bike crash 95 street 1

A crash at 95th street and Riverside Drive late Monday night left a bicyclist bloodied. GerryK witnessed the scene shortly after the crash and sent us the photos above and below, as well as the following account.

bike crash 95 street 2Last night about 9 PM at 95 St. where the Riverside service road feeds into Riverside Drive I came across a cyclist lying in a puddle of blood a few feet from a mangled bike and one of his shoes – he’d been hit by an SUV likely coming off the highway exit ramp whose driver said she had the green light and that he’d been heading south along the wrong side of Riverside Drive (i.e. the uptown-bound side). Emergency respondents were there soon enough, and I didn’t see any obvious head injuries to the poor guy (I didn’t see a helmet).  Here are 2 admittedly poor photos I took at the scene.

2 other points –
1. As do other regular cyclists, I too head over to the uptown lane heading southbound to turn onto 95 St. because to try to make that turn the legal way from the middle of Riverside Dr. is simply too dangerous – motorists are in highway mode and simply run you off the road, and police officers staking out that dangerous intersection for traffic infractions never seem to take an interest (I say this based on 30 years of passing through that intersection on a nearly daily basis).  In this case, though, judging by where the bike was lying, it’s not clear the cyclist was trying to make the turn – he might have just been heading to the service road the wrong way, which would be harder to justify.

2. For comic relief, a guy in a vehicle stuck a few minutes on the service road demanded that we drag the cyclist off the street “because he’s blocking traffic.” folks pretty much told him to pipe down and he backed off.

Police say “there was no arrest made at the scene.”

Update: A 24th precinct officer sent the following statement about the crash: “Witnesses and the driver of the vehicle state the the bicyclist did disregard a steady red light when he struck the vehicle. Bicyclist was not able to give a statement at the time of collision. Bicylist was removed to hospital with non-life threatening injuries.”

Some locals have called for more changes to the area in the mid-90’s on Riverside and West End given the volume and speed of traffic coming off the highway.

Clarification: Our initial headline said the cyclist was hit, but NYPD says that the cyclist hit the SUV.

NEWS | 53 comments | permalink
    1. Nathan says:

      Not sure what’s meant by “service road” here. The off ramp?

      • Josh says:

        No, there is a service road, a single one way lane heading uptown that goes from about 91 to 95 just east of Riverside with the Joan of Arc monument between Riverside and the service road.

    2. Sally F. says:

      It’s the inner branch of Riverside Dr., the access road, that runs from 91st to 95th, and then starts up again at 97th.

    3. Nelson says:

      As a runner, I am very familiar with that route/intersection and it’s dangerous for everyone for many reasons…the least of which are blind spots, inattention and speed. As tempting as it may be, please obey the traffic signals here, folks!

    4. Robert Goodman says:

      The speed of traffic coming off the highway is likely to be zero to 5 MPH going through that intersection since there is a light facing the exit. When the exit lane to 95th Street has a green light the speed might be 30MPH if there is little exiting traffic but is probably less than that since no one sensible is going to take that turn around the exit ramp at more than 30 MPH.

    5. w. neff says:

      Nelson’s right. I am a cyclist and a driver and I can attest to the dangerous nature of the Henry Hudson exit. Many motorists run red lights, block the box, etc. (not quite as bad as 79th street, though, where sometimes you can’t even make the light due to the blocking). Also, drivers coming off of the inner lane (east of Joan of Arc island) can be very difficult to spot and often abruptly jump over to the left lane to make it uptown at the next split. It’s not a great design.

      Cyclists coming south on Riverside have the benefit of the downhill section north of 97th street, so the speed is high (over 25mph). It’s the same going north, as 95th is in a depression of sorts, though it’s not as fast as the south-bound route. Speed, traffic, unpredictable moves, all add up. For what it’s worth, the city put in some large LED signs telling motorists and cyclists to yield to pedestrians.

    6. Scott says:

      So it was the cyclist’s fault. Not much to say except if you zip around on your bike at night in the wrong lanes and try to outrun SUVs, you will lose.

      That RSD service road does need to be renamed. How about Riverside Terrace?

    7. naro says:

      Please remember that drivers in cars do not see bikes so easily at 9pm. Did the driver have a reflecting shirt or lights on her bike? It is doubly dangerous to ride bicycles at night. don’t do it.

      • Zulu says:

        It’s also dangerous to walk at night, don’t do it.

      • Tyson White says:

        Not relevant. If your vision at night is poor, don’t drive at night. Or get better lights. Your vehicle, your responsibility. If you absolutely must drive after dark, drive 10-15 MPH slower than you do in the daytime.

