A bicyclist hit a toddler in Riverside Park on Thursday around 6:45 p.m. on the shared path next to the Hudson River near 73rd Street, according to witness Marianne Hettinger, who sent the description below:
“The father, the pregnant mother and the toddler were sitting at a picnic bench right behind me. Then the mother took the child by the hand and they walked down the embankment to the pedestrian/bike path. I watched them for a moment and then I turned back to the book I was reading.
Seconds later I heard a big thud, the sound of impact by the bike hitting the child- I looked and saw the child entangled between the tires under the bike and the male bike rider on the ground as well. The little girl’s father ran down the embankment screaming “oh my God” over and over. He scooped up the child that had the imprints of tire marks on its arm and face.
The face was already badly bruised and swelling up. Horrific. The child was conscious, crying and rather than wait for the ambulance, which the parks department people said could take a while, the parents ran up the hill to hail a cab and rush their daughter to Children’s Hospital.
The bicyclist stayed at the scene and after the parks department people took his info, he kept going.
It was a horrific crash. I did not witness the moment of impact but the child must of gotten away from the mom just a couple of steps. But I saw her entangled under the tires.
I’m hoping to God she will be OK!”
Hettinger says that path is particularly treacherous.
“Sadly, it was only a matter of time. Bicyclists make this route their personal racing track and I’ve witnessed so many close calls but today was horrific… I sure hope the kid is going to be okay and that someone does something about throttling the pace of those bikers or even better- give them another path since pedestrians and bikes doesn’t mix.”
Updates: Capt. Timothy Malin of the 20th precinct says that someone did call 911 about the crash, but that the cyclist and victim were gone when police arrived. “It’s not a Notable spot for collisions,” he wrote in response to a question about whether the spot is particularly dangerous.
Parks Department spokesperson Anessa Hodgson sent the folowing statement;
“NYC Parks can confirm that at approximately 6: 45 p.m. yesterday, PEP officers were flagged down by the father of a 22 month old girl. The father shared that a bicyclist had struck his daughter near the marina. In response, PEP called for the NYPD and an ambulance, however, the parents of the child opted to seek medical attention on their own. The bicyclist did not sustain any physical injuries. All parties involved dispersed.”
Asked whether anyone was found to be at fault she wrote that “Witnesses on scene shared that the toddler jutted out suddenly. There is no additional information to share.”
That spot in particular is so dangerous. Cyclists go way too fast around that turn and there’s a lot of foot traffic. I’ve seen so many close calls there and had a handful myself.
This is a shared-use path so cyclists and pedestrians have equal responsibilities to be cautious not to use it in a way that could harm the other type of user.
But that also means that pedestrians need to stop interfering with cyclists’ safe use of dedicated bike lanes/paths by walking in them.
Must beg to differ. Bikers do not have control of the road -even in their own ‘designated lanes’. The LAW clearly states Bicylists are to YIELD to Pedestrians AT ALL TIMES. That is the Law and the Sign(s) says so. Full stop. Hope you hell on wheels guys got that. So, no. Of course, we all are conditioned look before we make any move as self preservation. And still there are close calls. But our fellow citizens on wheels have 100% responsibility for their movement in relation to us walking about. This ‘shared-use’ path myth is liability warning to all you cyclists: you are not kings of the road. You hit my kid, my lawyer will stop gap any misconceptions -that’s mayb after I take your bike and toss it into the river (and maybe you along with it). Basta. Last, this issue is degenerating into BS. Our inner Riverside Park walkways should be ONLY for family biking a/o kids on their bikes. Not the Tour de France crowd. Basta. If the speed bikers want to race it up they can simply do so on the HHParkway with the other traffic and not endanger people. Peace.
The law is clear that cyclists do have the right of way in a designated bicycle lane or in a vehicular travel lane. The law is clear that all vehicles, bicycles included, must yield the right of way to pedestrians who have the right of way, but this has limitations. A pedestrian has the right of way when crossing a street at the intersection, in the crosswalk, with the light or at the direction of a pedestrian control device (walk signal). Outside of this, vehicle operators, including cyclists, must exercise due care, which means that, when operating their vehicles lawfully, such as within speed limits (no, cyclists can almost never actually break the 25mph speed limit), the vehicle operator must do everything in their power to avoid a collision with a pedestrian, even one jaywalking. This includes braking and/or swerving. However, a jaywalking pedestrian would be at fault if the cyclist attempted to exercise due care, such as turns out to be the case with the woman who was killed by the cyclist in Central Park (2014). On a path such as this one, however, the law is clear that a cyclist must yield to pedestrians at all times. In the case of a pedestrian stepping into the path of a cyclist, it is not always possible to yield, and due care would be the rule. Even with the most care, it is not always possible to avoid a collision. This is why pedestrians also have a responsibility to be aware of their surroundings and, for example, not suddenly change directions without looking. When I ride through that area, I always assume that a child on the side will run out and slow at when I see one. When I am with my child there, he is always holding my hand while on the path. Everyone has responsibilities for safety. Some have more responsibilities than others.
