A bicyclist traveling in a group hit a woman and child crossing Riverside Drive at 115th Street on Saturday around noon, according to police.
“On Saturday, June 2nd, at 12:12 pm, at West 115th and Riverside Drive, a 53-year-old male operating a bicycle struck two pedestrians, a 43-year-old female and a five-year-old male,” an NYPD spokeswoman said. The cyclist was going southbound on Riverside Drive with a group of other cyclists, the spokeswoman said.
“The signal changed and they proceeded through,” the spokesperson said. The spokeswoman could not clarify whether the cyclists or pedestrians had the light — the police report apparently didn’t make it clear. “While crossing the intersection, he made contact with the two individuals. They complained of pain and were taken to St. Luke’s.”
A witness who arrived just after the crash and asked not to be identified, said the woman and child were in the ambulance. He said that there were at least a dozen cyclists in the group and they waited by the ambulance after the crash.
He said that this area of Riverside is particularly dicey.
“I can tell you this stretch of Riverside Drive is incredibly dangerous for pedestrians — who are crossing with the light — especially on weekends. It is at the bottom of a slight incline, so cyclists going south pick up quite a bit of speed and almost always blow right through the intersection, whether or not they have the light. Crossing the street with my dog — with the light — I have nearly been hit on many occasions. I have lived in the area for over 20 years, and can count on one hand the number of times a cyclist has actually stopped at a red light.”
It’s time for a change. This is getting ridiculous. Let’s stop the yelling, the blaming, the accidents. All of it is moot as long as people continue to get hurt.
My suggestion – require bike speedometers, post speed limits, and enforce with radar just like vehicles.
It’s not a matter of going to fast. Bikes are almost always under the speed limit. It’s a matter of stopping. I’m sure NYPD will be at the intersection this weekend running a ticket blitz on cyclists who don’t stop. THat’s their MO.
Modern bikes (any bicycle, really) have so little metal that there’s virtually no radar signature. How would you propose to make a bicycle visible to radar?
David, it is very well possible to measure cyclist speeds with radar. In the Netherlands (and in many other places), there are these displays on the side of the road that show your speed, they are meant for cars but also accurately show the speed of a cyclist.
Problem with enforcing it is that you constantly need police officers on site to immediately stop and ticket people, because opposed to cars they don’t have license plates.
Furthermore, I don’t think the speed is the largest problem, but running the red lights is much more dangerous.
Excellent suggestions. Hope they are implemented.
I have yelled at cyclists for exactly this situation!! Right through a red light…when I asked one of them why he didn’t use the brand new bike path (which is a beautiful ride btw) instead of the road where there are crosswalks on every single block he cursed me out, right in front of my kids. Grrr. Many yrs ago, my dad told me that in NYC anyway, if the bicyclists are riding in the road with cars, then they have to obey the traffic lights just like the cars do. Has this changed? Also, driving a car on Riverside Drive or even just being a passenger in a car is a harrowing experience as cyclist after cyclist weaves in & out of the lanes with no warning, and often not even making any effort whatsoever to stop at the red lights. Isn’t the bike path the place to be if you don’t want to have to stop every block for the light? I thought that was the whole point of creating that bike path!
Issue is the same at 97th and Riverside. Constantly dodging bikes who could care less about pedestrians crossing with the light.
Had a charming incident here a few years back when my daughter and I were crossing Riverside a little south of this accident and a cyclist not only barely missed us when he sped through the red light, he then proceeded to call me a “bitch” for saying something.
I guess he thought his $5k bike and spandex gave him some sort of license to ignore red lights and crossing pedestrians. The near miss and then the complete hostility still make my blood boil.
Cyclists are often a danger to pedestrians. Most go through red lights. Lots have no lights or reflectors on their bikes for the evening. They ride on the sidewalks and if you say something they give you a dirty look. Where are the police? Why aren’t they ticketed?
This incident involved my very good friend. Just to clarify, she was crossing the street with the light. The cyclist did not stop at the red light. But, as reported, they all did wait with them for over 50 minutes when the ambulance came.
I hope your friend and her child are okay.
Same thing @ 97 st. watch out for the bikers ’cause they wont stop for you.
I will add to this and say that it is completely insane to me that bikers who are “clipped in” and doing training rides should be let anywhere near the Central Park loop or the recreational path in Riverside Park. Those are not velo training tracks, which is how they are treated and used by bikers. Accidents happen all the time, and a kid or even a grown up getting slammed by 200 lb biker going 20 mph.
