MIDTOWN MANHATTAN — It's a safety and security hazard that's been getting worse lately. Bicycle delivery workers keep riding into the Lincoln Tunnel, and in the most recent incident, police said they had to lock the cyclist up.
On Tuesday around 6 p.m., a bicycle deliveryman for a food app joined the 43,000 cars, buses, and trucks that travel into the tunnel daily, police said. Even though every entrance to the Lincoln Tunnel displays a sign showing that no bicycles are allowed, cyclist Bruce Lee, 19, entered on his bike.
He told them that he's named after the legendary martial arts actor, police sources told PIX11 News. Lee also told them that he was following the GPS directional app on his mobile phone in order to make his delivery. It had directed him into the tunnel, the bike deliveryman from Staten Island said.
Unlike his legendary namesake, Lee apparently did not consider his hands to be weapons, however. Police said that they'd found a dagger on Lee, and had to arrest him.
It was something being talked about on Wednesday by the dozens of bike delivery workers who operate near the tunnel entrance.
"I could see it being dark, I can see him going though there,"bike courier Jonathan Jones said . "But you should have the instinct as a New Yorker to not go into the tunnel."
Motorists also were skeptical.
"That's ridiculous," one driver said, waiting at a red light before driving into the tunnel from Midtown. "It's clearly marked that its a tunnel. There's something going on."
Andrew Young, general manager of Breakaway Courier Systems, whose office is half a block from the tunnel entrance, knows what was going on.
"It's always about the app," Young said.
He said that one of his employees had driven his bicycle into the tunnel last year, and that "it took three hours" to get the man released from Port Authority Police questioning. Young said that it was understandable that officers wanted to take every precaution.
At the same time, Young said, that he's seen how misunderstandings can happen.
"Especially with immigrants here," he said. "They follow an app" to the letter and because it says so, they do what they think they're supposed to be doing."
Young said that it's now become part of his company's training to instruct bike delivery workers on how to ensure they don't ride into a tunnel entrance.