Pedestrians, cyclists say mopeds are invading NYC bike lanes

Whether you call them motorcycles or mopeds, pedestrians and cyclists crossing some of the city's bridges say they are an unquestionable danger.

On the 59th Street bridge, the already narrow paths for pedestrians and cyclists have become a major thoroughfare for the motorized vehicles. In one hour on Wednesday morning, FOX 5 NY counted between 30 to 40 small motorcycles crossing the bridge using either the lane for cyclists or the one for pedestrians.

Most of the bikes are electric as well, meaning they run as quietly as they run quickly, leaving pedestrians unable to hear them coming up from behind.

"It s so dangerous and it's so not fair," one walker told FOX 5 NY. "They're not bikes, they're cars with two wheels. They go too fast."

RELATED: Staten Island in midst of pedestrian safety crisis, study says

The Department of Transportation told FOX 5 NY that the motorcycles, however small, are prohibited in bike lanes. However, in recent months the bikes can be seen breaking rules on streets across the city, sometimes with deadly consequences.

Earlier this month, actor Lisa Banes was killed in a hit-and-run of a moped or motorcycles on the Upper West Side. That driver is yet to be caught.

Mayor Bill de Blasio says he is aware of the issue, and that his administration will put a stop to it. 

"If we need to put more enforcement on the bridge to address that, that's a very straightforward strategy. I'll talk to our transportation commissioner right away and we will come up with a plan and activate it quickly," de Blasio said.

So far, 2021 has been a dangerous year for pedestrians in New York City. During the first four months of 2021, pedestrian crashes were up 65%.