Cops in Bike LanesRiding a bicycle through NYC is tantamount to crossing a war zone. Between the potholes, cars, and pedestrians, it can be a harrying experience. Particularly when you have to swerve out of the bike path and into the road to avoid a swinging car door or a poorly parked vehicle. As a result, someone has created an NYC Tumblr called Cops In Bike Lanes.

The premise of the site is simple and stated under the website name: “Rules of the City of New York, § 4-09 (E) (9) : ‘It is against the law to park, stand or stop within or otherwise obstruct bike lanes.'”

There are already 11 pages of pictures and some show repeat offenders. Submit your own photo by emailing

Via Gizmodo



  1. I have a bunch of these photo’s from when I lived in NYC. Bike lanes pretty much mean nothing to cars, taxi’s, and delivery trucks there.

  2. I think you’ll find that written into the NYC bylaws are exemptions for police and other emergency vehicles. Blocking bike lanes is one of my pet peeves and it often borders on potential manslaughter, but conversely in an urban environment where police vehicles are involved in enforcement it’s not reasonable to expect them to drive around for 20 minutes to find a parking spot. In the case of a street with a bike lane and no parking there isn’t one inch of road surface or sidewalk that anyone could in fact stop legally – hence the exception.

  3. a) That photo was shot not far from where I live, and that is not actually a segregated bike lane. On many Toronto streets there are bike logos and chevrons on the road as seen in that photo, which are just to serve as reminders for drivers to pay attention to cyclists on streets with heavy bike traffic.
    b) I don’t hear drivers complaining that police have to park in their car-lanes. They are police vehicles for christ sake. They are not going to drive around finding an open spot in one of the busiest spots in downtown Toronto. I’m sure they often have more important business to do than finding the parking spot that inconveniences cyclists the least.

  4. wrt police parking in bike lanes for work, absolutely. However, some police officers in Toronto (not all, many are great and follow rules) feel that they can do as they please. Often they are going in to get a burrito or just setting up a speed trap and using the bike lane.
    based on experience…

  5. Riding in NYC is one of the most pleasant urban bike experiences you can have. War zone? Please, try riding in LA or any city with no bike plan.

  6. Hmm,

    That’s Spadina in Toronto no bike lane there just sharrows (whatever the hell those are). As a bike courier in Toronto I gotta say the police for the most part put their cars up on the curb or park somehwere out of the way. Wish I could say the same for UPS/FEDEX/COCACOLA/Canada Post/ or any other delivery vehicles!

    In an emergency, and I say this having been in the back of an ambulance (and a cop car) I say park where ever the hell you want.

  7. From the site: “Normally I give a pass to officers who have their lights flashing…”

    If the lights aren’t on, the car is not responding to an emergency or otherwise doing anything official. These aren’t pictures of cop cars responding to distress calls: they’re pictures of cop cars making it less safe to ride a bike in the city.

  8. I like the multi color (cultural) stripes printed on the back of the patrol cars trunk lid. Guess the fuzz in Toronto are gay friendly but not bike friendly.

  9. That ain’t NYC, that’s Toronto. But yes, we do have a major problem with Torontonian cops parked in bike lanes, especially because we only have three or four bike lanes in the whole damn city.

  10. “If the lights aren’t on, the car is not responding to an emergency or otherwise doing anything official.”


    Whining about a cop car stopped in an awkward location is pretty weak. The officer may be; finishing any manner of traffic stop, responding to a distress call, responding to a crime in progress, or any other legit activity. Many of which would not require lights.

    Imagine an officer was late responding to a call because he spent time looking for parking that didn’t upset a tumblr user.

    somebody call the waah-mbulance.

  11. chicago police ran my girlfriend off the road when we were riding single file to tell her / both of us that we were supposed to ride single file (we had been 2 abreast about 500 yards back down california ave). [deleted] cops

  12. police cars and emergency cars/firetrucks are the only ones i’d think should be allowed to park wherever they want. sure some will abuse it, but in many cases its probably more important than us waiting 1min to turn around the car.

  13. why was my last comment deleted? the reasoning behind this is because several NYC cyclist have been ticketed for riding OUTSIDE THE BIKE LANE. this makes it much clearer the intent of the website is more than just a bunch of crybaby hipsters.

  14. Police emergencies take precedent over traffic laws. Life and Death situations are more important than a bike lake. Just because the lights are not flashing does not mean there isn’t an urgent situation requiring immediate response. There are many good reasons for NOT leaving the blue lights on. This tumblr you keep endorsing is beyond worthless. Use some common sense.

What do you think?