Bicyclist Hits Four-Year-Old in Riverside Park; City Plans to Make Separate Bike Paths in Some Sections

The four-year-old girl in the hospital after being hit by a cyclist in Riverside Park. Photo via Adrienne Rivetti Jensen.

By Lisa Kava

A cyclist slammed into a four-year-old in Riverside Park on Monday, sending the girl to the hospital with a head injury. It’s the latest in what some locals say has been an ongoing safety problem in the park. There may be a solution coming, however, at least in some areas: the city is creating separate pathways for cyclists and pedestrians between 72nd and 83rd Street.

The crash occurred on Monday afternoon. Upper West Side mom Adrienne Rivetti Jensen was walking home from the area by the Boat Basin Café after one of her children’s soccer practices around 5:30 p.m. “I was already on high alert because several cyclists had gone by really fast and they were shouting at people to move,” she said.

Jensen told West Side Rag that she and her children had walked over to the railing to look at the water and take photos but as they walked back across the promenade a speeding cyclist screamed to “look out, look out!” Moments later he crashed into her daughter, who fell to the ground and rolled over. The bicyclist stopped and apologized, Jensen said, before she took her daughter to the emergency room for stitches to her forehead. Jensen said that she met two other parents in the ER who had dealt with a similar injury to their children. The first was a mother whose child had been hit by a cyclist in the same spot last year by the Boat Basin Café.

The other parent then came in to the ER after his child was also hit by a cyclist. “A couple hours later, another man came in with a toddler who had been hit by a cyclist (while in his stroller) at Central Park (wife was also getting x-rays at the same time),” she wrote on Facebook. “The triage nurse says she has seen older people die from these collisions.”

We wrote about one collision where a toddler was hit by a cyclist around 73rd Street last May. Other locals have raised similar concerns about cyclists creating a hazard for pedestrians in the park. Ellen Jacobs recently reached out to West Side Rag to forward an email she sent to Council Member Helen Rosenthal’s office.

“For the past few years Riverside Park, most especially the stretch between 59th Street and 96th Street, has become increasingly dangerous because of the rising numbers seeing bicycles as a means of exercise and of transportation. So bicycles, and now motorized bikes, flying along the path at recklessly high speeds have become the norm. Cyclists often ride two to four abreast. It is intimidating. Try taking a morning walk. A stroll on the West Side Highway is potentially less risky. And yes! The cyclists’ language is another thing. They spew curses at pedestrians who might thoughtlessly be in their way, or God forbid comment on their entitled behavior.”

Jacobs said that she first contacted Rosenthal’s office in 2017 about this issue and that she followed up in both 2018 and 2019 but has only received “robotic responses.”

Rosenthal’s office responded that “we try very hard to respond to everyone who sends messages to our general email. Because of the huge volume of emails, our automatic response message urges people to call one of our offices if there is anything timely or urgent.”

Brad Kurkowski, who lives nearby, said that he simply avoids Riverside Park altogether because it is so dangerous. “North of 71st Street the bikers are going by at 30 mph and will pass you within inches of your body. If I have my small dog next to me the dog will not survive” said Kurkowski.

Sgt. Felicia Montgomery of the 20th Precinct sent the following statistics when we asked about the number of pedestrian/biker collisions in Riverside Park over the past few years. (These statistics have been updated from the initial publication of this article due to a miscommunication with police. The stats we first published were for the entire precinct, not just Riverside Park.)

2019 – none so far
2018 – none reported but child was hit and father declined to make a report
2017 – 2

Jensen, the mom of the injured child, said that she initially did not call the police department after the accident both because she was distracted with taking care of her daughter, and also because she didn’t consider it a crime. However, when she did ultimately call to report the collision she said she was told that unless the crash involves a motor vehicle the police department does not make a report. “The officer I spoke with said the only thing to do is seek medical attention” said Jensen.

Deputy Inspector Timothy Malin, Commanding Officer of the 20th precinct, says that the information that Jensen received is wrong. Police officers should take information on crashes even if they don’t involve a motor vehicle. He says he does think people often don’t report collisions with cyclists to police because they likely believe it’s not a police matter.

Jensen says she is rattled. “We should be able to enjoy the park and not be on high alert every single second and feel high-strung because our kids might get mowed down by a speeding biker. The problem is this idea that you are trying to mix high speed cycling with narrow pedestrian walkways. It’s a ridiculous idea. The bikers who are going at a casual speed are not threatening but the commuters are using it as a freeway. I acknowledge that pedestrians have responsibilities too, but I also think there is no safe way for a cyclist to pass through a crowded pedestrian area at a vehicular speed. That is a recipe for a lot of injuries.”

A less-busy day in the park a few years ago.

Jensen’s wish to separate cyclists and pedestrians may soon come to fruition, at least in one particular area of Riverside Park. A spokesperson for Council Member Helen Rosenthal’s office told West Side Rag that a completely separate path for cyclists between 72nd and 83rd Streets is currently in the works. We wrote about that plan in 2016.

“Pedestrian safety is an issue that has been of huge concern to Councilmember Rosenthal since she took office-particularly in Riverside Park. We have some good news on this front- the Parks Department is about to complete a separate pathway for cyclists in Riverside Park between 72nd and 83rd Streets. Cyclists will no longer be able to travel on the pedestrian path.”

The spokesperson did not have an exact date for the opening of the new path which she said will be closer to the wooded area of the park, but said that the work should be done “very soon.”

It’s one of several such projects included in the Riverside Park capital plan, which also includes changes in the West 90’s to separate cyclists and pedestrians. A slide from the plan detailing those changes is below.

Click to enlarge.

Daniel Garodnick, the President and CEO of the Riverside Park Conservancy supports the change. “The best solution is to separate cyclists and pedestrians wherever we can and reduce the conflicts that we see out there every day. While the park’s design prevents that from happening in all spots, that is exactly what the Parks Department is doing between 72nd and 83rd Streets and it is happening right now.”

A spokesperson from the Parks Department reported that in the past they have put “posted signage” in areas throughout the park and that they put “traffic calming devices in place along the path to slow riders.”

Correction, 2:50 p.m. Wednesday: The initial stats for collisions in Riverside Park were incorrect, and have been updated.

NEWS | 168 comments | permalink
    1. Bruce says:

      Signage is totally useless. There is only one sign at 96th Street, barely visible. No more signs till 83rd street. While most cyclists are courteous, the others make walking in the park a disconcerting experience. Separate bike lanes are a necessity.

