A young tree planted in a pedestrian island next to the bike lane on Columbus Avenue and 93rd Street was mowed down by a motorist. Kimberly Hicks took the photo above on Monday morning.

We’re still collecting info on what happened. If you saw it, let us know.

NEWS | 42 comments | permalink
    1. Sean says:

      I saw a Jersey driver ride right over one in the West 70s.

    2. ScooterStan says:

      GASP !!

      Izzat an OUT-OF-STATE plate on that car?1?!

      Boooo! Hiss! Learn to drive in N’yawk or stay home, shmo!

    3. jj123 says:

      maybe it was a uber driver falling asleep at the wheel

    4. MD says:

      Cars and guns are such a plague in this city.

    5. Marci says:

      The scariest is when out-of-town drivers don’t realize they have a red light when making a left from Broadway. They often make that turn fast and then freak out when they see pedestrians. I had a woman who had to slam on her brakes when she finally noticed me and then began screaming expletives at me “whaddya doing in the middle of the street, you a**hole!” I told her she didn’t have the light and that set her off even further. “Excuuuuuse me; I had the green light.” I tried to explain it to her but she didn’t want to hear it.

      • Woody says:

        Vehicles don’t have to stop at the median when making left turns off Broadway unless it is posted “Stop Here on Red” like it does on Park Avenue at certain intersections. It’s the same as making a left turn on a regular 2-way street without a median.

        Where are you crossing that a driver didn’t see you? It sounds like you walking in a north-south direction between the medians. That’s not a crosswalk.

        • Zulu says:


          You’re too quick to shift the blame on Marci. It is true that drivers can make a left on Broadway w/o stopping. However, they are required to yield to pedestrians which also have the signal. I see drivers paying more attention to oncoming traffic(to their right)than to the pedestrians on the crosswalk (to their front). By the time the driver approaches the crosswalk, surprise there’s someone right in front of their car.

          The left turn is lawfully permitted but as a driver you really have to be EXTRA cautious because pedestrians also have the signal to cross at the same time. Needless to say, a pedestrian with a walking signal ALWAYS has the right of way.

          • Woody says:

            A driver has a green light longer than than a pedestrian has a Walk signal. That extra time is when a driver has the exclusive right to proceed through an intersection and turn. Pedestrians need to abide by the law, too, and not start crossing when their signal has changed to Don’t Walk.

            • Josh says:

              Starting in December, the only time a driver will have an exclusive right to turn is if there is a green arrow. Pedestrians will have the right of way throughout the walk and flashing don’t walk time frames. Legally and figuratively.

            • dannyboy says:

              just gotta’ make it to December

      • Anon says:

        Since the median on Broadway is generally less than 30 ft wide drivers can complete the left turn unless otherwise noted. The have to yield to pedestrians but if nobody is crossing the street the cars can go. See the second question in the Times link

      • Anne says:

        Actually drivers can turn left at Broadway without stopping if the median is less than 30 feet wide (which it is in most places) and if there’s no “Stop Here on Red” sign (which there aren’t at most intersections). That being said it seems MUCH safer if people stop rather than proceeding with the left turn. I, too, have almost been mowed down by a person trying to make a quick left in front of traffic. Seems like it should be very clearly prohibited at each intersection.

    6. drg says:

      It is NOT illegal to continue past the median on Broadway making a turn, even though the new direction has a ‘red’ light.

      NYC law requires to stop only if the median is 30 feet wide or more… not the case for Broadway medians.

      The key is making the turn “safely”.

      You may think this is ridiculous and dangerous…but it IS the current NYC traffic law. Look it up, as I just did.

    7. Eric says:

      Saw a local elderly gentleman go airborne onto one at 90th and Amsterdam just days after it was installed. Chasis came to rest square on top and he couldn’t go forward or back.

    8. Big Earl says:

      This pretty much sums up why I still stand on the sidewalk while waiting for a light. Others prefer to stand in the island and wait for the light. Just a matter of time before someone gets run over.

    9. Nadia says:

      From what I could see when I walked by this morning, the car hit a stanchion. Otherwise it would have been on the sidewalk.

    10. Jerry says:

      This is why the bike lanes don’t work. I see more cyclists who don’t use them many times more than those who do use them. Cutting down on vehicle lanes by one half (only 2 lanes of traffic with one lane used by trucks and taxis to load and unload) does not make the roads any safer, it just makes drivers more agitated and wreckless to get to their destination. I saw a cyclist ( a regular person – not a delivery person) on Madison Avenue drive down the center of the road on a weekday while two cops in a police vehicle and another cop stood watching while the cyclist went through a red light. I said to the cops “aren’t you going to go after him?” and the cops looked at me as if I were insane. This is NYC, not Amsterdam or any other European city and never will be, so don’t try to make the comparison or ey it could work here. I would love to ride a bike to work, but I feel safer in the park, or I’d do it in a gym.

      • josh says:

        What basis do you have to say that? Totally false. There is no question that on Amsterdam, Columbus and CPW, the overwhelming majority of cyclists use the bike lanes. True, some use them the wrong way, but they still use them. The Amsterdam Ave lane is undoubtedly a huge success, given the amount of cyclist traffic it gets.

