety issue."
Steely White rides his bike to work and advises the city on bike lanes. He's not surprised the mail trucks, big groups of cars and sometimes even police have been spotted blocking bike lanes.
"The NYPD should be exemplars of good traffic behavior, so even if a handful of cops do it, that sends the wrong message to motorists," said Steely White.
A police spokesman said it's common sense that officers shouldn't block bike lanes unless they're on official business.
As for delivery vans and others who create obstacles, Joe Acosta from Astoria said they need sympathy, too.
"Sometimes they need to deliver because time is money," he said. "We don't have the luxury to look for parking in specific areas."
Steely White believes the solution is cameras watching out for lane blockers.
"The same way we automatically enforce bus lanes, we need that same technology to enforce bike lanes," said Steely White.
Until there's more enforcement, many drivers are surprised. When NBC 4 New York approached one driver named Johnny stopped in a bike lane, he was startled -- but relieved that it was only a news crew and not a cop writing a $115 ticket.
"I was just making a call and waiting for my worker," he said. "But I do know that, and I'm getting outta here."