Being clipped in as a BS excuse for not stopping for pedestrians. It takes a quick turn of the ankle to release your foot. I hate those that give that excuse. However, there are actually very few that do.
In off-peak hours riding fast in Central Park is an entirely reasonable thing to do. The drive is, what, 4% of the total area of the park? It’s reasonable to give riders *somewhere* in Manhattan to actually do their sport. Provided they yield appropriately if they’re facing a red light and someone is, you know, actually crossing in the perpendicular crosswalk.
Peak hours on summer afternoons, yeah, then the drive is not a place to go fast. Not in the lower park, certainly.
Bicycles should be required to have horns.
They’re required to have bells, but if you find a horn as loud as a car’s which does not require a car battery to operate please let me know.
Time for cyclist to be required to have liability insurance for times like this.
I am a senior and have had several near misses just walking through Riverside Park. The bicyclists track you from behind and whiz by so close and fast your hair stands on end. I have stopped zig zagging to look at flowers and set a path at the perimeter of the soil and walk in lock step because I never know how close they are behind me. Several of my NY friends have been downed by bikes that disappear and leave them with broken bones to die slowly from the series of medical crisis they have initiated.
In shared path, it is sensible to not zig zag.
I am not condoning bicyclists flying down the path at high speeds, especially when crowded, but if I’m on the path at a moderate or slow pace, I will still have to pass pedestrians… and it will still hurt if we collide at 10 MPH due to random zag or zig.
When it comes to red lights… I will admit to treating them as stop signs (this is common in Europe). I am comfortable doing this because I have zero blind spots, unlike a car, plus I’m slow to start. To the people who claim that cyclists are constantly blowing through red lights, I don’t see this on a widespread basis, but it certainly shouldn’t be happening. To blow through a red light would more often than not put you in the direct path of crossing traffic. The bike will always lose. There are bad apples (the story above about a cyclist yelling a profanity at a mother/child after a near miss is particularly distressing), but there are a lot of us who just want to get to work / home / errands etc… and we are fighting for space on roads with much faster / heavier vehicles or in bike lanes that are routinely multi-use (parking, sidewalk overflow, etc.). I would suggest a little patience and respect all around.
Cyclists are supposed to wear helmets for their safety, they are supposed to have a bell or horn (not whistle) for pedestrian warning and they are supposed to observe all the traffic laws which include red lights. More than two out of three of these basic rules are constantly violated, on the streets and in the park (Riverside Park). am I supposed to have eyes in the back of my head as I walk with (or without) my dog who is on a regulation length leash, but being an animal might veer without signaling? I have close to being hit many times and then cursed at for simply saying “Don’t you have a bell”? common courtesy and shared spaces, people. And also the knowledge of an elderly friend who was hit by a cyclist going the wrong way on a one way street and left incapacitated well before her time. There is no enforcement, bottom line and entitlement reigns supreme.
You’re right on every account except for the helmet part.
Just out of curiosity, how is it that you think that a cyclist wearing a helmet will make it safer for the pedestrian?
Probably because when helmets become obliged, less people will ride a bike.
Yes, a thinly veiled passive aggressive comment towards cycling as a whole. Pretending to be concerned but clearly just wanting to make it as difficult as possible to cycling. Disingenuous and short sighted.
In response to K says’s comment, “Many yrs ago, my dad told me that in NYC anyway, if the bicyclists are riding in the road with cars, then they have to obey the traffic lights just like the cars do. Has this changed?”
No, it hasn’t changed. What has changed is that most bicyclists (the ones on Riverside Drive, anyway) no longer consider that they have any obligation to obey the rules, because (a) they’re so special, the rules that apply to ordinary mortals don’t apply to them, and (b) the rules aren’t enforced anyway.
Case in point: I was recently crossing Riverside Drive at 87th Street, with the light, when a cyclist blew through the red light and just missed hitting me. I called after him, “That was a red light”, and he turned around and sneered (there’s no other word for it), “So what?”
I fully agree that cyclists should never “blow through lights,” but when I hear people complaining about all cyclists, or most cyclists “blowing through lights,” I have to be suspicious. For example, last week, will biking, I waited to cross Columbus Avenue because the light was against me. I rested comfortably on the curb of the pedestrian island of the bike lane. When the light turned green, I proceeded through. A little old lady who began to jaywalk across the street on the otherside of Columbus (I passed about 10 feet in front of her, not anywhere near) started yelling at me for going through the light. I stopped and very politely explained to her that I had, in fact, gone through the green light. And she continued to berate me. So, when we focus everything on anecdotal evidence, all our evidence is perception, but not necessarily reality.