Wrong. Totally wrong.
Cyclists need routes to ride, and pedestrians need places to walk. Shared paths are a tricky situation, particularly when they are crowded. Add people walking dogs into the mix (myself among them), and the calculus gets even more complex.
But cyclists bear the greater responsibility to conduct themselves safely and cautiously, because a piece of aluminimum, titanium, or carbon traveling at high velocity can inflict greater bodily harm to pedestrians. Likewise, motorists bear greater responsibility toward cyclists and pedestrians.
Until the city can expand paths to have separate pedestrian and cyclists lanes, wherever cyclists and pedestrians are forced to share confined tight spaces, cyclists should be required to dismount and walk.
I agree – it’s so unfair to have to be frightened to have our children and senior citizens in danger. Shared park paths should be abolished.
True. In traffic laws, vehicles have to yield to pedestrians!
Excellent comment! Thank you.
No one party has more responsibility than another – everyone needs to be equally cautious.
Your citing the materials a bike is made of makes it sound like a cyclist is riding in a tank. Those materials mean nothing when a cyclist crashes and falls because of a negligent pedestrian. A cyclist can suffer more injuries than a pedestrian in some cases so it’s not so cut-and-dry.
Where is the outrage at skateboarders and scooters that ply both the shared and dedicated paths? Or the dog walkers that handle 6-8 dogs at a time congesting sidewalks and paths?
Pedestrians in this city don’t give a s^^t about anyone else and feel entitled to do as they please without regard to anyone else’s interests.
I think it’s more the speed in which they are able to travel opposed to a pedestrian more than what they are made of, although metal colliding with flesh is a something to take in consideration. It is the responsibility of both but I think a cyclist has an added responsibility because of the speed and what they are made of.
Woody, stop the nonsense. . It is obvious that bicyclists have more responsibility.
On semi-related thought – who thought it is a great idea to have a very narrow bike path that is next to a park hill? A few years back my adult friend almost got hit because she didn’t even realize there’s a bike path right next to the picnic area.
The path needs to be dedicated either to the bikers or pedestrians. If bikers, if needs to be fenced.
Why do cyclists have more responsibility? Who actually causes more accidents? Are they or the pedestrian more likely to be injured in an accident? You’ve obviously studied this issue extensively and have a lot of info to share.
Woody, no offense but REALLY?!
I’m gonna go out on a limb here and guess that you weren’t on the debate team back in the day.:) Just kidding…but clearly your emotions here as a bicyclist are clouding your logic and reasoning.
Vehicles clearly have (and always have) had a heightened level of duty and therefore responsibility on roads, paths, streets, sidewalks, lanes, highways, and whatever else you can come up with.
Anyway, the clear winner of this argument is “Safety First”. You’re welcome.
Except that no one here knows at what speed the cyclist was going at the time he hit the toddler or the circumstances of why the toddler ended up in the cyclist’s path.The cyclist could have been going a reasonable 5-8 MPH and still cause considerable injury if the toddler was running straight at him. Speed is not always the issue.
Oh please. Bickers don’t give a crap either. Everyday I see bikers blowing through crosswalks when they have the red light. And there is no need to be biking at high speeds on a shared path. If you choose to bike during a busy time of day, you should bike slowly. End of story. Feeling it’s your right to bike like your lance armstrong makes you a complete jerk.
“Choosing to bike at a busy time of the day” is called commuting to work.
Justifying bad behavior by referring to others’ bad behavior is irrational. Just because bikers don’t give a crap doesn’t excuse pedestrians from acting responsibly. I’m not talking about just this terrible situation but pedestrians in general. Get on a bike and experience the frustration of navigating the streets and BIKE paths. You’ll change your tune quickly when others flout laws that pertain to them and force you to adapt to their bad behavior.
“Pedestrians in this city don’t give a s^^t about anyone else and feel entitled to do as they please”
I will make that point to my wife who was put in the hospital by a cyclist who breezed through a red light on Broadway while she crossed (with the light) in the crosswalk.
