Race, Income and Bicycle Tickets

How does Race and/or Income factor into who gets Bicycle Tickets in NYC?

Ten years ago it seemed as if the only bicyclists crazy enough to ride in NYC traffic were resturant delivery people, bicycle messengers and very very rarely a commuter. Now there are bicyclist everywhere

* 350% growth in daily cycling, 1990-2015
* 80% growth in daily cycling, 2010-2015
* http://www.nyc.gov/html/dot/html/bicyclists/cyclinginthecity.shtml

With ridership, tickets have increased also. Who is getting ticketed? Anecdotal evidence seems to suggest it is not proportional. I commute by bicycle from Harlem to Flatiron and have for the past 6 years. I have received 5+ tickets. Almost all in Harlem. In speaking with other riders/delivery people the story seems to be watch out until you cross over into the UWS or Midtown. Once you are out of Harlem you wont get tickets.

The Biking Public did a great investigation into the racial and economic ticketing of delivery people here. However they are looking at summons not traffic violations which shows only part of the story.

Trying to get a better handle on Income and Bicycle Tickets

I received a FOIL list of all bicycle violations from 2015-2016, see here I randomly selected 20 Tickets from the list and filed a foil request with the DMV for a copy of the tickets. This cost 220$. See response here and data here

Counting up all the tickets, 12 of the tickets were given in areas in which the mean income is less than the city’s mean income.

Bicycling rates track with income rates in NYC acording to this. So that the wealthier you are the higher likelihood you bicycle.

Based on the time period I looked at and the very limited data I have, you can make the argument that 40% of all nyc bicycle trips were taken by people below nyc average median income. But 60% of bicycle tickets were given in areas that are below nyc average median income.

Any ideas where to get more data?

comments powered by Disqus