BIKE POWER

In June, 2018, bike sharing pilot stated in White Plains with 300 dock less, two wheelers on the streets of White Plains. They yellow and green bicycles cost $1.00 a ride. The companies Lime Bike & OFO started the program in White Plains. The pros and cons and etiquette of bike sharing are being discussed on social media. The reaction has generally been positive with few kinks need to be worked out, according to an article in The Journal News on June 20, 2018, entitled “pedal power is the talk of White Plains” by Richard Liebson. The owner of businesses along Mamaroneck Avenue have seen good, bad and ugly by the owner of Vino 110, Stuart Levine who stated “like all new things, there are growing pains”. Bikes are left all over including in front of his store door, on people’s lawns and riding on sidewalks. It is recommended the bike program rules be adjusted to including parking stations or a dedicated team member to better organize a bike return protocol.

White Plains is the third Westchester community to introduce a bike sharing program this year following New Rochelle and Yonkers. White Plains Mayor, Tom Roach said “usage has exceeded our expectations”. It is noted that ride bikes on sidewalks is prohibited. White Plains had painted bike lanes at various thoroughfares for a few years and is spending $1.5 million state grants on bikes and pedestrian improvements. The program comes at no cost to the City or taxpayers. The bike company pays a small permit fee to operate a one year pilot program in White Plains.

The bikes are equipped with GPS and unlocked with an app starting at $1.00. Once a trip is completed and the bike is in an area that does not block traffic and the locks is pulled down, it ends their ride which goes to the app. People love taking the bikes from the outer ring of the city into the train stations. The train station and downtown area has been a really popular corridor.

In August, 2018, a mom of a 10 year old says her son was hit by a Lime Bike riding on Mamaroneck Avenue sidewalk. The boy got the wind knocked out of him and scratched his arm. The biker rider was riding on the sidewalk and not wearing a helmet. The mother wrote about the incident on Facebook and emailed the Mayor. The Mayor expressed his frustration with people riding bikes on sidewalks. Roach said “police have been notified and the department’s bike unit is stepped up enforcement and writing more violations”.

On October 11, 2018, an article was published in The Journal News by Richard Liebson entitled “$10 to $100 bike fines expected to increase tenfold in White Plains”. White Plains is hoping to put the brakes on cyclists riding on city sidewalk and are raising the fine to $100.00. This move comes after an uptick in complaints following the rollout of the City’s one year bike share program.

Police have focused on enforcing quality of life violations. In June, police issued 60 summonses in two months. The violation is one that is likely to see repeat offenders so it is felt that increasing the fines would have a real impact. The City’s bike law has been in effect since 1954 that prohibits riding on sidewalks, speeding or failing to obey traffic signals.

In New Rochelle, cycling violations carry up to $250 and up to fifteen days in jail or both. In Yonkers, fines for improper cycling can be fined $250.00 and sentenced to 10 days in jail or both.

If you or a loved one has been injured by a cyclist not obeying the bicycle rules, contact the Law Firm of Dominick J. Robustelli & Associates, PLLC at (914) 288-0800 or at our website of WhitePlains-Injury-Lawyer.com or on our new web name of Robustelli Personal Injury Law NY.com