Sorry about your wife but using one personal example still doesn’t excuse the ‘laws don’t apply to me’ philosophy of pedestrians. As another poster writes further down “New Yorkers have a don’t tell me what to do attitude.” If you want bikers to strictly follow the laws, don’t yell at them to do it while jaywalking, walking in the bike paths, and standing in the street while waiting to cross.
When you deflected blame to: “skateboarders and scooters that ply both the shared and dedicated paths? Or the dog walkers that handle 6-8 dogs at a time congesting sidewalks and paths? I was shocked, but you got even more outrageous with”
“Pedestrians in this city don’t give a s^^t about anyone else and feel entitled to do as they please without regard to anyone else’s interests.”
…That was a toddler.
Yeah these shared paths are just a ridiculous idea. Physically separate the bike path from the pedestrian path somehow, or it’s useless.
You should see the hords of cyclists coming down riverside @ 96/97 st. A lot barely slow down or stop.
Yes give the bikes their own two way path with lanes like down by the water. This will happen again with so many toddlers and dogs around.
Your lobbying for dedicated two-way bike lanes on this injured toddler?
That didn’t take long. Guess you can’t let a tragedy go unused.
It is not the first time. A couple of years ago a three-year-old was knocked off her feet by a cyclist on that sidewalk. The cyclist got off her bike and said “Oh my god, oh, my god, I didn’t see her, I am so sorry . . .” then got back on her bike and rode away.She left the parents and onlookers to deal with the aftermath. I think I heard later that the child survived.
That happened about a mile up the path from this instance. And I seem to remember that the cyclist stuck around until the police arrived. I also seem to remember that the parents were not adequately supervising the child. Sitting next to a playing child while staring at your smartphone is not adequate supervision. Not that I am saying this was the case at the time, but rather what I see constantly while watching my own kid playing in the park.
I have stopped riding my bicycle in the parks due to the inconsiderate nature of racing cyclists that have no business riding in a city but belong on an open road. Changes must be made to accommodate those of us who ride slowly and navigate pedestrians carefully.
These paths have to be shared. That means people have to watch out for each other. Parents need to watch their kids – but no one can prevent every “escape”. Bicyclists need to assume there will be people on the path and ride at a reasonable speed. We are all human, which means we are going to do stupid things and we need to plan and act accordingly.
No they do not. Legal and common law Liability rests 100% with bikers who must yield to non bikers. No gray area exists. Read my reply above. We need to get rid of Tour de France yoyos. And redesignate lanes on the highways if necessary. And good luck to them and with that. It’s ridiculous and a hazard. Kid’s lucky to be alive and that biker lucky not to have been thrown into the river. Have safe holiday.
When will the spaghetti spined “liberal” NYC politicians finally have the courage to demand the NYPD take a vigorous enforcement position against the self centered, entitled rogue bikers that have become the primary threat to the safety of pedestrians in this city? Me thinks never.
I once saw a bicylist get a ticket for running a red light…one time.
I’ve never seen a driver get a ticket for running a red light and I see at least one per day run the light.
I’ve never seen a pedestrian getting a ticket for walking through the red light, even though I see that about a million times a day.
Sure, let’s direct NYPD resources from dealing gun shots and terrorism to watch ill-conceived plan of shares 2 millimeter paths.
Well GrumpyOldMan, I have to agree with you that cyclists that blatantly ignore traffic rules are annoying, but to name cyclists as the main threat to pedestrian safety is I guess ridiculous. I cannot imagine that cyclists cause much more damage to pedestrians than cars.
What deflection? I’m stating that what he says is not true, even acknowledging that cyclists disobeying rules are annoying. So I don’t get your point.
Dannyboy, I can understand your comments if it came out of nowhere. However, he was just directly addressing a comment that was said. While some people definitely deflect out of reflex, this case was not a reflection but in direct relation to the specific point made in the comment above.
My point Arjan, is that your comment that cars are more dangerous than bikes in an article about a “Cyclist Runs Over Toddler on Riverside Park Path” serves to take the attention away from cyclists and towards motorists.
It diminishes and obscures “Cyclist Runs Over Toddler on Riverside Park Path”. That’s the deflection.
It’s inevitable something like this would happen.
I run in this area on a weekly basis. Most cyclists are courteous but some are reckless and ride dangerously fast.
I run to the far right to avoid cyclists but there have been several times where I narrowly avoided getting hit by a speeding cyclist.
Anyway, I wish the toddler well. This incident should be investigated by the police.
