More than one-third of people riding motorized two-wheeleers on the Big Apple’s protected bike lanes and greenways speed dangerously, an analysis by The Post found.
Although the city last week revved up its crackdown on dangerous driving by operating speed cameras round the clock, bike lanes remain severe safety hazards flooded with scofflaws on e-bikes, mopeds and motorcycles that constantly disobey the 25-mph speed limit.
Over the past week, a team of Post journalists used a radar gun to track speeders on paths crossing the Williamsburg, Brooklyn, Manhattan and Queensboro bridges, as well as bike lanes in Midtown and at Hudson River Park.
Of the 486 two-wheelers clocked, 167 – or 34% — sped above the 25 mph max, including some as high as 35 mph. They include dirt bikes, all-terrain vehicles and others outlawed on city streets and bike lanes.
The need for speed was especially noticeable on the Williamsburg Bridge where 44 – or 59% — of 74 motor bikes using its pathway over an hour-long period Friday went over 25 mph.
The Brooklyn Bridge and Manhattan Bridge’s lanes were also filled with speeders. Over an hour, 37% and 30% of its bikers were also caught, respectively, speeding by the reporter and photographer.
On the Queensboro Bridge, 18% of the 87 motorized bikers clocked went over 25 mph – but, unlike the other East River crossings, its bike lane is shared with pedestrians who were forced to dodge dirt bikes and other rogue rides.
On Thursday afternoon, The Post set up near Stuyvesant High School on Chambers Street for an hour and clocked 33 – or 43% — of 77 motorized bikes zipping along the Hudson River Park bike path over the speed limit.
New Yorkers said they’re fed up with bike-lane lawbreakers.
“It’s a huge problem!” barked Peter Epstein, an avid 60-year-old bicyclist after pedaling along the scenic bike lane on Manhattan’s West Side. “People are walking by” because they have “the green light to cross the path, and these [motor] bikes are zooming right up to them; there’s not even time for anyone to react. It’s just crazy.”
Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine last week proposed converting part of the adjacent West Side Highway into a two-way protected bike lane so that electric bikes and other legal motorized bikes can use it. He declined to respond to questions about illegal bikes potentially using his proposed pathway or The Post’s findings.
Motorized bikes are not allowed at Hudson River Park, which is run by a state-city entity, nor on any bike lanes on city parkland.
However, enforcement by the NYPD and city parks enforcement patrol officers appears non-existent, according to some avid cyclists.
“We don’t have the manpower to deal with the illegal bikes or the speeding ,” conceded Joe Puleo, president of Local 983 of District Council 37, which represents parks officers. “Our members are being told to direct most of their attention this summer to protecting pools and beaches.”
Tommy Bayiokos, a Brooklyn-based actor and drummer, fumed that he fears for his life every time he pedals along two waterfront bike paths adjacent to the Belt Parkway: one connecting Bay Ridge to Bath Beach and the other Sheepshead Bay to The Rockaways in Queens.
“I’m constantly turning my head because these mopeds, these dirt bikes, come out of nowhere so fast that you have little time to react,” he added.
The 57-year-old also said he’s even noticed motorcycles this year brazenly riding along the historic Ocean Parkway bike lane, a heavily used pathway connecting Prospect Park to Coney Island shared by pedestrians. Motorcycles should instead be using a bustling roadway that runs adjacent to the bike path.
“Years ago, this would never happen, but these bikes operate with impunity – and there’s never a cop in sight,’ said Bayiokos.
An NYPD spokesman said commanding officers conduct traffic enforcement in their precincts “based on the conditions present” and that cops are also trying to weed out illegal-bike use through education awareness initiatives.
While campaigning for office last year, Mayor Eric Adams said the city and state needed to crack down on dirt bikes, ATVs and other illegal rides – including more effectively using speed cameras and cops to catch people speeding on them.
In June, he joined NYPD officials at a Brooklyn auto pound to watch 92 illegal dirt bikes seized by authorities being pulverized under a bulldozer. He boasted that the NYPD at the time had already taken 900 of the bikes and ATVs off the city streets in 2022 — an 88% bump over the same period a year earlier.
When asked about The Post’s findings, mayoral spokesman Charles Lutvak cited a $900 million investment the mayor announced in April geared towards combating traffic deaths and violence and said “the Adams administration is completely committed to keeping New Yorkers safe in our streets.”