The cyclists should be ticketed for running a red light, plain and simple. On Riverside Drive alone, the police could set up sting operations in any number of spots. It would be like shooting fish in a barrel.
I agree 100%, as long as they’re targeting motor vehicle users and pedestrians alike.
The worst is when they zoom up from behind on the sidewalk. It happens all the time on 54th Street where there’s a major exit from the bike way. It is really scary walking a small dog.
Lot of hate for cyclists but having been one on this route 100s of times, I can tell you there are just as many pedestrians crossing without a light (illegal), walking dogs with LONG leashes that span the street, or perhaps worse, on their phones and not paying the least bit of attention to their surroundings.
It’s a two-way street (forgive the pun)
No one cares what pedestrians do to create unsafe situations for cyclists. Every time one brings up that issue, they have no coherent response.
Maybe because the discussion’s of Cyclist Hits Woman and Child on Riverside Drive.
Well Dannyboy, you very well know this is a much larger topic that expands beyond this article. I’m sure you remember the older gentleman that broke his collarbone in Central Park while riding his “high-tech” 10 speed bike? He managed to avoid striking the pedestrian but fell and got injured. I’m sure you remember because you kept arguing with me about that section of the drive being uphill. It is.
So yes, Woody is correct asserting that pedestrians can and do create unsafe situations for cyclists, and I would add that they create unsafe situations for themselves as well. And for the record, I’m not defending cyclists that blow past red lights just inches from people or speed on crowded bike paths. Those guys/gals are entitled jerks. But to be fair, pedestrians abuse the system as well and in sheer numbers. In midtown hordes block intersections, cross the street in between parked cars and walk along the dedicated bike lanes as if they were an extension of the sidewalk.
Just like Josh Fogel clearly stated in his post (No. 25) cyclists ride paying attention to the road more than most users. Our life and limbs are at stake. You would think pedestrians would to given the risks.
“Well Dannyboy, you very well know this is a much larger topic that expands beyond this article. I’m sure you remember the older gentleman that broke his collarbone in Central Park while riding his “high-tech” 10 speed bike? He managed to avoid striking the pedestrian but fell and got injured. I’m sure you remember because you kept arguing with me about that section of the drive being uphill. It is.”
I can’t even imagine that you and I ever discussed any of what you so clearly remember.
The reason is that I am a Riverside Park devotee, not Central Park. Can you please reply with the reference you are making, and then we will have a common basis for discussing that?
Further, as to why the discussion is focused on bicyclist behaviors, I still feel that it is appropriate as we are discussing a WSR article about a bicyclist’s behavior. Mixing in pedestrian behaviors and driver behaviors results in a loss of focus on solving the problem highlighted by the event reported by WSR.
— “pedestrians crossing without a light (illegal)”,
BUT not threatening to harm anyone.
— “walking dogs with LONG leashes that span the street”,
BUT not threatening to harm anyone.
— “on their phones and not paying the least bit of attention to their surroundings.”
BUT not threatening to harm anyone.
Beginning to see the difference, Lance?
Well, it’s not that rare for a cyclist to get injured as well when one of the occasions you describe result in a collision. It’s quite easy to break a wrist or collarbone.
Those are just three situations that create an unsafe environment for cyclists. By their actions, they threaten to harm others as much as cyclists do.
How horrific! Just the thought of racing downhill with a bike knowing in case a pedestrian could step in the way one wouldn’t be able to stop should be punished by law. Just a week ago the Westside Rag printed my account of having seen a toddler run over by a bike in riverside park.
I like the speedometer idea- and check points – cameras anything – just like cars get checked.
I would like to add a comment about scooters which are usually “ridden” by small children with their parents often looking the other way. My (grown) daughter and I were recently walking south on the sidewalk at Broadway and 110th street when a small child almost crashed into my daughter. When my daughter said something to the mother, the mother yelled, “she’s only three!” as if that was supposed to excuse a possible fall or broken bones.
time for cyclists to be given tickets, charged $$ for their reckless riding..that area of 115th st is an open area where tennis players, dog owners, kids, etc, people running for the M5 bus, are struck and injured!!
We always hear about bikers who get away with riding without regard to pay attention to those whose safety depends on bikers paying attention to others!!!