That is a super dangerous spot. There is also a lot of dirt washed off from the “grassy” area by the path which makes it even worse.
At one point last year there were talks about redirecting the bike lane by the dog park and eliminating this dangerous confluence of pedestrians and cyclists. It’s way overdue.
I don’t know what happened in this specific situation, but in general, the “fault” here likely resides with both sides. That stretch is always very crowded and bike riders should not be going much faster than someone who is briskly walking. Mixed use areas, particularly this one, are for Sunday drivers, not Tour de France hopefuls.
At the same time, pedestrians need to be considerate. Parents should keep children at arm’s length (if not closer), people should not walk more than two across, and pedestrians should not stop in the middle of the area to text, wipe their child’s nose, or ponder the meaning of life – step to the side.
But most importantly, I hope that the child is OK.
kinda’ borders on victim-blaming.
and the victim’s a toddler.
I am the parent of two young children. I do my best to keep them within reach. In a busy area like that, I would not let them go, even if there were no cyclists around. It is irresponsible.
All pedestrians on sidewalks should move in a predictable and orderly fashion, as should cars, bikes, etc. Young children are not capable of doing this. Would you feel differently if heaven forbid the child ran in the middle of Broadway and was hit by a car going below the speed limit?
I want the children safe, whatever it takes. But none of the reasoning that makes hitting a child of second importance to anything else. I appreciate that you want your and everyone’s children safe, whatever that requires.
I have given up walking on that side of the park because of close calls with cyclist. On the other side of the cafe where there is just supposed to be walkers and no bikes, there are still bikers who ride and there is no park person to ticket them. Also there are inconsiderate bikers who ride up and down the ramp to the cafe even though that too is not supposed to be allowed.
There are no paths in Riverside Park where bikes are presently banned.
Well, I suppose you’re not supposed to ride inside playgrounds or dog parks. But you are imagining rules that do not exist.
No Joan is correct. The ramp down to the river 68th and ends at Pier I says bikers must walk their bikes. It doesn’t stop people from riding it, though.
The whole path in front of Pier I is also a no riding bikes area. It temporarily allowed them when they were fixing the bike path, but now that it’s open, bikes must be walked.
Bicyclists are selfish ***holes who have no consideration for anyone else. You can see this on Rosh HaShananh – crowds gather for the tashlich service at the river, and cyclists keep barreling through.
Perhaps the crowds could be more considerate and not take over the entire path. Being considerate is a two way street.
Thanks for reminding us about the ***holes who gather as a crowd on a path that is intended for people to walk and bike through. Your religious obligations shouldn’t interfere with the rights of others.
Amen. There are plenty of piers and other spaces where one can tashlich without being in the middle of an actively used path. Whatever shul organizes this should be contacted and asked to be more considerate neighbors or they will have one more thing to atone for on Yom Kippur.
Bicyclists are in need of speed enforcement. There needs to be posted speed limitations – like vehicles as they are lethal if going too fast – and mandatory speedometers (they are $15) just as we do for helmets. Police should be located in the parks (Central, Riverside, Prospect) with a radar gun and pass out tickets to offenders. Revenue stream for the city and increased safety for the public.
My wife and I walk along this same Riverside path and it’s like a game of Frogger. Not cool and we even feel unsafe much of the time.
West88, FYI helmets are not mandatory for adults in NY unless you’re a delivery worker.
On the topic of speed and bikes. Unless the speedometer is installed by the bicycle manufacturer the ticket is not enforceable. For that to happen it would require federal legislation and the odds of that happening are next to nil. Without a speedometer you can’t enforce speeding tickets. This was proven a few years back when the NYPD overreached and issued speeding tickets to cyclists in Central Park. By the end of the week they were apologizing in person to every summons recipient.
The better approach here is to separate the users. As shown by the events shown in this article, pedestrians and bikes don’t mix well.
I really hope the little girl is well. Unfortunately, sometimes it’s the most innocent that pays the consequences.
The dedicated Bike Path under the West Side Highway suddenly becomes a MIXED USE Pedestrian Path AND BIke Path. This occurs at the dangerous curve at 71 Steet and the Hudson River. There should be painted yellow CAUTION LINES here. There should be clearly marked signs or yellow blinking lights here. NONE EXIST. There should be a YELLOW SEPARATION Painted line along the riverfront path running above 72 Street…separating strolling Pedestrians AND Bicycle Riders.
