NYPD’s Fifth Precinct doesn’t have a great reputation for safety-focused traffic enforcement. Known for ticketing cyclists at T-intersections and at the base of the Manhattan Bridge, the precinct has relied on questionable math to back up its disproportionate focus on bike enforcement. Seeking to bridge the divide, a group of about 10 people went for a bike ride with precinct officers yesterday.
“It began with a Twitter spat,” said Doug Gordon, who tweets as @BrooklynSpoke and regularly rides through the Fifth Precinct on his way to and from the Manhattan Bridge.
After a motorist killed a pedestrian nearby, Gordon got the attention of Sergeant Kakit Yip, who monitors the precinct’s Twitter account in addition to being its traffic safety officer.
Gordon and a group including representatives from Transportation Alternatives met with Yip at the precinct late last month for more than an hour. “It was pretty impressive. It was really nice that he gave that much time to us,” Gordon said. “Sergeant Yip was very open, very willing to listen.”
“He gave us a lot of clarifications on things,” said Hilda Cohen, who frequently rides in the precinct. For example, Yip said that red light stings are usually done by the Citywide Traffic Task Force, not the precinct.
“It was really quite positive,” Cohen said. “I came out of the whole meeting feeling like this is what we want to have happen. We really want to have this communication.”