I’m constantly dodging bicycles in this neighborhood and would like to see the Mayor’s Vision Zero include solutions to the reckless riders in this city. I was hit by a bicycle in front of my apartment building on Cathedral Pkwy. two years ago and am still suffering medical issues that impact my ability to work consistently — and I regularly meet neighbors who report similar accidents. This is a hilly area so bicyclists pick up speed (the kid who hit me was going 30+ mph) and are unable to slow down or stop in time to abide by traffic signals. It’s not enough to wait for the ambulance. Bicyclists need to follow the rules.
Not arguing with the rest of your post, but 30+ mph is virtually impossible for most cyclists in city streets, including on downhills. Most cyclists are hard pressed to ever even reach the speed limit of 25mph.
I used to enjoy riding in the early mornings, about 6:30-7, less crowded I thought …but the spandex crowd at that hour made it clear that it is their territory only, and they own the bike lanes.
Yes, very few inconsiderate people. Super dangerous on weekends when the spandex boys from NJ come over.
Memorial Day I was hit by a young girl (11?) as she rode down Riverside Park around 86th street. She slammed into my back as I was strolling with my friends young daughter. I flew into the air and landed on my side on cement. Her parents were concerned that she said sorry. They didn’t ask for my name or number and didn’t offer theirs. One week later I am still in pain.
“Her parents were concerned that she said sorry. They didn’t ask for my name or number and didn’t offer theirs.”
Her parent used the opportunity to teach their daughter how to appear mannered without offering real concern and assuming responsibility. Some lesson.
I am sorry that you’ve been hurt. Hoping you improve quikly.
It is apparent to anypne that cyclsts obey no
traffic rules and I see them constantly go through red lights The same rules for cars should apply to bikers
I complained to 311 about this situation a couple of years ago and pointed out that weekends were a particular problem. I got a call from someone at the precinct but no action was taken that I could see. Someone could be seriously injured. The cyclists don’t realize people are coming out of the park and they disregard the light at high speed.
As both a daily cyclist (who wears spandex at times) and daily pedestrian, let me provide some insight into a few things (with some generalizations):
1. There is indeed a small subset of cyclists who are self-absorbed jerks. They are usually male, between 30-50, and wear “kits” of some kind — often matching as part of a team. They generally do NOT ride on bike paths like the west side Greenway or in Central Park during normal hours. That is because they ride for sport, not recreation. They are usually riding up/down riverside drive to get to the GWB to do their training rides in NJ. They usually ride in groups. They rarely stop at red lights because it (a) reduces their average speed (they ALL have bike computers so they know exactly how fast they are going) and (b) stopping and starting every few blocks like a car is incredibly taxing (imagine taking a stroll in the park and having to stop every 50 feet to wait a minute for the light to change). You cannot often reason with these guys. Not all cyclists are like these guys. Most aren’t, even if they are wearing spandex. [The other subset of cyclist to avoid — the bike messenger (both hipster fixed gear types and chinese/mexican e-bike types). That is a whole other thread.] Riverside drive on weekend mornings is their domain.
2. All cyclists have as much, if not more, to lose by riding recklessly. As many cyclists suffer debilitating injuries when in a crash as do the pedestrians, and cars do not get injured when they hit a cyclist. Therefore, 90-something % of cyclists ride VERY VERY carefully, even if they are cycling through red lights or the wrong way on a street in order to avoid going 5 minutes out of their way. Even if it seems to you like they are riding recklessly. They are very very aware. They have as much to lose as anyone when riding recklessly. They may sometimes ride too close to you for your comfort, but they are usually in full control and will not hit you if you continue walking.
This is not to condone their riding behavior – but to explain their mindset.
3. Police DO ticket cyclists — all the time. Trust me. I can guarantee that there will be heavy enforcement on Riverside over the next number of weekends. The tickets for red light violation starts at $190, and increases for multiple infractions. The cyclists get hit in their pocketbooks. Trust me.
4. Pedestrians (myself included) violate the law every day. They jaywalk. They walk in the bike lanes, and do so against traffic. And they do so wearing headphones. They, too, need to be aware. As much as the cyclists. This is not to blame pedestrians — this is just to point out our reckless behavior as well.
5. We all need to be aware that we live in NYC. One needs to walk, ride, run and drive defensively. Don’t assume anything. I grew up always looking both ways before I crossed the street, even when the light is green. I constantly reinforce this with my own kids. I can tell you that being a cyclist and pedestrian in this city has made me a much better driver. I am vigilantly aware of my surroundings.