I have proposed these sensible, cost effective safety proposals for years to the Riverside Conservancy, and to uniformed Riverside Park employees, including a top Riverside Park administrator. Sadly, NOTHING has adequately been done. These vital safety concerns have negligently been ignored. Shame on the top brass at Riverside Park for knowing the safety risks…and doing nothing.
Steve, these sound like some good, inexpensive ideas. Try repeatedly contacting Helen Rosenthal and calling 311, however, because just telling workers, even the administrator, would not be effective due to the way the beurocracy works.
Excellent suggestion, to have the speed of cyclists checked! I hope something will be done!
It’s a miracle more people aren’t injured or killed on that stretch. It’s a recipe for disaster.
Most of the bikers seem totally unconcerned about the safety of the pedestrians and use the path as their personal race-track– especially those who are suited up in spandex and pedaling furiously at top speed.
Same thing goes for Central Park, though at least there’s a bit more room to jump out of the way there if you happen to see them coming.
It always amazes me how self-absorbed and brainless people can be.
Pedestrians, especially those with kids need to keep their wits about them every second, but the ultimate responsibility rests with the bikers since they’re the ones speeding through a crowd.
Also– I’ve witnessed situations along that stretch that called for emergency medical aid and there doesn’t seem to be a system set up for getting help down there in terms of physical access.
Really hope the kid is OK.
There was a proposal made a couple of years ago by the Parks Department to make the Riverside Park esplanade “pedestrian only” from 72nd to 83rd street. I’m sure the bikers were against it because there’s a small section of road with a steep incline. Big deal, you can handle the incline. The project had also received funding, yet nothing ever happened. Perhaps the community board shot it down. This could have prevented this tragic accident. And to those that feel all these pedestrian walk ways need to be shared, get your head examined.
There was a proposal made a couple of years ago by the Parks Department to make the Riverside Park esplanade “pedestrian only” from 72nd to 83rd street. I’m sure the bikers were against it because there’s a small section of road with a steep incline. Big deal, you can handle the incline. The project had also received funding, yet nothing ever happened. Perhaps the community board shot it down. This could have prevented this tragic accident.
Thanks for letting us know about that proposal, Vince! Great comment. How many badly injured people will it take to enforce a ‘go slow’ Bicycle zone! The signs they put up don’t do anything!
This doesn’t come as a surprise at all. Bikers have long felt free to move along the path at extravagant speed. I’m only surprised that an accident hasn’t happened sooner. It surely makes for a high-anxiety walk, never knowing when the next careless biker will come crashing into one of us pedestrians–children, young and older adults. It’s way past time to set firm rules and hold fast to them!
I speak as a commuter biker who often uses this route, though I don’t take it nearly as much in the evening because of how crowded it is.
Every biker should know you can’t go fast on this stretch- this isn’t the tour de france it’s a shared path.
The “spandex mafia” gives all other bikers a bad name.
I nearly got hit by a bicyclist a few weeks ago in that same area. I was just about to sit down on a bench when a cyclist came by me, then shouted at me, “Dick head!,” as if I were to blame. My puerile response was to shout back at him, “You’re a dick head.” So much for civility.
I’ve been called worse for not jumping out of the way of cyclists quick enough, even when I was on the right side of that path. I’ve been hit 3 times in 5 years (granted only twice on that particular path) and now I stay on the hills instead of the walkways.
I often wonder if it will take a serious injury or death before this is taken seriously. What a horrible thing to happen to a toddler who was just out for a day at the park with her family.
Still reeling over the comment, ‘it’s not a notable spot for collisions!’
New Yorkers have a don’t tell me what to do attitude. Rules are inconvenient and are meant to be broken in New York City. Even with rules this unfortunate incident may not have been avoided. It may pay to redesign the park to separate users of incompatible activities. The money allocated for adding dedicated bike lanes in the streets should also be used to build them in the park.
People that bike (everywhere) think they own the paths and the roadways! I hate you spandex wearing freaks! Go peddle in a circle on a track behind some school somewhere and make the streets and sidewalks safe again!
Bicyclists should not be on sidewalks or pedestrian paths. They should ride on dedicated bicycle paths or on streets and adhere to the traffic regulations.
i hope the little girl is ok.
As a cyclist, i know that spot is particularly difficult for all. I usually go very slowly through the area. I think it is a good idea to, in the future, get off my bike and walk it through that area. This was suggested by someone above.
We all have to be careful but i agree that on joint paths, pedestrians have “right of way” and it is mainly on the cyclist to watch out. that is just common sense. There are other places we can go faster.
