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April 8 2014 by Anonymous Legal Question

Here's what NYC bike lawyer and advocate Steve Vaccaro had to say:

Since there's no bicycle lane, you can ride on either side of Third Ave. There might be an argument that the turning restriction doesn't apply to cyclists (only to "vehicles," which does not include cyclists when it comes to city regulations), but you'd be inviting conflict to try to go straight against the tide of crazed turning motorists headed for the bridge. And inviting a ticket too, since I doubt more than a handful of police would buy that argument!

I suggest either the left hand side, the right-most lane to the left of the bollards — in either case riding in the center of the lane in a straight line — or better still detouring to Park where the traffic is less intense, or First where there is some bike infrastructure and more bike traffic to blend in with.

Disclaimer: the legal information presented on this site is not intended to offer legal or medical advice. The content on this website is for informational and educational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for the professional judgment of a legal and/or healthcare professional, and you should not rely upon any material or statements in this website for legal or medical advice. It is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship.

April 7 2014 by Barbara Bike Security Quesiton

Hi Barbara, we checked in with NYC bike lawyer Steve Vaccaro to find an answer to your question. Here's what Steve had to say:

The ornamental fences around street trees are usually installed by building owners, neighborhood associations, or business improvement districts, rather than the City. Therefore they are private property as to which the installer has obtained permission from the City to install in a public place. It is a violation of the rights of the owner of the property to lock your bike to it, just as if you locked your bike to a car that is legally parked in a parking spot. The owner of the fence would legally be permitted to clip the lock and remove your bike from the property. 

This comes up often with bikes locked to scaffolding, which are also private property. Note that in the case of bikes locked to street fixtures owned by the City, the City is not permitted to remove them without advance notice to the owner or some reasonable means to retrieve the bike, if removal without notice is deemed necessary for public safety (e.g., security measure for Presidential motorcade).

Been in a bike crash? Contact Vaccaro & White for a free consultation.

Disclaimer: the legal information presented on this site is not intended to offer legal or medical advice. The content on this website is for informational and educational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for the professional judgment of a legal and/or healthcare professional, and you should not rely upon any material or statements in this website for legal or medical advice. It is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship.

April 6 2014 by Mark Legal Question

Hi Mark, here's what NYC bike lawyer Steve Vaccaro had to say about being ticketed for turning right on red while on your bike:

"The turning restriction referred to is a city rule, not a state one. City turning restrictions are applicable to the operator of a "vehicle." Under the City traffic rules, a "bicycle" is not a "vehicle." So the turning restriction does not apply to cyclists. (Note that there would be a different outcome if the turning restriction came from state law, because state law provides that bicyclists are subject to most of the same responsibilities as the operator of a vehicle.) 

Putting aside the legal technicalities, turning restrictions that are in effect only during certain times of day are almost always anti-congestion measures aimed at big, bulky motor vehicles. Due to the smaller footprint and superior agility of a cyclist, I doubt that a cyclists' disregard for the turning restriction at issue would cause the harm (congestion) that the restriction is intended to avoid (although there is the concern that a cyclist turning in a "no turn" scenario is acting unpredictably). But I'd say that as a matter of both technical legal interpretation, and common sense, the restriction doesn't apply to cyclists, and you should plead not guilty."

Been in a bike accident and need legal representation? Contact Vaccaro & White for a free consulation. 

Disclaimer: the legal information presented on this site is not intended to offer legal or medical advice. The content on this website is for informational and educational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for the professional judgment of a legal and/or healthcare professional, and you should not rely upon any material or statements in this website for legal or medical advice. It is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship.

April 11 2014 by Tom Bike Rental Question

Hi Tom, glad you asked! We recently partnered with Spinlister -- the world's largest peer-to-peer bike rental network -- and would definitely recommend giving that a go when you're in NYC.

Spinlister bike rentals begin as low as $10/day and come in all shapes and sizes. If you're planning to rent for the full two-week period, reach out to the renters and there's a good chance they'll cut you an extended rental discount rate and Additionally, all bikes and equipment are fully insured against theft or damage, so you can ride with piece of mind.

For a limited time, Spinlister is offering BikeNYC users a $10 discount off their first rental. Enjoy your visit to NYC and happy riding!

March 25 2014 by Josh Legal Question

Hi Josh, that's harsh! We've never heard of anyone being issued a disorderly conduct ticket for running a red on a bike, so we decided to check in with NYC bike attorney Steve Vaccaro. Here's what Steve had to say:

"Merely running a red light should not result in a disorderly conduct summons. Disorderly conduct in the traffic context requires a significant obstruction of traffic, accomplished with either an intent to cause public inconvenience or an awareness that a public inconvenience might well result. The obstruction must be more significant than a brief delay in the passage of other traffic. Unless you dallied in the intersection blocking traffic -- or engaged in any of the other behavior constituting disorderly conduct -- I recommend that you go to court, make sure your court-appointed attorney understands the circumstances in the very brief period of time you will have to explain them to him or her, plead not guilty, and ask that the charges be dismissed for facial insufficiency. But make sure you first read the "information" -- the brief factual statement of the officer supporting the charge, that is available only at court. It may state that you did dally in the intersection or otherwise appear to intend to cause inconvenience. In that case, you will have to go back to court for a trial, and it will be your word against the officer's."

Good luck and let us know how it goes!

Disclaimer: the legal information presented on this site is not intended to offer legal or medical advice. The content on this website is for informational and educational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for the professional judgment of a legal and/or healthcare professional, and you should not rely upon any material or statements in this website for legal or medical advice. It is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship.

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