It will probably make some people happy to know that I got ticketed on Riverside drive for going through a red light on a bicycle. Unfortunately, I wasn’t one of those spandex speeders—-I was commuting to work, and as I always do on Riverside drive, out of respect and concern to pedestrians, I slow down to a near stop and make sure no-one is coming in either direction before I roll through the light.
In this case, there was no-one at all anywhere near on foot nor was there any car traffic, but a cop car started following me stealthily and waited to see if I would do the same with the next light, at which I had also slowed down to check for pedestrians. I noticed them this time and had the wisdom not to endanger anyone furter by blowing through a pedestrian-less crosswalk at 2 miles an hour, which would have raised my ticket to something like $400. $190 was the ticket.
so now I don’t ride on lovely Riverside drive as much any more., I go on the Amsterdam and Columbus bike paths, where in the past two days, I have had 2 taxi drivers drop off their customers straight into the the path, doors opening right in front of me, forcing me to stop and wait. I’m always looking ahead to avoid accidents from stuff like this. Last night, though, a young woman walked straight out in front of me into the path without looking, and really surprised me…it was really fortunate my brakes were tuned well enough, because I had to make a hard stop, yell “watch out” and watch her annoyed expression. I said I’t’s a bike path, you know” and she looked at me like I was a criminal, said nothing, and walked straignt into a bar. Another split second and both of us would have been on the pavement.
“There is indeed a small subset of cyclists who are self-absorbed jerks.”
Not in my experience. In my neighborhood, the “self-absorbed jerks” — and I would add “reckless” — are the vast majority.
Not in this city. It may seem to you that way, but the number of citibike-ers, deliverymen, regular folks, tourists on bikes vastly outnumber the guys in kits. I very rarely see a kitted cyclist on a bike path (and I commute by bike daily) or on the greenway or in central park between the hours of 10 and 5.
Nice to see a bit of rational thought among all the one-way blamers. I’m a frequent dog walker, cyclist, runner and walker on Riverside Drive, in Central Park and on the Hudson Greenway. Everyone has to take responsibility. Cyclists blasting through red lights or crowded pedestrian areas should be ticketed. Those who slow down at a red light, look both ways and proceed accordingly should be forgiven. Pedestrians who walk in dedicated bike paths or who jay walk without looking both ways and ensuring no car or bicycle is coming should be ticketed. Dog walkers who use leashes longer than six feet (illegal in NYC) should be ticketed, as should dog walkers who allow their leash to stretch across an entire bike path or sidewalk.
Let’s all be considerate of one another.
Thanks Josh, for your nuanced contribution. I think it describes the mindset of cyclists very well.
Thank you, finally someone adding something sane to the discussion.
I live in the neighborhood, ride here, and (obviously) walk here. Heck, I once used my bicycle airhorn on a jacked-up Fred who cut in front of me through the crosswalk on my walk sign when I happened to be pushing my bike along.
I have no problem with riders who roll these lights responsibly, if there is legitimately nobody else coming. If you as a rider do something that makes a pedestrian even _apprehensive_ about taking their right-of-way, you are in the wrong, plain and simple.
Also, in a group of more than 4-5 riders — one that’s bunched up, at least –I think the only responsible course of action is to stop at all red lights here. Certainly in the downhill direction. Otherwise the group gets into a groupthink mode and it’s too hard to communicate back the line “yes, I’m really stopping here.”
Also, by the by, the sidepath in Riverside Park here is not good for even moderately fast cycling. The hexagonal pavers are not smooth, and the space is shared. Injury rates for cyclists on multiuse paths are typically 4x greater than on roads.
Amen to all these points. As a “civilian” cyclist, it’s disheartening to be grouped with over-compensating spandex speed jerks that think they own the roads. But I get why pedestrians don’t make that distinction when a bike is blowing top speed through a red light. These guys (they’re mostly guys) should be ticketed and fined the same as car drivers. Ditto walkers who break the law, from ignoring crosswalk signals and markings to blocking bike lanes with pets and prams.
I have noticed an increase in NYPD traffic stops on Riverside Drive in that area in recent weeks, targeting drivers. I’ve seen many bikes just blow past the cops, in flagrant violation of the signals, knowing they won’t be stopped. Why do the police not enforce the rules with bikes??
Citywide, tickets are actually already given out to cyclists far in excess of their proportion of overall traffic.