The bicyclists have an extreme sense of entitlement. Yesterday, as I got out of my car on the drivers side after parking, a bicyclist whizzed by screaming at me for getting out of my car. This is despite the fact that I was in the cross hatched area for car passengers and that he was racing through a red light. If this had been a car driver there would be consequences for this dangerous behavior.
That cross hatching creates a buffer zone, but a driver is still required by law to check to make sure that it is safe to open their door. If you were to have hit that cyclist with your door, you would have been legally responsible for any injuries to the cyclist and you could be cited by the police for a traffic infraction. While it is uncommon to actually be cited in NYC unless it is a very serious injury, you better believe your insurance rates would skyrocket for causing injury, assuming your insurance would even cover all of the damages.
You should always look back (or use your mirrors) so that when opening a door you don’t accidentally knock a cyclist over. This is taught in driving school in many European countries where biking is more prevalent. It’s not entitlement, it’s fear for life and limb. Many cyclists get doored by careless drivers/passengers and the consequences are pretty gruesome. I personally know of a teacher whom was killed when somebody opened a door in front of her. She swerved to avoid hitting the door but got struck from behind by a bus. That’s why it’s best to ride further apart from parked vehicles even if it means partially obstructing a travel lane.
Disgraceful, and yet sadly not at all surprising. Cyclists (by no means all, but a meaningful proportion) are a menace to pedestrian safety both on the shared path in Riverside Park, and on the Central Park drives. We have sadly had to stop going to that beautiful pathway along the Hudson with our young kids because of the very real potential for something like this dreadful incident happening. There are some cyclists who treat the shared pathway as their personal velodrome and who will not slow down or change direction for anyone. All it would take is for a toddler to take one misstep as they zoom past for a serious injury to occur, as seems to have been the case here. And in Central Park, most cyclists completely ignore the traffic lights and speed across the pedestrian crossings even when the light is red for them. Cyclists who behave in this manner should be fined or prosecuted, just as other vehicle drivers would be. That way, our roads and pathways will be safer for all users.
Those on bikes think they own the road. They definitely speed as well as not get off bikes where the signs clearly say to Dismount. It is a constant struggle to walk on the same paths as those on bikes. I feel for the child who got hit. I can only imagine. The shared paths are not wide enough. Most people are strolling and not going as fast as those on bikes. Yes, we all should be equally cautious, agreed, but I think when on a shared path, those on bikes should maybe just slow down a bit, since we can’t see what is coming up behind us.
Riverside Park down by the water is just not safe for pedestrians. It has been taken over by bicyclists. That’s the reality. I hope some day they allow motorcycles so they can drive away the bicyclists.
This particular path was built in the Robert Moses era and is quite narrow; it was never intended to be for high-speed bike commuting and was not designed to accommodate it. It was for walking, sitting on the many benches along the path (where today, a bike might graze your kneecaps if you don’t watch out), walking your dog and for kids to be able to ride bikes but normally and respectfully, not Lance Armstrong-style. The antics of irresponsible bikers puts seniors and, as this proves, little kids at risk but the city has done nothing about it, in spite of it being covered by a few media outlets over the years since it’s become a problem. Specifically some years ago I once saw an older woman appeal to a police officer to do something about it and, in the spirt of the indifferent response from Capt. Malin, he told her that she had to speak to the community board – yeah, the sidewalk cafe hearing people. That was so long ago by now that lady has probably died of natural causes, which is probably what the bike activists are waiting for.
Indifferent? For the record, after being contacted by the WSR and learning of this, I had one of my best Sergeants spend half a day tracking down the parents of the toddlers, which he was able to do. We spoke with the child’s father, and after spending one night in the hospital we can report that the toddler is absolutely fine. We offered the father our services, and although he told us he very much appreciated us reaching out, he declined any further NYPD intervention at this time.
Also please note that I was asked by the WSR to offer an assessment of the safety of the location; I declined to offer an opinion and merely stated that the spot is not notable for collisions. This is a factual statement based solely on the only data that is available to us- Police Accident Reports. Now, collisions may be happening there and going unreported, as this one was, and it may indeed be a dangerous location… But compared with some of the other collision prone intersections in the 20th Precinct that we constantly monitor and have numerous reports filed for, that location does not even register with us. Furthermore, when it comes to enforcement, even if we did have numerous reports at that location, we would share data and collaborate with the Parks Department to address the issue because we generally defer bike enforcement efforts to them in Riverside Park. We also find them to be good partners.
I hope this clarifies the issue.
Thank you for reporting on the status of the little girl. Ecstatic to hear she’s fine!!!
