We’ve heard two reports of pedestrians being injured by bicyclists in Central Park in recent weeks.
Deborah Avaro was leaving the park at 69th street and Central Park West on July 4 when she was hit by a bicyclist.
“I received the crosswalk light and started to walk across the street when I was hit by a bike. The impact was so hard I was pushed 5 feet from the crosswalk. Luckily I received only a fractured elbow some scrapes and contusions down my right side. I was taken by ambulance to Lenox Hill Hospital. It could have been a lot worse.”
Avaro says police told her they would have had to witness the crash for it to result in a summons. The fact that there were multiple witnesses didn’t change this. The accident report from the 20th precinct notes that the bicyclist said he was swerving to get out of the way of a car, but Avaro disputed the claim.
“There was no car except the parked ones he was flying by.”
The bicyclist was not charged.
Avaro said that police need to focus more closely on the issue.
“We need more publicity and police action before someone is killed. There are too many bikes and they are all traveling too fast!”
A couple of weeks before that — Sunday, June 22 — a woman was hit by a bicyclist on West Drive around 72nd street in Central Park. Reports varied on the severity of her injuries. amNew York said she was “critically injured,” while reports from Gothamist and ABC News sounded somewhat less dire. She was hit around 5:45 p.m. ABC said she was bloody and was given oxygen by paramedics. Gothamist reported:
“An NYPD spokesman said that bicyclist was going south in the designated bike lane near West 72nd Street while there was a pedestrian about 50 feet south of Olmsted Way who was “standing or walking very slowly” in the bike lane. The bicyclist crashed into the pedestrian, and both were knocked to the ground.
The spokesman added that the bicyclist, who was wearing a helmet, suffered abrasion and minor injuries while the pedestrian has non-life-threatening injuries. (A photographer on the scene said that the pedestrian appeared to have a head injury and seemed badly hurt.) Both were taken to St. Luke’s Hospital.”
File photo of a bicyclist going through a red light in Central Park.