I don’t think enforcement against cyclists should be reduced per se. But so much of it is piddly bs that doesn’t actually make anyone safer. (Ticketing riders for rolling across the top of empty T-intersections, in bike lanes, on CPW or Flushing Avenue in Brooklyn, for example.) Just target the enforcement better — Riverside Drive is actually a good candidate for increased enforcement.
And while you do this, increase enforcement against motorists markedly. Those are the people killing and maiming day in day out, not just in “Man Bites Dog” stories like this one.
“Man Bites Dog” Stories?
Cyclist Runs Over Toddler on Riverside Park Path
Posted on May 25, 2018 at 9:47 am by West Sider
Cyclist Hits Woman and Child on Riverside Drive
Posted on June 4, 2018 at 11:40 am by West Sider
Well, I’ll grant that pedestrian/bicycle crashes are not as rare as hens teeth. They happen with some regularity. But in substance I stand by “Man Bites Dog”.
As for the first 4 months of 2018 overall: “City Hall reported 37 people killed by motorists while walking or biking through April, and 4,346 injured”.
How many people have been injured in bike/ped crashes in NYC, to a similar severity, in the same time period? Maybe on the order of 40-50? It’s a problem, for sure, but let’s maintain some perspective here.
And in terms of out-and-out deaths, since 2002 there have been 10 pedestrian deaths caused by bike crashes in NYC. The majority of years there are 0 such crashes. The last such deaths were in 2014.
In ped-automobile crashes in the same period there have been _thousands_ of deaths. 2,345 of them from 2002 to 2016.
I’m pleased that we found common ground here. I think we all understand each other much better now!
Josh echoes exactly the point I would make about NYPD being told to target enforcement on cyclists, and then running off with this message in exactly the wrong way.
Dannyboy, I am a pedestrian, a cyclist, and a driver, in the same order you mentioned. I agree with you about what you said of just about everything in that last post about design and safety. Enforcement needs to be ramped up on all street users that create a danger. But NYPD does not do it that way. They just go for visibility- you want me to crack down on bikes, ok, let me just stop the easiest one. In addition to street design that keeps all users as safe as possible, to any detriment of efficiency, the NYPD needs to focus on the dangerous behaviors. If I slowly roll through a crosswalk/light on a bike when I have made sure it was safe to do so, I have likely moved through an intersection without putting anyone in danger and likely reduced the danger to myself. However, even if I slow roll through a light/crosswalk with pedestrians or oncoming traffic, I have created a danger for all, and should be ticketed heavily. But the reality is, a cyclist who blows through a crowded intersection at high speed has a lower chance of getting stopped by the police than one going through safely, simply because the former is much harder to catch. Aggressive behavior needs to be stopped, but that isn’t the goal, or at least they aren’t planning for that.
Matt, I agree with you. Things really need attention if we are to make walking, bikes, and cars safer (listed in my personal order of preference).
There are lots of new places to walk and bike, but they come off as piecemeal experiments (which is better than no progress at all), but I think that routes aren’t done safely; probably because not enough bike riders are involved with design, and because bike paths are mostly limited by the existing car streets.
I am a driver, but would gladly reduce the car ‘paths’ for walking and bike paths, which will benefit more people.
Re-read what I wrote. 🙂 I’m all for targeting and refocusing enforcement against scofflaw cyclists, and a single crash where a cyclist injures pedestrians is one crash too many. That’s the point of Vision Zero — literally a vision of zero traffic deaths for all modalities. I’m perfectly fine with _increased_ police presence on Riverside Drive. It’s a place where cyclist failure to yield is a real problem, not a make-believe one.
I just question the perspective of someone who gets all incensed about relatively infrequent pedestrian-cyclist crashes while remaining quite blithe about the much deadlier plague of pedestrian-motorist crashes.
You have now doubled down on your “But the cars!” rationale.
You can minimize what happened to the woman and child who ended up in the hospital because cars do more damage, but that relativism just takes away the focus from solving this to it’s much worse with cars.
Why not install speedbumps in the bike lane “area”. This would force the bikes to proceed slowly as to not ruin their $2000 bikes or ride in traffic where the cars will help them feel like us pedestrians – cautious!!
Because not a single cyclist would ride the bump speed “area”. Not to mention the bike “area” is still part of the roadway’s travel lane where cars and trucks drive. This accident did not take place on a shared path. This was on a city street.