I’ve been writing and emailing the Parks Department for years not only about what was once one of the nicest and accessible walkways in the city — now apparently known as the greenway — but about the bicyclists open war on pedestrians on the path adjacent to Riverside Drive from 72nd to 79th street.
Never got a reply so forget about anything being done that won’t appease the Lance Armstrongs of the world to the detriment of what will increasingly become the “walking wounded.” I’ve had at least three close calls from adults on two-wheelers and kids on scooters so far this year, all while walking on the upper pathway and I gave up trying to walk on the path by the Hudson River many years ago. The parks belong to the people, not the bikers and I guess it will take a “death by bike” before the Parks Department wakes up.
Pssst, bikers are people too ! :O
I would say cyclists, in general, do not obey traffic laws, bicycle on sidewalks, run red lights. I understand encouraging biking as opposed to more cars but as a pedestrian I find cyclists are among the most dangerous obstacles on the NYC streets – just enforce traffic laws and it will change.
Yes, some bikes go too fast, but who knows if this one did? Toddlers sometimes dart out without looking. Given that this spot is inherently dangerous, perhaps this was an unfortunate accident?
But we all need to ensure that this never happens. We are the adults and are now responsible to act and not passively accept these tragedies.
There has to be a better way than the current situation. Much of this discussion has been towards that.
Police need to crack down on those morons that feel like the path is meant as a racetrack for them and their damn bikes. How many time have I had these guys-yes mostly guys-speed by me and my dogs. Enough already.
Most important question: How is the child?
I hope the toddler is ok too. I am not elderly and very fit with quick reflexes, but have become increasingly wary of walking along the promenade near the water because of the high speed so many cyclists go. Have come close to getting hit often. And now they’re riding in both directions! There didn’t used to be such aggressive riders. I called the Parks Dept. and spoke with Ben Kramer (212-408-0250) who was very nice. Unfortunately when the parks were designed no one could have anticipated the volume of pedestrians or bikes that exist today. Signs don’t work and there aren’t enough park employees to monitor the promenades. I suggested putting up some barricades along the path (like at 72nd) that would force cyclists to slow down at points. He was open to this so it might help if others called and requested they take action. You can also send a letter to the Mayor’s office at City Hall.
I both walk and bike this path.
Most pedestrians are considerate and keep to the extreme right.
Most bikers are considerate and ride fairly slowly and carefully.
Those pedestrians and bicyclists who don’t act carefully endanger others, but the pedestrians who don’t are often children, the aged, or disabled;
AND, since the bikers are far more dangerous and ARE WARNED to go slowly, yield, and WATCH for pedestrians when something like this happens it is the fault of the bicyclist. Period.
And onlookers should insist that the cyclist stay until police arrive. Use your phone. call 911. Take photos.
As a pedestrian I no longer use any part of the Riverside Park that allows mixed use for bikes and walkers as it is so dangerous and I’m surprised the park authorities aren’t already submerged under lawsuits. Personally I have no issue with the vast majority of bikers who understand the concept of sharing but the Lycra Louts clearly need attention from the invisible park authorities.
So tired of all the constant near misses with bikes both in the street and in the park. kind of disgusting that a young child can’t be safe from bike riders while in the park. I do hope this child is okay.
Last Monday, I was walking on Broadway with my 30-something daughter. We were approaching 110th street, when a small child on a scooter approached us. My daughter had to jump out of the way, and yelled at the mother. The mother’s response was that “she is three!” We were both shocked by the response: Ok, so if I’m an elderly person, and broke a hip or arm or whatever, “she’s three,” would be an acceptable response.?!
Woody, if that is your name … I can’t believe you’re defending the biker who clearly hit the child. Bikers seem to think the path belongs to them and they race like hell. Totally crazy! Why can’t the Parks Department construct separate bicycle paths in the park. It’s impossible for pedestrians and bikes to share a common narrow path.
Point out where I defended the cyclist. I clearly stated that no one here knows the exact circumstances of how the child was hit. I don’t make conclusions before knowing the facts. The rest of your comment is just sophomoric.
I have stopped going to the path by the river. The cyclists go way too fast and do not check speed when coming near pedestrians. It is relatively easy to go 12-13 mph on a bike. 3 times faster than a brisk walk. It’s just dangerous to mix bikes and pedestrians. As an earlier comment stated they treat it like their personal race track.
I’m so sorry for that little girl and I hope she’s ok with no permanent disfigurements. I know that area well. For a pedestrian, it’s a war zone trying to get to the ball field over there. The bikers make walking that area unpleasant at best, life endangering at worst.