      • Howard Freeman says:

        Agreed. Signage doesn’t change most behavior—certainly not the behavior of a cyclist looking to get a good workout in. But in that case, the cyclist should be in the park and doing heartbreak hill. Or if commuting, take mass transportation. Or shut that riverside walk to pedestrians. But pedestrians and cyclists do NOT mix well along that stretch.

      • Christopher Lyons says:

        Much more than that is needed–they can’t put separate bike paths everywhere.

        The people creating this problem aren’t ordinary cyclists, aren’t like the people who rent a Citibike, or have an ordinary bicycle they use for transportation or like recreation. It’s not a transportation alternative–look at the way they dress. They spend thousands of dollars on high-tech racing bikes. They dress like Lance Armstrong. Of course they want to go as fast as they can. Wouldn’t you?

        These bikes need to be licensed. They can go about as fast as a car can on most NYC streets, so they should be subject to the same degree of regulation. You have a license to operate such a machine, and you have to display it on each and every bike you own. There should perhaps be some way for law enforcement to scan a speeding bike and find out who owns it. And there should be speed traps along the shared paths, just as there are for cars on the streets. Ticketing should be pursued just as seriously. And if you lose your license, you lose your right to ride. If you have a bicycle that isn’t built for high speed, but for utility (like the bikes they use in the Netherlands, designed for shopping and such), the rules can be different.

        Otherwise, this will keep happening. The alternative would be to just ban racing bicycles on all paths shared with pedestrians. I can respect the desire to pursue athletic excellence, but not at the expense of people who want to take a quiet stroll, or other cyclists who just want to have a leisurely peddle in a pretty place. Or children. Or dogs.

        • Joe R. says:

          You just hit upon a perfect way to totally discourage cycling, both recreationally, and as an alternative means of transportation. Putting aside all the impossible, expensive logistics of what you’re suggesting, NOBODY is going to go through the hoops of getting a license to ride a bike, especially just to ride a bike recreationally. What will happen is either people will stop riding bikes if the law is enforced, or the law won’t be enforced. The latter is far more likely. The police have better things to do than to check for bike licenses. The police are typically the first ones to speak out against any bike licensing schemes.

          You’re incorrect in your assessment of utility versus racing bikes. There isn’t all that much speed difference. The rider makes the primary difference. Put a very strong rider on a racing bike, maybe they can go maintain 25 mph or so. Put the same person on a utility bike, they can probably still go 19 or 20 mph.

          Finally, the speed limit in NYC is at least 25 mph, sometimes more. That includes bike routes. Even the racing cyclists who you claim are “speeding” likely aren’t breaking the speed limit. To put things into perspective, the average speed in the Tour de France is about 25 mph. This is top pro riders, riding in a peleton which gives them a few mph speed advantage. Your average Lance Armstrong wannabee probably can’t do much over 20 mph, even with a great bike and all the gear. That’s not speeding by anyone’s definition.

          Separating bikes and pedestrians is ALL that needs to be done here. It should have been done long ago when the crowding starting causing problems. There should be no shared paths anywhere on the Greenway. Even sharing paths with slow utility cyclists is unpleasant for pedestrians. It’s also unpleasant for cyclists of any speed.

    2. Joan says:

      I gave up taking my walk at Riverside Park. Even if you go the other direction which is toward the 50’s, which is supposed to be only for pedestrians, there are bicyclists who totally disregard the signs. Sometimes there are even gangs riding together. If you say something the bicyclists either ignore you or are rude. Bicyclists also ride up and down the ramp which they are not supposed to do. I never see any of them get a ticket or even warned as there is very little supervision by the Parks department. As a senior taking a walk can be deadly as bicyclists often do not obey the rules.

      • Paul says:

        I regularly walk and ride along the river from 96th to tha Battery.
        It is 100% true that most of the problem is riders who think it’s ok to use the path as a substitute for a velodrome. They are a hazard to both pedestrians and other riders. Speed signage is needed as are speed bumps and enforcement.
        Nobody should ride at a speed that’s too fast to stop for a stray child or pet.

        However I can state with absolute confidence that where the paths separate for bikes and pedestrians there are far more instances of walkers in the bike paths than bikers in the pedestrian path. Moreover, I can’t remember the last time I rode in a bike lane on a street for more than a few minutes where pedestrians didn’t step in front of me, usually without looking. And I always go in the right direction.

      • Matt H says:

        You mean in the area by the water between 59th & 72nd Street? I very, _very_ rarely see cyclists there, using the alignment under the highway is way nicer for everyone.

        Maybe you’re just thinking about the situation now, where there’s construction work going on on the highway, so there’s a shared detour cyclists are using until 69th Street? Or about similar work that happened around 12-18 months ago? That’s legit, those are sanctioned detours.

    3. Magda Bogin says:

      I’ve lived on Riverside Drive for 30 years. Lovely as the path along the Hudson is, I walked it once (from 96th down to 72nd) and wouldn’t dream of going back. It’s a death trap for pedestrians. What is the city waiting for?



    5. Pqdubya says:

      Even at relatively relaxed speeds a bike can easily do 8-12 mph. A pedestrian 2-4. I used to enjoy an evening walk along the waterfront but my wife and I end up walking single file because of the proximity of relatively fast moving bikes. It’s a wonder there aren’t significantly more collisions with pedestrians.

      • Arjan says:

        That’s not really a wonder, it’s because cyclists don’t like to hit pedestrians because they hurt themselves more. So the great majority of cyclists rides very cautiously, even though a pedestrian might think their speed is too high.

    6. naked_hiker says:

      Sounds like the kid might have run in front of the cyclists. Kids do that. Not necessarily the cyclist’s fault. But it points to there being a need for separate paths. Only let’s make sure both paths are safe – the previous design I saw had cyclists crossing traffic exiting the west side highway.

    7. Wally says:

      I’ve witnessed many bicycle/pedestrian collisions. Most involve bicyclists who believe they are in the Tour de France and ride as fast as they please. A separate bike lane would be great but even as a casual, low-key biker I would be afraid to ride there. Speed limits, bike cops and fines might help.

      The reality is that the *walking* path along the river is just to narrow to accommodate walkers, runners, bikers, strollers, roller bladers, citi-bikers, dog walkers..etc. These accidents will continue..

    8. Scott says:

      Note that the cyclist involved here was not operating an e-bike. The most dangerous maniacs on that pathway are the manual cyclists in their spandex treating a mixed-use path like a velodrome. I cycle a lot and I refuse to even share a path with these people, I’ll take my chances with the cars.

    9. Michael Barrie says:

      It’s about time the police got involved. Bikes are now part of the city’s transportation system. There ought to be cops flagging speeders and issuing tickets with escalating fines, making arrests when necessary. That little girl is lucky to be alive.