About 30 minutes ago, I was leaving Riverside Park at 97th Street with my child. We had the walk signal. We had more than 20 seconds to cross the street. All the cars were stopped. Based on experience, I know to look both left and right continuously as I cross at this location because cyclists will barrel down the hill or storm up it without regard to the traffic lights. Unfortunately, a cyclist came barreling down the hill. He did not stop for the light or decelerate. Thankfully, I have trained my children to walk right next to me in the crosswalk, so I had my child close by.
I have put in a complaint to the DOT. That cyclists reckless behavior could have caused serious harm. What if the drivers in the cars acted with such impunity? It would be complete chaos. THE CYCLIST WAS TRAVELLING AT HIGH SPEEDS AND DID NOT DECELERATE OR STOP FOR THE LIGHT, WHICH WAS RED.
Cyclists are worse than people with dogs and people with kids combined. It’s the combination of speed and unpredictability that’s problematic. There’s just no comparison between cyclists and other groups as many on here are vainly arguing. I can’t run or walk at 30 MPH. When I’m driving, I stop at a stoplight. I don’t come out or nowhere, around a corner or down the hill, either as a pedestrian or driver.
As we walked home, I discussed with my child what had happened and how when he is old enough to walk on his own, he must always be looking both ways and be very cautious, when he crosses the street. I told him that the cyclist was supposed to stop at the red light, just like the cars. He said to me, “So, the cyclist was a bad citizen. (His words) I said, “Yes.”
Questionable parental advice Beth – a better answer could have been – “No, bad citizens are bad citizens, regardless the mode of travel. You should look both ways when approaching the crosswalk and cross when the coast is clear. Waiting for the light and expect any and all random ny’er to stop is a good way to lower the average life span of a population. We have no idea who’s behind the wheels of multi-ton vehicles mixing it up in a crowded city. Average law breakers, sociopaths, drunks, stressed out soccer moms, stoners, Jersey drivers making right on reds, young drivers on phones/texting, Uber guy playing with phone, oh, and pack cyclists who lack consideration and skill.
To single out one group is foolish and dangerous. You can be righteous and say I had the light, and be DEAD. Always expect the unexpected when crossing the street in NYC.
It breaks my heart to watch the recording of the Park Slope family that was destroyed by a driver that shouldn’t be on the road. It’s also painful to see the 2 moms chatting with strollers as they walked acrossed. If either one was being cautious, they would’ve seen the volvo creeping into the intersection.
Yes, these things shouldn’t happen in the “nicer” neighborhoods, but as others above have shown, the numbers/data show a false narrative to have peds hating on cyclists and delivery workers. Who knows, your son might become a cyclist himself. It’s the best, most efficient, fun, cheapest way to get around. Healthy too, if he is conscious of his surroundings.
NO SOLUTION FOR IDIOTS – As I waited for the green light to cross on 70th and Riverside Drive yesterday,I was nearly hit by a bicyclist who did not stop at HIS red light and nearly ran into me. Luckily, I jumped out of the way. Get this – HE looked pissed at me and sarcastically said “GO AHEAD” like I was in the wrong. There will never be enough policing to get idiots off the road, even if they are required to obey the rules.
my life is constantly endangered by pedestrians and cars, equally, as i ride my bike around this city. pedestrians with their heads down, stepping off the curb into either the bike lane or just into my path, make my life a living hell. It’s often the phone, but sometimes it’s just pedestrians wearing headphones who can’t hear my bell or my voice as i have to swerve into traffic to avoid them. there is no question this is far greater and more prevalent danger than bikes hitting pedestrians, and it really comes down to this: pedestrians aren’t scared of cyclists, just cars, so they feel comfortable terrorizing us.
Last comment on this from me, I promise.
I do believe that there are good cyclists —- but the ones who are not, be it (maybe) non-native NYC Citibike users riding in pairs so as to stay together no matter if they have the light or not as they go through intersections (I say maybe non-native bc the city people understand that it is illegal to run right on red here), or those horrible members of speeding groups who seemingly refuse to be separated from each other by a red light (btw what is a “kit”?!), what IS so frustrating about these riders, is their seeming arrogance. They know full well, as unfortunately do we, that while we are left shaken up with anxiety or God forbid injury, that we have absolutely no way to track them down to report them to anyone even if we could find anyone to report them to. Also, to the articulate and sensible Mr. Fogel who commented way up there somewhere, I also tell my kids to look both ways even when we have the green light, but (thank goodness!) it is also true that we have WAY fewer cars coming out of nowhere while we are legally in the middle of the crosswalk than we do cyclists. Once we pedestrians are in the middle of a crosswalk crossing with the green light, and the light is still green, the onus is squarely on the cyclist to not hit us as they illegally go through their red light. Period. It’s exactly why I brought up the uninterrupted new bike path before. Can’t they use it for the long part of their trip and then exit, following the rules of the road for the final section of their trip? I mean, wasn’t that the whole point of creating it? There is no doubt at all that the pedestrian texters are demonstrating extreme recklessness, but some people are just trying to walk across the street, without phones, holding their kids’ hands, on their green light. Please, law-abiding bicycle riders, tell us what to do about those cyclists who are not!! Surely they endanger you too!