    8. robert says:

      I go through this intersection at least twice a day to walk my dog in the park.
      First of all, will ALL of the runners and bikers do some simple things. Take your headphones out when you cross,get off the phone, wear bright and/or reflective clothing, espically at night. But MOST importantly if it says Don’t Walk don’t, almost every night someone jogs/walks/bikes right across the off ramp without looking at the light. They take a quick look and step out, as the cars are comming up a rise you can not always see them untill the last minute.
      Pepole headed to and from the park seem to think that don’t walk means just run across the street thats a good way to get hit by a car that has the right of way.It
      kills me when i see parents do this yapping on their cell, pushing a stroller with a few more little ones in toe. Even when ped’s at that intersection have the green remenber so do cars and they may turn across your path. Which is legal by the way.

      The main thing here is ped’s, & bikers need to pay much more attn to what they do, its not just on drivers.

      • Sprinkles says:

        No, it’s NOT legal for a car to turn into your path when you have the walk signal. That’s a violation of the right of way, and it’s one of the leading causes of pedestrian injuries and deaths.

        Cars must always yield to pedestrians when they have the walk signal, even if the car has a green light! End of story.

        • robert says:

          yes they have to yeild the right of way to a ped, but unless it is post “no turns” at an intersection they are allowed.
          As an example to at any intersection on the UWS. The light turns green for peds and cars going east, a car them comes into the intersection going east and makes a north or south bound turn both of which are legal.

          • DMH says:

            This is definitely illegal (turning through a crosswalk without yielding to the pedestrians who have the right of way) and NYPD should be vigorously enforcing it. I don’t know of any drivers who’ve been injured by yielding, but this is how Jean Chambers, Cooper Stock, and Moshe Grun died. The failure to see and enforce this carries a terrible cost, in loss of life.

    9. 9d8b7988045e4953a882 says:

      This has been a dangerous intersection for as long as I can remember. Motorists speed off the highway trying to beat the light, oblivious to the fact that it is a residential area with lots of pedestrians, runners, and cyclists. The city should put traffic-calming measures in place here including red light cameras. The NYPD should start aggressively ticketing out-of-control motorists.

      I hope that this cyclist is OK and wish him a speedy recovery.

      • uws resider says:

        The other issue is the confusing traffic pattern for drivers. The right lane coming off the WSH is right turn only. But, not everyone knows or cares. So, you get cars in the left lane going straight up 95th, while cars from the right lane cut in. Somehow, that behavior needs to be stopped – it creates aggressiveness, congestion, and confusion. Add in a cyclist going the wrong way at night, and it’s a recipe for an accident.

        • Cato says:

          There are clear signs that the right lane is right-turn-only, and that the left lane is left-turn or straight-ahead. They are well in advance of the end of the off-ramp — if only people looked. They just don’t.

          I wouldn’t object to putting up even more signs, but they won’t do any good. The doofusses making a left from the right lane, or a right from the left lane, don’t care about the signs and will do whatever they want from wherever they happen to find themselves. Get out of my way!!

          Of course, if cars turning right put on their right-turn signals (*before* they started the turn), the cars behind them might get an additional cue that they were in a right-turn lane. But since no one uses turn signals anymore, at least in advance of making a turn, this too won’t help.

          This is yet another instance where posting a police officer at the intersection, for just a day or two, to ticket the idiots who do whatever they want might send the right message. But police don’t do that anymore.

          • Josh says:

            NYPD was vigorously enforcing the right turn rule for a while over the past few years. At one point, an officer pulled a woman over for going straight through the right turn lane and she complain she didn’t know. The officer responded that there were 7 different signs coming up the off ramp that said right turn only.

      • DMH says:

        +1, Well said.

    10. Independent says:

      Was that photo of the victim lying on the street really necessary?

      Do you think she would appreciate it?

      • Upper West Side Wally says:

        No, but, as a taxpayer, I don’t appreciate sharing in the cost for her utter stupidity. Accidents happen, but biking against the flow of traffic through a red (pedestrian) light at night?

    11. Chris says:

      This is why cyclist need to carry insurance just like automobile policy’s, to cover themselves and to cover the damage or injuries they cause to others.
      Just crossed West 96th and CPW this morning and three bikes flew threw red light and almost took out several pedestrians in cross walk.

      • Tyson White says:

        Should pedestrians carry insurance too? There are over 12,000 pedestrians struck by vehicles each year citywide.

        Those who bring the element of lethal danger to the road are the ones who need to be insured.

    12. Harriet says:

      This is a sad tragedy, and I know that section of 95th and 96th Sts. is a disaster.

      That said, yesterday I watched a cyclist without a helmet ride up Broadway, weaving in and out among the taxis WHILE READING SOMETHING ON HIS PHONE !!!

      What ever happened to bicycle safety we were all taught as children?