    10. BillyNYC says:

      I too have witnessed many accidents in front of the 79 Street boat basin. I stopped walking my dog down there seven years ago after almost getting hit by two bicyclists they gave me the finger passing by me. That whole strip has always been a nightmare even with their speed limits they used to put up. Now maybe something will be done? It’s always too late though…when something has to be done in the city.

      Clearly the city is at fault !!!!
      I would love to be a witness of the past going back to the late 90s.

      When I do take my walks down by the Hudson River Park I usually stick to the high paths in the back of the park and avoid that whole bike strip.

    11. JE says:

      Someone needs to address the fact that there are cyclists who take themselves so seriously they think this is a Tour de France bike route. There are runners, walkers, strollers, children and dogs who have the right to be on these paths as well. Ever try crossing the pathway around 72/71 St. by the water where the real pedestrian walkway starts? The area near the kayaking pier. Accident waiting to happen as the cyclists go speeding by. It’s terrifying.

    12. Janice says:

      The bike riders in Riverside Park are crazy. They go by SO quickly–I stopped playing tennis at the 95th street courts because it’s dangerous to walk there. They need a separate lane.

      And yes, I think cyclists who hit pedestrians should be charged with a crime. If you’re going so fast you have to scream WATCH OUT WATCH OUT, you’re going too fast.

    13. Deborah says:

      This is a very serious problem that keeps me out of the park in good weather. I signed the petition to make a bicycle path around Manhattan and I deeply regret it. I have spoken to the people in the Riverside Park Dept. many times and they know how dangerous it is. Signs are meaningless as are the bricks placed in the pavement by the Boat Basin. I have seen an accident and watched while Park Department members have tried to stop people from going too fast or where they are not allowed, they are usually ignored. If bikers go fast enough they can be too dangerous for anyone to try to manage, and many of them go that fast and use their speed to intimidate people and escape.

    14. Roger Wolfe says:

      As a fit Senior Citizen, I have found cyclists indifferent to pedestrian safety. The park is not a race track; with rights comes responsibility. Bikers should have to observe speeding laws, carry insurance and identification so that they can be held responsible for any injuries that they cause. Speeding bikes can cause damage and death, whether intended or not.

      • Judy Goldberg says:

        Pedestrians are not the only ones who are intimidated by high speed cyclists. Some of us more careful cyclists are fearful as well. I was badly injured a couple of years ago by a cyclist who smashed into me while I was riding on the bike path. I am still recovering.

    15. Patricia says:

      Bicyclists are hazardous all over the city. They often don’t stop for stop lights and are especially obnoxious in Central Park. I wish they would either shape up or start to receive hefty tickets, maybe that will give them the perspective they need.

      • Jay says:

        Just substitute drivers in 2 ton death machines for “bicyclists” and for all over NYC for “Central Park” for and your statement becomes true. When a bicyclist is mowed over by a car, and the offending driver gets off scot free, the NYPD tickets bicyclists. Why is that?
        Following the same logic applied by NYPD, the pedestrians should be getting tickets..

    16. Dog owner says:

      The parks enforcement officers spend all their time harassing dog owners. Maybe they could spend some of that time slowing down bikes and enforcing walk bike areas.

      • Are you kidding !!! says:

        Haha! That would be too much to ask, there so at of condition they rather just sit in their little car and spy on their dog owners.

    17. Madeline Ring says:

      It’s time to ticket those that run red lights, go the wrong way and ignore bike lanes. And the speeders. Cars have speed limits why not bikes.

      • Deborah Hautzig says:

        You are SO RIGHT. It’s not just the parks. I fear for my life just crossing the street, as cyclists constantly ignore traffic lights and bike in the wrong direction. I do not understand why these riders aren’t ticketed. It is a huge threat to public safety. A friend of mine was killed by a cyclist who ran a red light at lightning speed. It’s a CRIME. And should be punishable by law.

      • Arjan says:

        Cars have a speed limit of 25 mph on the city roads, which is rarely reached by cyclists.

    18. Tom says:

      Wow!!! they had a plan since 2016?? and only now getting implemented? I remember that plan, and the funds were earmarked for it, why was it not done at that time? Why aren’t these “leaders” held accountable when serious injury occurs? Cyclist must have a dedicated path…hold the leaders that make stupid decisions accountable…

    19. N says:

      A women was knocked unconscious by a cyclist on Riverside Drive at 108th st approx 6pm . An ambulance was called and she was taken away . Can they gather statistics about all of riverside park and the drive . This issue is not limited to just the park or the stretch between 72 and 83rd street

    20. SA_NYC says:

      My wife and I went for a walk on the river with our two toddlers one day last year. I immediately saw how dangerous it was for the little ones and I freaked out, I was freaking out, I told my wife it might be the most deadly place in the city for small kids. I insisted we carry them until we got below the split at 72nd St. The undivided parts of the path are simply far too dangerous for little kids, and always will be so long as bikes are allowed.

    21. Lynn says:

      Cyclists are not permitted on sidewalks unless they are with children 12 or under. This should also apply to the upper sidewalk on the park side along Riverside Drive.

    22. Vince says:

      Don’t blame the cyclist, blame Rosenthal…they had a plan to fix the problem in 2016 and postponed it. Postponing is not inaction, it’s a negative action. Postponing is not neutral, it is working in the wrong direction.It just makes things worse. It’s time for new leadership.

    23. pearl says:

      So sad to see the injured child. I really hope pedestrians get their own path. I am 66 and have always walked for exercise on Riverside Park. No more; I stopped last summer because so many cyclists ride with no consideration for others and I am fearful.

    24. Mamcu says:

      This is a big problem further north, as well…getting to the tennis courts from above is extremely dangerous with bikes careening around both underpasses and the walkway being so crowded.

    25. Stuart says:

      I’m an avid cyclist but bicyclists and pedestrians really can’t coexist safely. We need bike lanes on both sides of Riverside Drive. If you are worried about losing all those parking spaces then stop letting non-NYC residents park on NYC streets for free. That will free up loads of spaces near Riverside Park

      • Carnival Canticle says:

        You’re right: cyclists and pedestrians can’t co-exist safely, especially if “cyclists” are defined as the spandexed racer wannabees who yell at children and old ladies like me to get out of their privileged way. But where’s the logic in your recommendation to increase the chaos by ceding more street space to the rubberized rude boys (and a few rude girls)? Rather than that non-solution, how about installing speed bumps on existing bike paths so that cyclists would be forced to ride at a non-lethal speed and the those of us who prefer using their feet could enjoy the river views at a stroll?