      • Woody says:

        With the right pedestrian and vehicle attitude adjustment, there’s no reason NYC can’t be more like Amsterdam and any other European city. It’s already changed immensely in that direction with plenty of cyclists enjoying that they can safely share the road as they’re entitled to.

        People like you are stuck in neutral by denying that bicycles are legitimate transportation vehicles whose use should be embraced and not discouraged. You’re going to lose that battle if all you can offer is the repetitious diatribe about the reduced number of traffic lanes and double-parked trucks.

        • Jerry says:

          Gee Woody, didn’t I ask that you not make the comparison of NYC to European cities? I guess you want to ride your bike wearing wooden shoes…

          But seriously, I do believe the bikes can be a legitimate form of transportation, and that will happen when all cyclists use the bike lanes, and police ticket those who don’t follow the rules of the road. As a comparison, it’s a rarity to see a car travel the wrong way down a one way street, but I see cyclists do it all the time.

          And to Josh, I saw two cyclists breeze through the intersection of Columbus and West 72nd when they no longer had the traffic light in their favor (it was way after it turned red – they totally disregarded the signal). So please don’t tell me that I have no basis.

          • RK says:

            Have you ever jaywalked? That’s against the law too, and ticketable. If you run in front of cars against the light and caused a problem, you should probably get a ticket. But crossing against the light when there’s no traffic? C’mon. Bikes aren’t cars.

      • Sunny says:

        Totally agree, Jerry. I am so bloody sick of these damned bicyclists. I see more of them going against traffic, up and onto sidewalks, criss-crossing each other … even though the city has carved up the streets to give them their own lanes. Despise them. NYC is NOT Amsterdam, et al., and never will be. New Yorkers go against the grain and cross the grain. They don’t even go up and down subway stairs the correct way. They just do it as they please.

        This whole bicycle-i-zation of the city has made walking normally on sidewalks and waiting to cross a street a dangerous obstacle course.

    11. Jimbo says:

      That’s one way to get rid of those dumb bike things.

    12. Joanne says:

      These “pedestrian islands ” are absurd. Isn’t that what a sidewalk is supposed to be? The new traffic patterns on Amsterdam and Columbus, especially the former, are catastrophic: tremendous traffic jams, increased pedestrian dangers, and bikers going in both directions in designated lanes.

      • Woody says:

        It’s irrelevant which direction bikers are going when pedestrians shouldn’t be walking in or jaywalking the bike lane. Bike lanes are bi-directional in many parts of the world and pedestrians manage to live with them by respecting their existence.

      • Nathan says:

        I live between Amsterdam and Columbus and have yet to witness one of these “tremendous” traffic jams.

    13. T says:

      A woman had a medical incident and was taken away by ambulance.

    14. Jimbo says:

      Yea bike things–someone got paid off big time for that whole idea.

      • Margaret says:

        Neighborhood residents spent years asking for them. They’re undeniably in use and make the street safer.

        I urge you to ride a bike up Broadway, down Columbus, up Amsterdam, and down West End to see what cycling feels like to neighborhood residents with and without a bike lane.

    15. Paul Arents says:

      Is that a Pennsylvania plate?
      Last week a SUV with Pennsylvania decided to turn onto 103rd Street from West End Avenue even though 103 was completely blocked by Con Ed trucks. The SUV drove up on the side walk almost hitting me and a fire alarm box.

    16. Janet Wasserman says:

      Golly, aren’t drivers in Manhattan wonderful? Although the license plate on the car in the photo looks like it could be out of state, still, what a fantastic tree killer that car is. You go, guy … or girl. Stop complaining, people. Can’t you even recognize the results of fantastic traffic planning?

      • Woody says:

        How can you blame traffic planning for someone having a medical incident and running over a traffic island? Without the island, the vehicle would have gone over the curb onto the sidewalk. Traffic islands are not the problem; accidents happen.

        • Zulu says:

          Actually, accidents don’t just happen. In fact there are usually more than one contributing factors that cause an accident. If you remove or lessen one of the contributing factors the accident would not happen.

          In this particular case w/o additional information it would be hard to tell what those factors were. However, statistically speaking the biggest accident inducing factor in automobile accidents is driver behavior, followed by roadway maintenance, roadway design and lastly equipment failure.

          By saying “accidents happen” you diminish the possibility of finding the causes and preventing similar accidents. Also, the proper way of referring to these events is not as an accident but as a collision. This is because the word “accident” tends to imply that it was beyond somebody’s control which is almost never the case.

    17. J.A. says:

      I think motorist was trying to park? Maybe;What do you think?

    18. Lucien says:

      That car was obviously speeding. It also confirms my fear of waiting in the island to walk across a street.

    19. Daryl says:

      used to be a sign at 96 St exit off westside highway that said NO RIGHT ON RED IN NYC … its no longer there so out of town drivers who exit the highway have no way of knowing that NYC doesnt permit what almost every other city does … whose fault is that? i suspect its whoever is in charge of highway signs … maybe add it to the welcome sign: wlecome to NYC please dont make a right on red

      • Stuart says:

        That no right turn on red sign (“You are now entering NYC”) should be posted at the exit of the GW bridge, and both Lincoln and Holland Tunnels

    20. Marci says:

      I had no idea about the 30 foot median law, so thanks to several of you for the education on that. I’m a cautious pedestrian, but knowing this will make me even more careful.