    13. JL says:

      Re: #8 Robert.
      >Which is legal by the way.

      Even tho this happens regularly and with fatal results. It is ILLEGAL to turn into a crosswalk with people crossing when drivers have green. Its just that the NYPD are refusing to hold drivers accountable when they run people over.

    14. IF says:

      Not having been there and going solely off of GerryK’s account, I’m finding it hard to feel sorry for this reckless biker. I’ll be the first person to say that cars zip way too fast off of the highway and drive much too aggressively everywhere in this city BUT the same can be said for these bicyclist who don’t obey traffic signals and ride on the wrong side of the street. They are not only endangering themselves, but pedestrians in their path. Yes, I agree there should be changes to the flow of traffic at this intersection, but let’s face it, if the biker was stopped at the red light like the cars on Riverside, he probably wouldn’t have been hit.

      • AJ says:

        “As do other regular cyclists, I too head over to the uptown lane heading southbound to turn onto 95 St. because to try to make that turn the legal way from the middle of Riverside Dr. is simply too dangerous – motorists are in highway mode and simply run you off the road, and police officers staking out that dangerous intersection for traffic infractions never seem to take an interest (I say this based on 30 years of passing through that intersection on a nearly daily basis). ”

        I take major issue with the “reckless” label. It literally means “without thinking” whereas the above seems the product of decades of thought and experience. The chasm between being reckless and being pragmatic could not be larger. With that said, when thoughtful and pragmatic behavior lessens but still ultimately leads to danger, things like this will happen and can literally rob the victim of their ability to think. We thankfully cannot do the same by simply labeling them reckless.

    15. HG_NYC says:

      This is the most dangerous part of my daily commute. Everything emphasized in this article points to the aggressive cars exiting the HHP at highway speed.
      There is little or no NYPD enforcement of the 25mph speed limit on Riverside Dr. Also I fear for my life riding southbound between 120st and 95th st in the AM and northbound in the evening due to cars buzzing me within inches from my body. This overly aggressive and reckless driving is never enforced by the NYPD.
      I’d love to see a sweep to enforce the existing rulees on Riverside Drive, particularly during rush hour traffic to and from the GWB.

      • Matt H says:

        If RSD is busy, and it often is in the peak-commute direction, I always route down into Riverside Park instead.

      • Josh says:

        I actually saw two officers with CTTB on their car staking out the 97 and RSD intersection with a radar gun. They pulled over a bike who slowed and safely passed a red light and an SUV speeding southbound. Then they left, not sure how long they were there before.

    16. Jeremy says:

      As any pedestrian in that area can tell you, cyclists are typically looking to go through that intersection as fast as possible regardless of the color of the traffic light in order to make it easier to take the hill after the intersection. Although this cyclist doesn’t look like a Strada weirdo, I’ve got to imagine the calculus works similarly for most cyclists.

      It’s a legitimately frightening intersection for cyclist vs. pedestrian interaction, made even more challenging due to the relatively blind curve coming southbound. Of course, when I’m wrapped up in two tons of Monsoon Gray steel and aluminum, it doesn’t feel nearly as dangerous.

      • Josh says:

        I can’t honestly say, in all of the years I have been going through that intersection, I have ever seen a cyclist go through the light at that intersection. Of course, I’ve seen it over and over again at the other intersections around, but that particular intersection I’ve always seen a cyclist stop for the light. However, after they’ve stopped when there was nobody coming up, that’s a different story.

        • Josh says:

          Just to clarify, I am referring to northbound or southbound on Riverside Drive. Not crossing Riverside Drive.

    17. Rob says:

      This crash has larger causes that need to be addressed. A few suggestions for this intersection, Riverside Drive, and the City:

      (1) This intersection needs a serious reorganization. Redesign the intersection to meet Dutch standards. This should be an intersection with better crosswalks, protected bike lanes, separate pedestrian and bicycle phases on the traffic signals, and an all-stop for pedestrians and bicyclists so the cars can move through off the highway exit. I’ve seen cars trying to make a right off the highway play chicken with people pushing strollers.

      (2) Re-imagine Riverside Drive. Protected bike lanes for Riverside Drive, because it is still just a speedway for cars. Time the lights for prudent cyclist, and the speeding will go away. Add big pedestrian island at the crosswalks.

      (3) Make transit cheaper and more convenient than driving into Manhattan. Most people in Westchester drive into the City on the HH Pkwy, and park on-street for free. Ridiculously, driving is cheaper than taking MetroNorth! Support the MOVE-NY Plan to make tolls smarter. And start putting a price on all that on-street parking.