        • What? You’d rather have a shared pedestrian cyclist path with speed bumps than getting bikes out of your path altogether? That’s like saying you don’t want sidewalks, it’s a better idea to share the street with cars but make sure they have to go super slow.

        • Jon says:

          Carnival, your suggestion is the most asinine thing I’ve read in a while. If you have ever ridden a bike, you should know that for a “speed bump” to slow it down, it would have to be steep (shallow speed bumps like we have for cars would do nothing). And steep bumps would make for a miserable walking experience too given the tripping hazards they would create. Horrible idea for a shared cycling/walking path.

        • Joe says:

          Speed bumps on any bike path would represent a huge liability issue for the city. If a rider doesn’t see them at night, and falls, they can rightly sue the city for purposely installing what amounts to a pavement defect. Rumble strips, which remind cyclists to slow down, but can’t cause them to fall, are a better answer until separate paths can be provided.

    26. Riverside Resident says:

      I have lived near Riverside Park for 50 years and enjoyed it for most of that time–as a mom with kids, as a runner, and more recently as a walker. I’ve given up on actually walking IN the park any more because of the bicycles. My husband is disabled and cannot go sit in the park because of the bicyclists. To walk, I have retreated to the sidewalk BESIDE the park but that is no longer safe, either. The bicyclists have hijacked it.
      I know of a cyclist who received a ticket with court appearance in Brooklyn for going for just a few feet, slowly, on a sidewalk at an intersection where there were no pedestrians. Why are no tickets issued for the bicyclists on OUR sidewalk? They are terrifying. Why are they more important than me?
      Why can Central Park keep the interior walkways clear but Riverside Park cannot? And you don’t see bicyclists roaring along the sidewalk on the road side of Central Park, either. I know they have the interior roadway, but our lack of such space does not make it okay for bicyclists to dominate the entire park, inside and out.
      Why, why, why is this hijacking of our space okay?

    27. Marianne says:

      I feel sickened to hear that this poor little girl is the newest victim of a bicycle collision. Last year I witness a speeding big guy hit a toddler at full speed. You could see the tire marks on the two-year old’s face!
      First of all I don’t understand the mentality of bicyclists who are racing when sharing a path with pedestrians. Secondly I’d like to point out a contradiction: why was the 4-year old’s mother told “that unless the crash involves a motor vehicle the police department does not make a report” by the police officer and at the same time you were able to list the incidents involving pedestrians being hit by bikes by the 20th precinct?? Once again, I hope the child will heal physically and mentally. This is a trauma she will carry with her for the rest of her life.

    28. Jen says:

      I love both bike riding and taking a walk with my 9-year old in Riverside Park. Both are difficult. If you can find parts of the park where both bike riders and pedestrians have enough space, most of it is not safe.

      Also I’m amazed at the fact that riding at a very high speed is allowed in places where are a lot of people. It should be allowed only in designated areas. But I don’t think he City will do that and enforce the speed limit. As we know even the car drivers who hit and kill pedestrians are not charged with much and are back behind the wheel next day.

    29. Lara says:

      Whenever I pass them, which is often, the existing dedicated bike lanes on Columbus and Amsterdam seem to be almost totally empty as far as eye can see north/south except for the odd delivery guy. Maybe the Tour de France types on Riverside could use these existing dedicated bike lanes instead? Otherwise what was the point of building these lanes? Maybe am missing some pieces, which is possible. In any event, very best wishes for full recovery for the child.

      • Sue L says:

        You mean you don’t know the “purpose” of the Amst. & Col. bike lanes? How CAN you have missed their singular success at further congesting traffic on those two avenues?!!!

      • EricaC says:

        I think the issue is partly that they really aren’t safe either because cars and pedestrians keep going into them. I have pondered commuting to work on those paths, but I don’t think I could given the number of taxis and oblivious drivers who block them, people who walk in them, etc.

        We need to find a way to let bikers ride safely In the city (not at racing speed, but at commuting speed), but I’m not sure these paths will work as they are now.

    30. Jen says:

      How is this not considered an assault? I understand it’s not a motor vehicle, but in a separate story, some woman is wanted for assault by pulling a woman to the ground by her hair. How is this intentional disregard for public safety not considered an assault?

    31. Tamara says:

      I am a cyclist who occasionally travels along the Riverside Park bike path. It is abundantly clear that I am SHARING the route with pedestrians, many of which are children, and THEY have the right of way. Common sense tells most of us to travel slow (and if that doesn’t kick in, the signage also does.) These road warriors who think it is their right to speed through the park are obnoxious and should be ticketed (as they are on the street above when they blow through lights.) For what it’s worth, when I tell them that they’re making it bad for other cyclists, I get an earful of hateful language.

      • I have lived within 2 blocks of Riverside Park since 1965 and use my bicycle every day for transportation and enjoyment. I have always been a courteous rider and give pedestrians the right of way even if they are jaywalking because I am a danger to them even at very slow speeds. The lack of courtesy and common sense seems to be more pervasive throughout the society and it makes me sad and angry. My three children grew up in Riverside Park which I love dearly. To show my love, I am the author of “The ABCs of Riverside Park” and the sculptor who made the sand pit in River Run Park at 83rd St. Although I don’t know the solution to the immediate problems, I think we need to stop and fine the speeders and give them (anonymous) photos of injured children and elderly folks to help them understand the need to be courteous and respectful. If the authorities can’t or won’t do something, the friends and families of injured parties should stop the speeders and hand them photos of the victims of their thoughtless and reckless behavior. We need our parks to be places of quiet and peaceful contemplation as they were intended. Bicycles, scooters, rollerblades and other vehicles have a place in our parks, but speed does not. Olmsted and Vaux are spinning in their graves.

    32. Mark P says:

      This is a very unfortunate incident, but the inflammatory reporting language isn’t objective or helpful. A cyclist hit a girl, that is a fact. “Slammed” strongly implies reckless speed, when we don’t know that for a fact. Screaming “look out!” could mean the biker was going too fast; it could also mean the child darted unexpectedly across the path. Doesn’t mean it’s the child’s “fault”. Doesn’t mean it’s the biker’s “fault”.

      Mixed used paths are inherently risky and the one in front of the Boat Basin is definitely a problem that needs to be addressed because it is too narrow for the amount of people. Nonetheless, bikers don’t have a monopoly on disregard for others. I have seen plenty of bikers who blast through way too fast, and I have also seen pedestrians walking four abreast and adults rather careless with their children and pets. I personally broke my collarbone several years ago when a dog walker took his dog off leash and it darted across the Central Park road; I was going uphill and certainly wasn’t “speeding”, there was even car traffic in those days.

