Despite a change in management, New York City has continued to confiscate and destroy bikes officers have deemed unlawful. Pioneered by ex-Mayor Bill de Blasio (previously Warren Wilhelm Jr.), the observe has been continued by Eric Adams. In truth, the brand new mayor was so enthusiastic concerning the development that town held a press occasion the place a bulldozer crushed over one-hundred bikes as he waved a checkered flag — successfully turning all of them into rubbish in a matter of seconds.
As a motorbike fanatic and recovering New Yorker myself, this story has been one your creator has adopted for the reason that starting as an excuse to professionally gripe about one thing private. The metropolis got down to confiscate grime bikes and ATVs which can be comparatively frequent to see (and listen to) zipping by way of site visitors or cluttering sidewalks. De Blasio even made it certainly one of his largest traffic-enforcement initiatives in 2021, including a little bit of spectacle to the brand new car bans. However, a cursory examination of the automobiles concerned has proven a big variety of automobiles being destroyed are common bikes that will have been authorized underneath NYC legislation and all-electric scooters utilized by low-income commuters and restaurant supply providers.
But it’s the seemingly arbitrary nature of the confiscations and utter wastefulness of their destruction that has me grinding my enamel. Determinations of what makes a motorcycle unlawful are largely left as much as particular person NYPD officers who’ve been tasked to get as many two-wheeled conveyances off the road as potential. This has resulted in common road bikes (principally something that doesn’t appear to be an old style cruiser) and electrical scooters getting caught up within the combine.
While de Blasio additionally hosted quite a few press occasions the place bikes have been publicly crushed for the media, this seems to be Mayor Adams’ first rodeo. On Wednesday, he and the NYPD lined up roughly a gross of bikes to be destroyed for the sake of photographers. Adams pointed to grime bikes and ATVs as being a harmful nuisance, although anybody wanting on the lineup of doomed automobiles would discover there have been loads of different utterly authorized designs lined up for the bulldozer’s treads.
During the occasion, NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell said that town had seized over 2,000 automobiles citywide in 2022 up to now — noting that this represented an 80-percent improve over the identical timeframe in 2021.
City management has been trying to hyperlink bikes to a rise in violent crime and robberies since 2020, typically including that the automobiles themselves are loud and pushed recklessly. While the latter claims are certainly true (although not all the time), customized cars with exceptionally loud exhausts are additionally comparatively frequent in NYC and might often be heard screaming by way of the evening air.
Steps have likewise been taken to crack down on that situation. But two-wheeled transportation has arguably turn into the popular scapegoat for every thing that’s gone mistaken over the previous few years. That doesn’t excuse town from confiscating authorized bikes and e-scooters. It additionally doesn’t clarify why NYC would decide to crush these automobiles, as an alternative of auctioning them off to make itself some cash.
“The motorbikes are destroyed rather than resold or donated in order to prevent them from returning to our streets and not allow them to be operating again,” Adams mentioned through the occasion. “So again, we want to thank all those who participated and assisted in the retrieving of these dirt bike [sic]. So we see this every year, it’s the first day of summer, the increases go up. That’s why we are using this day as a day of putting in place concrete actions to make sure that we get all of these illegal bikes and vehicles off our streets.”
Again, these have been initiatives pioneered by Adams’ predecessor. But you don’t placed on a spectacle like this and never attempt to take a number of the credit score. However, the present mayor has tried to increase on these efforts by working with close by cities and using new digicam applied sciences to find extra automobiles. He and the NYPD confirmed on Wednesday that this summer season will embody a crackdown assumed to dwarf town’s earlier confiscation efforts.
“We’re here at Erie Basin Auto Pound to send a very strong and very clear message to anyone who illegally operates an ATV, dirt bike, or other such vehicle on the streets of New York City. We will seize that bike and we will destroy it. We take this very seriously because driving these motor bikes on city streets, on sidewalks, or in parks, and within housing developments is dangerous. It’s reckless and it’s illegal. It puts everyone at risk. Other drivers, passengers, pedestrians, and not to mention the bike riders themselves,” Commissioner Sewell advised the press.
“Our city will not tolerate this, and the NYPD will use every tool at our disposal to rid our neighborhoods of these hazards. It is the people living in these communities who are making the majority of complaints. They are telling us loud and clear to get these motorbikes out of our neighborhoods and keep them out. The NYPD got the message and that’s exactly what we’re doing today.”
New York City Mayor Eric Adams waved a checkered flag to start out a bulldozing occasion, the place 100 unlawful grime bikes and all-terrain automobiles, confiscated by the New York City Police Department, have been crushed pic.twitter.com/DuzKOnWwAN
— Reuters (@Reuters) June 22, 2022
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