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City Council member proposes bill to pay New Yorkers who report cars illegally parked in bike lanes

NYC bill would offer payment to report cars in bike lanes
NYC bill would offer payment to report cars in bike lanes 02:15

NEW YORK -- Looking for an interesting way to make a few extra bucks? You could make money reporting cars or trucks that are parked illegally in bike lanes in New York City

CBS2's Natalie Duddridge explains how it would work. 

If you bike around the city, cars and trucks blocking your way are all too common. Cyclists say it's dangerous. 

"The bikers and cyclists have to go around into the traffic with other cars and that's not safe," said Joshua Torres. 

"I'm forced into the car lane and they don't like me being there," said Emily Fridenberg, who took a GoPro video of what her daily ride looks like, squeezing between trucks and cars. 

City Council Member Lincoln Restler proposed a bill to stop bike lane blockers.

"To have citizen enforcement, where you can submit the violations, and even incentivize you to do it by giving you a portion of the revenue that's generated," said Restler. 

The idea is you would take a photo or video of an illegally parked car or truck and submit it to the Department of Transportation for review. 

For example, if the driver faced a proposed $175 fine, the complainant would earn 25 percent, or $43.75. But the exact details would have to be worked out if the bill passes. 

"Receiving commission for reporting, someone has to be incentivized to do it," said cyclist Ethan Schneider.

"We need more tools. So we need a program like this," said Cory Epstein from Transportation Alternatives. 

The idea is based on an idling truck bill that passed a few years ago. It allows citizens to submit video evidence of trucks running for at least 3 minutes and earn nearly $90 if the driver is fined. 

"The anti-idling one is an amazing success. The city's raised about $3 million. Citizens have gotten about $1 million. So how can you complain?" said anti-idling advocate George Pakenham. 

Adam Northrup, a commercial vehicle driver from New Jersey, said he has plenty of complains about bikes. Northrup isn't against ratting out drivers, but wishes he could rat out cyclists. 

"Can we stop a bike rider who's not in a bike lane, going the wrong direction, and get him a ticket?" said Northrup. 

In a statement to CBS2, the NYPD said it believes the proposed law will pit neighbor against neighbor and will likely lead to violence.

So far in 2022, police have issued 52,000 summonses for parking in bike lanes. 

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