      Monday was a day of warmer than recent weather and so there were probably more bikers and more pedestrians out than usual. What is most needed is consciousness consideration of others, at all times, on the part of all. It’s the fix we can all apply to every situation, and it’s the one that seems in woefully short supply these days.

      • Matt H says:

        Yes, this, 100%

      • geoff says:

        hear hear!

        vigilance on both sides when crowded, please.

        my pet peeve? groups of people and people with strollers walking abreast, even on Columbus, oblivious to those behind them, and those approaching.

        when i raised my children i used a maclaren ‘umbrella stroller’—good for sidewalks, good for taking on the bus/subway.

        what changed? anyone?

        • Carlos says:

          Totally agree, and this is now compounded by people walking around with their heads buried in their phones. It is awful in parks, on sidewalks, on subway platforms, on stairways, etc. Phones should be put away while walking – if you need to look at your phone, stop and step to the side.

      • lcnyc says:

        Bravo. So rare to see a balanced, thoughtful comment on this topic.

      • former WS says:

        Thank you for your comment! Even as a cyclist who rides at a reasonable speed, it can be frightening to have to swerve to avoid children and off-leash dogs. Pedestrians need to be aware of cyclists too. Both on paths and in cycling lanes in the street (where pedestrians often cross without looking).

      • Adrienne says:

        Hi, I’m the mom. This man was going about 30 mph and I can assure you that “slammed” is the proper term for what he did to my daughter. That’s why she has a 1.5cm gash and stitches on her forehead. She didn’t bolt out in front of him. Plenty of other cyclists were riding at reasonable and safe speeds. But plenty were not. If you have to weave in and out of people and shout at them to move, you are going too fast. Period. This is a super crowded area of the path, especially at 5:30 in the evening, with sports practices, commuters, kids out of school, etc. It is completely unreasonable (not to mention selfish) to race at such speeds through a crowded space and expect all the rest of us to accommodate your recklessness.

        • Matt H says:

          Sorry to hear this. It sounds like the cyclist was going far too fast for conditions and your family paid a price for it. That sucks.

          It’s still dubious that the rider was going 30 mph — I mean, unless you had a radar gun or something, casual observers aren’t good at understanding this accurately — but even if it was (as is more likely) somewhere in the 20-23 mph range, it’s a distinction without difference.

        • Mark P says:

          I am also sorry to hear this. It does sound like this cyclist was being very irresponsible; absolutely, some do behave that way. I do also agree with Matt, extremely unlikely the cyclist was going 30 mph. But I empathize with your disappointment and anger. I hope your daughter heals quickly! Best regards.

        • ml says:

          So horrible for your daughter. Best wishes for a speedy recovery.

          Sadly, there are too many irresponsible cyclists in NYC.

        • lcnyc says:

          So sorry to hear of your daughter’s injuries. As others have pointed out, 30mph is doubtful. I understand it may have felt that way, but FYI, the top speeds reached by riders in the actual Tour de France on flat portions of the course are only around 35mph.

          Some cyclists on the path are absolutely irresponsible, as are some pedestrians. Hyperbole isn’t helpful to the argument on either side.

    33. Lisa says:

      Many miles of dedicated bicycle lanes have been given to cyclists at the expense of drivers, causing more traffic and making our streets visually cluttered and confusing to navigate. Cyclists should respect all the efforts made in their behalf and should stay on the streets and be banned from the parks entirely.

    34. MG says:

      The arrogant bike lobby demands, bike lanes, bike stands, and bike worship while ignoring civil use of their fast moving weapons. They are a major source of air pollution and global warming by bike lanes causing congestion necessitated by trucks making deliveries. Now they are running over children and the elderly. Violators should at least be forced to do community service.

    35. Ed says:

      The fault is allowing a mix of cyclists and pedestrians. You can’t walk down the middle of a street and cars can’t be driven down a sidewalk. But the idea of arresting cyclists for speeding is misguided – why should cyclists be treated more harshly than drivers, who are not arrested for speeding. Recklessness is another matter.

    36. Isabella says:

      The Councilmember needs to make sure legislation is passed to protect pedestrians from the the growing threat from these reckless cyclists!

    37. Burton says:

      I use Citibikes all the time and use the mixed use path extremely carefully when I am there. If I see a child or a pet coming up I slow significantly since common sense tells me they can move unpredictably. Like driving with the four seconds rule, no one should be biking at a speed where they can’t come safely to a stand still in plenty of time. And hint: if you are shouting “look out look out” you are not following your own advice, or you are privileging your existence over every other person on the planet!

    38. UWS Pedestrian/Voter says:

      I am sad and outraged to read about another avoidable incident on the Riverside Park Esplanade. I have not only sent numerous letters to Council Member Rosenthal and spoken several times by phone with her staff, but also twice gone to her field office for an in-person discussion. I was told that the money for a separate bike path had been allocated but with each contact a different completion date was given. Every promise made has been broken. Either Rosenthal (or her staff) truly don’t care or are not competent to push for a solution. I hope the Council member reads this comment; no response ever has been received to my emails and her staff has given false assurances on several occasions. I do not believe she deserves our community’s support at the ballot box or otherwise.

    39. SGG says:

      It is a horrendous situation. We are always walking with our dog in the park. Few cyclists actually dismount down the ramp at 67th st or anywhere when Dismount sign is posted. If you say something to them, they give you a look and continue on their way. They do speed all the time, zigzagging around people and other cyclists. It is a totally unpleasant and dangerous experience to just take a walk.

      • Anthony says:

        the park doesn’t belong to only pedestrians.Cyclists have no less of a right to use the NY greenway than pedestrians. many of us use it to get to work, and 95% are responsible.

        if pedestrians on the street actually stayed out of bike paths, cyclists would use them more instead of having to resort to the greenway which isthe only place we won’t get killed by cars.

        I know plenty of people that think dogs shouldn’t be allowed there either. they stink up the place and many are afraid of dogs.

        Why should cyclists have to leave so you can feel comfortable walking your dog? maybe we should outlaw dogs or pedestrians.

        I am all for safe cycling, and i hate reckless cyclists more than amny pedestrian because they are much more of a danger to other cyclists.

    40. KCA says:

      I find many cyclists use this path as a raceway. They are arrogant and feel that they own the path. This is not a race path and they should have to abide by a speed limit. They have been out of control for a while.

    41. Matt H says:

      Believe me, cyclists don’t want to hit you just as much as pedestrians don’t want to be hit by them. Strong chance of serious injury all around.