      • Jeremy says:

        Um, hello. I clicked over to that MoveNY plan (tl;dr – lots of new taxes on taxis, ubers, truck deliveries, etc). The plan would reduce the tolls on the two bridges that are most likely to feed into the UWS – GWB and HH. It actually, actively seeks to disburse traffic from CBD into our neighborhood. So, no thanks.

      • Matt H says:

        Nobody else here has mentioned my unfavorite pet peeve at this intersection: cars on southbound RSD making the left onto 95th street by gunning their engine the moment the light changes and darting across before any oncoming traffic makes it across. Boston- or Pittsburgh- style.

        I’m trying to imagine what would be effective as an isolated redesign of this intersection. There’s likely enough space for a traffic circle here, actually. That would actually be pretty cool; control access to the traffic circle with lights, which would allow traffic from all directions access to the intersection on one cycle, don’t walk signs in all others. Then switch over and give everyone walk signs while traffic stops. Cyclists could be allowed to proceed into the circle in either part of the cycle, though they’d have to yield to traffic already in the circle in the auto cycle, and only with caution in the ped part.

        If the light detects that there’s a backup off the highway that exceeds the backup on RSD either direction, it could selectively allow only south-, east-, or northbound traffic through.

        This’d also allow shrinking the lanes on the 95th-97th street bridge down to one lane in each direction; there’s no reason for the extra width when RSD above and below is 1 lane.

      • Ira says:

        Um, Jeremy, how about listening instead of talking? 1. Move-NY is just one of three points made by Rob. 2. Yes. It lowers the cost of a bridge that potentially feeds the UWS, but if you make mass transit more affordable you might not have that many people on the bridge. Let’s see what happens. 3. Anyone destined for the CBD is not coming to the UWS.

    18. JL says:

      It’s not that complicated folks. It used to worst when cars can get ON the hh Pkwy from RSD. I never had to bike up 95th from there. If you’re going to do something unexpected/illegal by riding south on the northbound side. It is on YOU to not impede northbound car/bike/skate.. by yielding/slowing/ducking…
      You have good sightlines for traffic coming off the Hwy from the far side and plenty of time to react. But you have to look/be aware when you’re doing something unexpected. The dangerous spot is at the crosswalk for eastbound Peds crossing with a walk light unaware.

    19. robert says:

      It appears the biker casue the acident and was at falut for it.

      Witnesses and the driver of the vehicle state the the bicyclist did disregard a steady red light when he struck the vehicle.

      Pls note the car didnot hit the biker, the bike hit the car.

    20. robert says:

      Sorry hit send to early # 18 should be…..

      It appears the biker caused the accident and was at fault for it.

      Witnesses and the driver of the vehicle state the the bicyclist did disregard a steady red light when he struck the vehicle.

      Pls note the car did not hit the biker, the bike hit the car.

    21. Arlene Zivitz says:

      I was walking on Madison , in the 70`s & a messenger on a bike was laying in the street , obviously injured . A woman came out of a restaurant & said , ” Oh what did I miss ? !! “

    22. ronald m hoffman says:

      I am a cyclist, pedestrian and a driver. Each one of these modes of transportation can be potentially dangerous, however it is about time that NYC citizens take responsibility for their actions. Cyclists and pedestrians blatantly ignore all laws that pertain to them which puts themselves and others, including drivers at risk. I was struck by a cyclist going the wrong way at night, had no light and I was knocked to the avenue. The EMS never showed up nor the police. The result is a severely damaged shoulder.

      All citizens need to take responsibility for their actions and they should be ticketed and this includes walkers and cyclists.

    23. Amelia K says:

      I a truly sorry when anyone gets hurt but until the city begins to enforce rules regarding cyclists this will happen over and over again. Driving in NYC has become like the Wild West with the bicyclists and the pedestrians who obey no traffic rules!!! I was almost run over today on my way home from work by a cyclist riding at top speed up Broadway going right through a red light at breakneck speed! Where are the police?

    24. cynthia says:

      Yesterday morning I was crossing RSD on the north side of the intersection at 79th street. It is illegal there for cars coming off the West Side Highway to make a left turn. But a car did make the left turn and refused to yield to me, when I was in the crosswalk with a walk signal and help up my hand as a signal for him to stop.

    25. Tyson White says:

      It’s a dangerous intersection whether or not you’re obeying the laws. Needs a makeover desperately.

      P.S. Riverside Drive is a state bicycle route.

    26. Ralph says:

      That is the worst intersection! It’s nearly impossible to cross the street safely there. When the cars coming off the highway have the red, the cars on Riverside have the green, and vice versa. Why not just ban pedestrianism? Make walking a crime so the cars never have to slow down.

    27. Toze says:

      All these anti driver comments… The bicyclist hit the car!!! Also, I’ve been hit by careless bicyclists more times than a car.