Police Target Cyclists and Motorists in Jackson Heights Ticket Blitz

By Katie Honan on February 14, 2014 2:57pm 

 Families marched and held signs at the rally for safer streets in Jackson Heights and Corona last November. A pedestrian safety iniative last Sunday handed out dozens of violations and summonses to cars — and bicyclists.
Families marched and held signs at the rally for safer streets in Jackson Heights and Corona last November. A pedestrian safety iniative last Sunday handed out dozens of violations and summonses to cars — and bicyclists.
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DNAinfo/Katie Honan

JACKSON HEIGHTS — The NYPD handed out 100 tickets to drivers in Jackson Heights last weekend — with dozens of those given to cyclists, police officials said.

The 115th Precinct's pedestrian safety initiative was conducted over two days, on Saturday, Feb. 8 around 73rd Street and 37th Avenue; and on Sunday, Feb. 9 across the whole precinct, according to the precinct.

The ticket blitz came in the wake of a series of fatal accidents this month, including a 57-year-old man who was critically injured when he was hit by a car on Junction Boulevard and a 25-year-old woman who was fatally struck by an MTA bus on 73rd Street near Broadway.

Some 32 moving violations were handed out to cyclists — a popular form of transportation in the neighborhood — over an eight-hour stretch on Sunday across the precinct, according to the NYPD.

The tickets included failure to yield to pedestrians, but most were for riding on the sidewalk.

Police also gave 19 double-parking violations to drivers of cars, along with 17 unlicensed operator violations.

A total of nine drivers were ticketed for failure to yield to pedestrians, which has been cited as the leading cause of accidents.

On Saturday, officers handed out 23 summonses for horn honking, 22 for double parked cars, two for parking in a handicapped space and one for an unlicensed motorist in the area of 73rd Street and 37th Avenue, a bustling area.

"That's where the majority of that activity was focused on," said Deputy Inspector Michael Cody.

"It's something we try to get out there, get as many of those operations out there to help with pedestrian issues."

In addition to tickets, Cody said officers also handed out educational material to drivers and pedestrians.

"We want to try to work with education," he said.

Pedestrian safety is a major issue in the neighborhood, pushed by the creation of a local group, Make Queens Safer, which was created after a 3-year-old boy was struck and killed by an alleged drunk driver.

The group held a march in November, where the family of people killed by drivers, including the parents of a 3-year-old who was killed while walking in a crosswalk in Flushing with her grandmother, urged for tougher enforcement for drivers.

A town hall focused on safety, co-sponsored by Make Queens Safer and local politicians, was held the same day as the precinct's iniative.

It was just days after two serious accidents in the area — one on Junction Boulevard that left a man critically injured and another where a 25-year-old woman was fatally struck by an MTA bus on 73rd Street near Broadway.

The fatal accident involving a bus was just a block from the 115th Precinct's pedestrian safety initiative.

Some 115 pedestrians were killed in Queens between 2010 and 2012, according to a survey conducted by the Tri-State Transportation Campaign.

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