      For now, for better or for worse, the path along the river esplanade is a shared facility. During peak times you have to treat crossing the center like you’re crossing a road. I wouldn’t be down there with my 4-year-old unless she was firmly holding my hand the whole way. There’s blame to put on the cycling here too, of course, you gotta slow down to a crawl if you see an unrestrained little kid at your 11 o’clock.

      Same with being able to walk the whole path at the peakiest of peak times, but only single file? Again, shared facility, needs of different users have to be met at some sort of compromise.

      The path separation plan from 72nd to 83rd is a whole nother thing. I don’t think compliance will be good, and it will end up causing more problems than it solves, more conflict points than there were, more speed gathered by people coming down the hills instead of riding on flat. With Freedom Place south open now, I’m likely just to nope out of this and use that & Riverside Boulevard to connect from 59th to RSD at 72nd.

      Also, anyone who immediately jumps to saying “these people ride like they’re in the Tour de France” is immediately announcing themselves as an anti-veloist. It’s more benign than racism, but carries the same hallmarks of weak and inflexible thinking, of putting people in large category boxes and then asserting that they’re all the same, not individuals. Don’t do this, folks, it’s a hell of an old fogey take.

      • Cato says:

        — “anyone who immediately jumps to saying “these people ride like they’re in the Tour de France” is immediately announcing themselves as an anti-veloist.”

        Hoo hah!

        Let’s remember, folks, the next time you complain about being run over by some speeding cretin Lance Armstrong-wannabee while you’re trying to walk in the Park you — you! — are being “anti-veloist”.

        Shame on you!

    42. Matt H says:

      Also, I guarantee that nobody’s riding the flat parts of the path at 30 mph. 25 at the absolute most, and that’d be an 0.5% of users sort of thing.

    43. Susan says:

      Please tell the bicyclists to go to Central Park or, better yet, the suburbs. NYC is just way too overcrowded with everything now. Why are electric bikes allowed in parks when cars aren’t? And what about electric skateboards now. There is absolutely no place in the city where one can go to relax anymore. Scream at anyone about their bike etc. and you’re met with “Chill”!!!! Impossible.

      • Feh says:

        The loop in Central Park only goes as far as 59th Street, then dumps you on the busiest roads in the city. People actually going to or from work (to, you know, earn money and pay taxes to provide city services for everyone, including the retirees crutching their pearls elsewhere in this thread) need to go where their jobs are. Bikes aren’t just for recreation ya know.

    44. Guillermo says:

      Complacent UWS residents who keep voting the same do-nothing liberal politicians in the office. I bet those injured in these accidents will change their vote and will think twice before electing their officials who are supposed to protect them.
      Unless said liberal politicians allow NYPD to actually take measures, their hands will be tied.

      Wake up UWS!

      • Bruce E. Bernstein says:

        seriously? you think liberal politicians are in favor of reckless cyclists running over children?

        • Guillermo says:

          Actually yes, by doing nothing about it they tacitly consent for this to continue to happen.

    45. Beth says:

      A great time to run/walk on the path along the Hudson River is right after it rains (or even drizzles). NO BICYCLISTS! It’s glorious.

      My thoughts are with the family of the child hit by the cyclist. I hope she gets well soon.

    46. Sherman says:

      I’m not surprised Linda Rosenthal never responded to this woman’s complaints as Rosenthal only takes action on a problem when there’s a photo-op involved.

      That said, I run along the Hudson on a regular basis. I love this run and most cyclists and runners/walkers coexist peacefully.

      Unfortunately, there are a minority of cyclists who are reckless and think they’re Lance Armstrong and pose a danger.

      Why can’t the city put in speed bumps at semi-regular intervals with signs warning speed bumps ahead? This will likely slow down the dangerous cyclists.

      • PedestrianJustice says:

        Think you meant to say Helen Rosenthal. She’s the one mentioned in the post.

    47. Mark Schoifet says:

      The Cherry Walk is a disaster waiting to happen. It’s counterintuitive to have the pedestrian zone on the left along the river when you are going north, so most runners and walkers mistakenly go into the bike lane. And there is virtually no signage or markings. I’ve given up trying to explain this to other runners.

    48. Andrea says:

      The Westside Greenway is a vital part of our transportation infrastructure. As a (careful) cyclist one problem I see is that until things like this happen, the Parks Department fails to see this strip as more than a path in the park. At a community board meeting last year I couldn’t believe that there was no one from DOT even asked when it came to a proposed detour. The Westside Greenway is the most heavily utilized greenway in the ENTIRE COUNTRY. Strongly advocate segregating pedestrians and cyclists. You wouldn’t have your kids playing on a highway or in the middle of the street. Why not take the same precautions on a bike path? BTW, not saying that cyclists shouldn’t be more careful.

      • Matt H says:

        No kidding. Ever go to Belgium or the Netherlands? Over there they can design streetscapes and parkscapes to support usage levels like we see on the WSG, with similar space constraints, without people constantly crashing into each other.

        No international cycle-route design experts were consulted on any of this. Very little serious capital has been invested in this part of the path in ages, and what investment we have made has been inefficiently applied due to lack of this precise expertise. On *the busiest* path in the nation.

        • Arjan says:

          In Belgium/the Netherlands, the thoroughfares in the bike infrastructure are always separated from pedestrian spaces, even when the run through a park. So I think Andrea is spot on with her analysis.

        • JS says:

          Repeating below comment.
          Amsterdam is a completely different city and not at all comparable to NYC.
          Amsterdam is far smaller, fewer people and there are virtually no buildings taller than 6 stories. The handful of “high-rise” buildings are on the perimeter (and I believe the tallest is 22 stories.)
          But also worth noting that pedestrians have to be really careful in Amsterdam…
          Can be difficult to cross some streets as there are non-stop streams of cyclists whizzing by.
          Even on quiet streets, necessary to be always vigilant as bicycles are ever present and come up behind in silence.
          Amstrerdam is not great for pedestrians – cyclists rule there.

    49. Sid says:

      I wish this kind of alarmist writing was dedicated to the hundreds of people killed by cars every year in NYC, not to mention the dozens killed just on the UWS in the past few years.

      While this is an unfortunate accident, the last time a cyclist killed someone in the city was in 2014. Over 20 people have been killed by cars in NYC in 2019 alone.

    50. Jeff Berger says:

      I support Bikes as a great way to improve your health and to reduce carbon emissions. The Citii Bikes, bike lanes and the West Side Greenway all have made NYC much more livable. It is great that you can now ride your bike from the GWB to Lower Manhattan without dealing with cars and enjoy a great view of the river.

      BUT, even in Europe, where there are more bikers, they don’t all think that they are on the Tour de France!.

