I was out for a ride with my family midday today, with destinations in New Jersey; our usual route to the bridge is up Riverside Drive. We got to see a pretty righteous red light bust.
Some context: RSD is the major on-road cycling route on the west side of Manhattan. Most of the intersections are T-intersections, with the drive overlooking a sharp downslope to the west. There are even some service roads alongside to the east, with pocket parks separating the service and main road. So in some spots, though not all, you get less than the 20 intersection-per-mile density that's typical of a north/south road in Manhattan.
Anyway, it's pretty standard cyclist practice to cautiously run red lights on RSD. It's especially prevalent southbound, where the only conflicting cars would be making west-to-south left turns and are easy to see coming. It's not so nice to do it badly, though; especially if it involves failure to yield to a pedestrian with right-of-way.
The intersection with West 145th Street merits more careful handling, though. Street View screenshot is below. 145th Street is two-way, and there are actually cars that can come from the west here, as this is the access drive for the bridge to Riverbank State Park, which sits atop a large sewage processing plant. Sight lines to and from the park road are particularly off-kilter. I'll tend to run it only if it's clearly deserted of cross-traffic, and even then only southbound, usually.
So on our way uptown, we notice increased police cycling enforcement presence on the drive. This has been a thing lately, and there's also a century ride routing that way today, so that may have something to do with it. We get to the intersection of 145th, and happen to hit a fresh red light, with a line of westbound cars starting off through the intersection as we get there. Peeking around the corner, I see a manned NYPD cruiser surveying the intersection from 145th street, near the southeast corner.
Another guy -- wearing bike shorts, I think, riding a mountain bike, no helmet, and with at least one earbud in -- comes up on the intersection behind us. We'd passed him a couple of blocks back. Just before he crosses into the crosswalk, I shout "Police!", but he doesn't register it. Probably the earbud(s). He slows down, weaves gently between the westbound cars, and I see the cruiser's lights go on. Sure enough, they pull him over a couple of blocks ahead.
Yeah, that's pretty much dead-to-rights. It wasn't as though the intersection was empty and nobody was inconvenienced or potentially angered by this. I should figure out which precinct this was and send along kudos, 'cause it was totally a righteous bust. Way far from the ticky-tacky end of the spectrum.+Ting Chang