To K, I’ll answer(“short” form) your question as a long time UWS resident who owned a car and did the alternate side street shuffle for years. I also commuted by bicycle for transportation/health from w72nd to w168th (the whole length of RSD) for 20+years, most of that was before “City Cyclists” was even on the radar of NYers’ consciousness. I’ve also been bipedal most of my life. I’ve travelled by bicycle in different parts of the world. I personally don’t like the aggressiveness of bike racing, but I would consider myself to be a competitive tourist.
From that perspective, RSD is THE safest road of any length for cyclists AND pedestrians in Manhattan because it has NO crosstown vehicular traffic. Even if drivers run a red, they have to slow down to turn left or turn right. The further east you go, the stats for injuries and fatalities go up. For this reason, everyone lets their guard down. For Brooklyn hipsters on their weekend Nyack run, they’re already in the suburbs when they get to RSD.
As a pedestrian crossing RSD west to east (most if not all P/B conflict). I need to remind myself this is a street in Manhattan and not part of Riverside Park. The tranquility and lush green lull most people into a false sense of security and not LOOK for others.
I value consideration and efficiency so I don’t stop at reds if no one is around. I have/use a bell even on my “fancy” bikes which is NOT the norm. I try to respect everyone’s space and ROW even when I have the light.
I cross(ped) RSD like I would Bway or Amsterdam (look for people coming at me from all directions). If I have the light and want to cross, I’ll make eye contact with the driver/cyclist and put out my hand with straight arm to claim my space if I’m not sure what their intentions are (many will wait). Non-verbal, calm assertive communication.
If you think this(10/20 seconds to cross) is unacceptable, then go to a community meeting and voice your concerns, but they are already full of anti-cycling pro-car cranks in the UWS/UES.
I’m guessing you already know how to cross the street. The “trick” here is to look hard left and communicate to any oncoming bonehead your intentions. I try not to be the bonehead most of the time and will brake with my left hand and offer my right palm up to signal my yielding your ROW so I can also proceed. I WILL apologize and say “Sorry, Thank You” if I’m in the wrong.
My Mantra for riding in NYC is “don’t get hit, don’t hit anyone… Don’t get into fights”. Zero counts on all 3 after these many years (if you don’t count “words exchanged” and every cyclist gets “doored” ONCE.)
Treat every person crossing the street as someone’s Grandmother or Child, because they are. And that bonehead cyclist is probably someone’s orthodontist or sister.
Jhunlup: well said on all counts
I think everyone would agree 100%. No cyclist should ever blow through a red light if there is remotely a chance that a living being is anywhere around (as is the case on Riverside Drive). But it is as unthinkable to expect a cyclist to come to a complete stop at every red light as it is to expect the same from a pedestrian. That is why more municipalities are instituting what is known as the “Idaho stop” – where a cyclist, much like a pedestrian, can slowly approach an intersection, look around, and continue if there are no pedestrians or cars.
Btw, a “kit” is the matching spandex “uniform” that hard core cyclists wear and race in.
“That is why more municipalities are instituting what is known as the “Idaho stop” – where a cyclist, much like a pedestrian, can slowly approach an intersection, look around, and continue if there are no pedestrians or cars.”
The key word here is “slowly.” If the racers on Riverside Drive approached the intersections slowly, no one would be up in arms.
It’s deathly time to crack down on the cycle us in New York City especially the aggressive ones who are always speed demon males and how aggressive they are in central park on Park Drive it’s time to and this BS with these idiots.
I’m for one getting rid of the bicycle lanes here in Manhattan….there never used! what a waste of money and time that was. We need more police walking the sidewalks and enforcing cycles.
Counterpoint: geddoudahere! Farkakte nonsense.
There’s some thoughtful and nuanced discussion in the threads above this. This is just kneejerk anti-veloism and is not productive in the slightest.