      The big problem in NYC is that you have a population of bikers who buy the high end TRI bikes, put on the spandex and imagine themselves on the Tour! They go too fast and have no respect for anyone around them.

      Many are training for worthy charities such as Team In Training, but they still need to keep the high speeds to places like Central Park, not the West Side Bike path.

      Some parts of the bike path, near the Boat Basin have speed bumps to slow down bikes. The DOT needs to install them at regular intervals to slow down the bikes and make riders more aware of their speed.

      • Arjan says:

        I think the comments about Lance Armstrong types riding recklessly are fair. Even in the Netherlands there are quite a number of places where bike lanes get so busy that friction occurs between these road racers and other users of the roads. However, the main difference is that in the Netherlands there are plenty alternatives available for people who want to ride their bike as exercise, opposed to the situation in Manhattan. Here you are limited to either Central Park or the WSG, two places that are also very crowded, but with no (safe) alternatives available.

        • JS says:

          Amsterdam is a completely different city and not at all comparable to NYC.
          Amsterdam is far smaller, fewer people and there are virtually no buildings taller than 6 stories. The handful of “high-rise” buildings are on the perimeter (and I believe the tallest is 22 stories.)

          But also worth noting that pedestrians have to be really careful in Amsterdam. Can be difficult to cross some streets as there are non-stop streams of cyclists whizzing by. Even on quiet streets, necessary to be vigilant as bicycles come up behind in silence.

          • Arjan says:

            JS: that’s what I pointed out as well, there is a difference between the Netherlands and the situation here. So thank you for confirming that Amsterdam (just a small part of the Netherlands) is different indeed.

            What I wanted point out: cyclists will go to places where there are no (or limited) traffic lights. So when that is combined with pedestrians you’ll get guaranteed problems. So offer them a proper alternative (Riverside Drive) and they will take it I think.

            About cyclists ruling in Amsterdam, the crowd is indeed getting kind of out of control. However, as long as you walk on the sidewalk, you don’t have to cautious for cyclists sneaking up on you. Problems occur when people see an empty road and they think that because there are no cars driving, they can walk there in the middle of the roads. Just stick to the side walks and you don’t have to worry.

    51. Mark says:

      Its very simple. The bicyclists have destroyed walking along the river for pedestrians. I stay away.
      And regarding the police statistics, how ridiculous. When all the pedestrians are gone then the statistics will show zero pedestrians hit by bikes. Problem solved.

    52. Scott says:

      The Mission Bay bike path in San Diego is kind of their version of our Hudson path. The cycling speed limit on the Mission path is EIGHT mph! What’s our speed limit? Oh right.

      • Joe says:

        I checked Wikipedia and the speed limit is 15 mph, NOT 8 mph, which is fine because it’s a shared path. It’s also primarily a recreational path, not a major bike transportation artery like the Westside Greenway, so the fairly low speed limit isn’t a big deal.

        There is no posted speed limit on the Greenway, but in general the speed limit on bike paths is taken to be the speed limit of the adjacent roadway. Since this is NYC, that would be at least 25 mph. Very few cyclists can significantly exceed 25 mph for any length of time. In general, you don’t need speed limits for bikes because the limitations of human power inherently limit the speed to what we consider “safe” speeds for automobiles (i.e. 25 mph or less).

        Should cyclists watch out for and be considerate of pedestrians on the shared parts of this path? Absolutely. However, shared paths are inherently a bad idea. The sooner separate paths are constructed the better.

    53. ml says:

      BTW Riverside and Central Park are quite popular with cyclists from NJ…

      Yes they DRIVE their SUVs (with bicycles) into Manhattan, park – and then cycle around….

    54. Christian says:

      This accident and others like it are terrible.

      Any bicyclist’s FIRST priority should be avoiding injury. We must slow down especially for children and the elderly, and allow for careless or unexpected movements.

      Separated paths are good. Speed bumps are good. Bikes are good. Caution is mandatory.

    55. Zanarkand says:

      I took my two boys there once a couple years ago. They were 4 and 2 at the time. The bikes are out of control fast and the lanes are too close. I feared for their safety walking along the river and haven’t gone back since.

    56. carol mills says:

      When I was growing up in NYC the only place for bicycles was in Central Park and that is where it should be to stay these bicycles are dangerous and don’t care how they ride them streets were made for cars not bikes

    57. Kathleen says:

      I lived on W 84th Street, a half block from the park for a number of years. I loved going down to the river but, as others have said, I stopped going down there because it became a nightmare with all the bikers, many of whom feel they own the path and show complete disregard for pedestrians. Several years ago I was walking along between 79th – 83rd Streets with my young grandson who was 5 years old at the time. Suddenly a group of at least 8 cyclists came racing through with no warning and rode on both sides of and very close to him. I screamed at him not to move and he was, fortunately, not hurt, but it was very frightening and completely unnecessary. So when I hear that since 2016 this has been written and talked about and it’s still “in the works” I am furious. Separate bike paths need to be put in NOW, and speed bumps where there isn’t room for separate paths. The cyclists don’t take responsibility for their behavior so it needs to be managed for them.

    58. Steven Barall says:

      First of all that response by Helen Rosenthal’s office is disgraceful. Anyway, if a cyclist collides with a pedestrian simply toss the bicycle into the river. The cyclist will be begging the police for an investigation and a report. At least then the person who got hit will have the information necessary to sue for damages. This sounds ridiculous but it’s not any more ridiculous than the politicians and the police just doing nothing for the last fifty years.

    59. Iz says:

      A separate path will be useless, but at least it’s a step in the right direction. The issue here are the bicyclists, plain and simple. If they don’t even adhere to red lights (my son, dog and I have almost been mowed over countless times on RSD), then there is no chance they’re are going to stay in their own bike lane. I really don’t know what the solution is, but this is a huge problem and I wonder if it will take a child getting killed before there is actually consequences for these reckless bikers.

      • Arjan says:

        You clearly don’t have any experience riding a bike. But let me share one thing with you, cyclists would love nothing more then their own space, where they don’t have to be continuously cautious for kids or dogs jumping in front of their wheels.

        So opposed to what you state, I do think cyclists will definitely stay on their own path, because they like pedestrians in their way maybe even less then pedestrians like cyclists in their way.

    60. Iz says:

      Perhaps speed bumps all along the bike path would help deter speeding. I agree with what others have said–if a biker is going so fast they can’t stop quickly enough for a child or animal, then that’s a problem.