Remembering when a bicyclist hit a woman Margit, who walked dogs and took care of pets overnight on the upper west side. Twice when she was by herself crossing the street she was hit by bicycles; once breaking a hip + elbow, the second time breaking her arm between the wrist and the elbow.
I’m a bicyclist but honestly we need good bike regulation as well as safe access. Several times as I walked down by the Boat Basin on 79th w/my 10 lb dog on a very short leash, bike raceers wized by with no regard for myself or my pet.
We need to educate City bikers that they like skiers are responsible for the first person in front of them!
The shared path for bikers and pedestrians in an area that is now as dense as it is makes zero sense from any perspective. I see accidents ALL the time-bikers and pedestrians get hurt! I no longer feel safe even crossing the path to go out into the 79th Street pier. Bad, bad urban planning. We should hold our elective officials responsible and demand they implement a solution (here’s an idea, a separate path for each!), that puts safety as a priority.
Speed limits for bicycles may be necessary in some areas.
Toddlers do dash about and toddle but seriously…enough! Cyclists use Central Park, Riverside and even sidewalks(!) as their personal race course. It needs to stop. This is a crowded city and it is not acceptable to favor the welfare of one group over another. Enough.
This is soooo easy to solve too…
SPEED BUMPS!!!! or other measures to slow down these spandex maniacs.
I had to stop running over there due to getting clipped so often. But I was more worried about not stopping myself from wringing one of these guys necks and then going to jail than actually getting hurt by some 140 pound “athlete” on a 16 ounce titanium toy but I digress.
SPEED BUMPS and they will find somewhere else to ride. I suggest the highway with the cars and then they will learn some respect for the weaker among us.
Thoughts and prayers for the little kid and her family.
Speed bumps are not ADA compliant. Any speed bump meaningful enough to slow a cyclist will also present a problem to a person using a wheelchair, walker or has mobility limitations. Aside from the fact that people could trip and fall particularly in areas that are not well lit and the lawsuits will start pouring in.
The only viable solution is user separation. Bicyclists and pedestrians simply do not mix well.
As a person who bikes along that stretch at a responsible speed (and not wearing spandex) I think this is a brilliant idea that can be done quickly for little money.
How about it Parks?
Ive personally been hit by a cyclist TWICE in the same stretch, the first time while holding a month-old infant (while walking on the extreme right of the nearly empty path)—which was also the first time I went to that park, else I would never have held a baby there. The second time I was hit by a cyclist (who appeared to be racing a friend), I was pushing a baby stroller… again, while on the extreme right of the path to allow cyclists a wide berth. Nothing more than a bruise either time thank goodness but what struck me was the casual attitude of the cyclists who hit me, especially the guy who hit me when I was holding a baby… he barely even stopped, didn’t ask if everyone was ok, and seemed highly irritated (as did the second guy) to have been interrupted vs at all sorry. Is someone going to have to die before cyclists decide that our collective safety is more important than their individual pursuit of leisure?
I’m so sorry you and a baby were hit! And the ‘casual’ attitude of the bicyclist. You ask if someone has to die before something gets done… that already happened. The schoolteacher and mother of two who got hit by a bike in Central Park and died and others…
Any partial solutions, like positioning parks department people and finding speeding bicyclists, was introduced a few years ago but quickly abandoned. There should be two separate tracks for pedestrians and bicyclists. That’s the only way. And pedestrians should be able to stroll along the promenade in peace.
Partial solutions, like positioning parks department officers, who fine speeding bicyclists, was introduced a few years ago but quickly abandoned. Even sitting on a bench by the promenade is dangerous unless you tuck your legs all the way in.
There is an easy solution to this problem: speed control devices. There are a few options – some type of speed bump that is big enough to make a biker slow down but small enough not to be too difficult for those with wheelchairs or strollers.
Or periodically put up barriers, one to the left then one to the right, that will also force people to slow down. I think they occasionally do something like this near the boat basin.
Any update on how the child is doing?
Unfortunately I don’t have an update on the child. The parents were hysterical, we were trying to assess the situation how badly injured the child was- she definitely had severe head trauma. As well as trauma all over her body. If anyone knows how the kid is doing, please let us know! The parents headed straight to a hospital and I didn’t get their names. …
In one of the earlier responses is a reaction of the police captain, where is stated that the toddler was ‘absolutely fine’, already one day after the accident. So luckily the severe head trauma and trauma over her whole body were not as bad as they might have seemed at the moment.