      • BillyNYC says:

        Liz – that won’t work out too well they did try that down at 79 Street pier just to slow them down because of the foot traffic. Riding a bike in the city with speed bumps on the bike paths would be avoided by the bike riders. If that is the case then bike riders would bypass the paths and than the bike paths would be useless and would not be used by the bikers then where would they would go? They also tried the zigzag as well and that didn’t work out and they don’t have the staff to watch every foot of the bike paths.

        • Carlos says:

          Why was it deemed not to have worked out? I think this is the ideal solution to the problem so I am curious as to what didn’t work when it was implemented. The zig zag forces bike riders at high speeds to at least periodically slow down a bit. If this makes them not want to ride there, so be it. For those going at a reasonable speed, this is just a minor inconvenience that they can learn to deal with, and though on a busy day it bottlenecks things a little bit, it does not prevent walkers, strollers, wheelchairs, etc. from getting through.

          • Billy Amato says:

            Carlos – If bikers were going a reasonable speed we wouldn’t be here talking about this. The majority of these bikers are out of control and very aggressive. Bikers or anything else on wheels should have their own path or area away from walkers/runners and families. The only safe place to walk at the Hudson River Park is below 72nd St.and above West 57 Street because there is a designated path for the bikers to take or anything else on wheels which is separated at 72nd St. have you noticed that works ???? of course it does. Anyhow, bikers need to be separated from the walkers/runners and families… that’s what we know and that should be done.

    61. Sharyn says:

      As a cyclist myself, can pedestrians also start being ticketed for crossing the street when there is a red light? I’m often riding and have a green light and a pedestrian darts out in front of me, often on Riverside Drive. I’ve had to swerve out of the way, almost crashing myself into a car. Can we ticket pedestrians as well?

    62. Cato says:

      Perhaps the Community Board should consider this issue. Not the make-nice touchy-feely issue of “let’s all be nice and co-exist with each other”, but the issue of banning bicycles from the pedestrian path in Riverside Park.

      It’s clear that the path along the Hudson cannot be used by both walkers and riders. It takes only one speeding moron (oops, there I go, being anti-veloist again!) to do a child (or adult, for that matter) serious injury. The mere potential is enough to frighten people out of the park entirely, as shown by many of the comments above. (I, too, long ago gave up taking my kids or my dog to walk along the river. It’s just too risky.)

      Either the path is for walkers, or the path is for bicyclists; it cannot be for both.

      We need the Community Board to speak for the community on this one.

      • Matt H says:

        Look, this is a major transportation artery. It is *the* busiest bike route in the nation. Pedestrians have interest in being able to use the facility safely, but cyclists have an interest in a (foremost!) safe and (close thereafter!) efficient and convenient route. A blanket ban — especially one enacted just by the local community board, not considering the needs of the city as a whole — is not the right compromise point.

        The plan that separates bikes onto the higher pathways away from the water has its heart in the right place, but unfortunately, IMO, falls down in the details of its implementation and will make things worse. We’ll see, though.

        Really what they ought to do is spend about 15-20 million dollars to regrade the whole area, build a dedicated pedestrian path landward and 4 feet above the current path, and make a narrowed area immediately adjacent to the water cyclists-only. But we don’t have the political will to do real and valuable infrastructure spending.

        Alternate take: considering how much death and injury and mayhem they cause, let’s ban cars from the Upper West Side first, howboudit?

        • Cato says:

          — “Look, this is a major transportation artery.”

          Umm, no, it’s a park. The “major transportation artery” is the thing *outside* the park, covered in black asphalt and with other vehicles riding on it.

          Parks are for people. Roads are for vehicles. Bicycles are vehicles.

          Let’s get the bikes out of the parks and give the parks back to the people for whom they were intended and for whom they were designed.

          • Paul says:

            Cato, you could easily have written this as satire, but the bottom line remains you’re much closer to the truth than Matt H.
            If it has to be one or the other then pedestrians must take precedence.

            The answer is simple. If you’re on a bike and there are pedestrians present then slow the f down.

    63. Billy Amato says:

      The majority of these bikers (95%) are male aggressive bike riders and have no regards to children or walking/running citizens. The riding path at Hudson River Park and around the outer river path of Manhattan (both rivers) are to be shared by walkers/runners and bikers. Bikers have no regards to anybody and it’s totally out of hand!!! out of control!!!
      The city must act NOW and control these bikers this is what the city wanted (more bikes) so the city better get them under control….every one who rids bikes. Can you imagine if it was a electric bike that hit that child? I have been saying this from the day they started with bike lanes in the 90’s – “this city is not a friendly bike city”.

      • Arjan says:

        I totally agree with you “this city is not a bike friendly city”, but why shouldn’t we make efforts to turn it into a bike friendly city? In my experience, the quality of living in bike friendly cities is much better.

    64. Thomas says:

      TWO IMMEDIATE ACTIONS: 1. ADDRESS KEY DANGER POINTS. 2. BAN ANYTHING MOTORIZED FROM ALL CITY PARKS. MANY speed calming bumps would help. ONE PLACE TO CHANGE NOW!!!! The bike path leading back down to the river by the ball field at 72nd is the scene of death foretold. And there is no speed bump there. Just a sign that the parks maintenance folks keeping pushing off the path. This [and in front of the Boat Basin] are the two most dangerous points. THESE CHANGES CAN BE MADE IN ONE DAY! Longer term? Yes!!!! cyclists should slow down!!! But there are many people with unleashed dogs, wearing earphones so that they cannot hear a bell [a damn SIREN!] or a called warning, or simply for whatever utterly oblivious to all around them, stepping in front of walkers, runners, bikers… Separate bike baths will help. So will “keeping right” –although as noted, ill-marked paths can confuse rather than help.

    65. Jennie says:

      I feel really nauseous and upset seeing this. That poor kid and family. Bike lanes for bikes, walking lanes for pedestrians must be enforced. As a rule, bikers are rude and insulting if you ask them to slow down. I’m frightened to stroll alone, walk my dog or bike next to these particularly aggro, reckless people. Even weekend bikers with their families aren’t totally clear on rules or ignore the lanes, and forget reasonable consideration of fellow NYCers. I agree that the community board should step in and speak to this issue. “CHARGE THE CYCLISTS WHO SPEED WITH RECKLESS ENDANGERMENT. A COUPLE OF THOSE ARRESTS WILL CHANGE THINGS A LOT” 100%

    66. Barbara Litt says:

      As i cyclist, I think we should be held accountable for our actions! It’s reprehensible that a cop can give you a ticket for running a red light and not have any legal course for an accident–especially one involving a child. Cyclists TEAR through heavily traveled by pedestrian areas. They need to be stopped.

    67. ml says:


      In March, in the middle of the day, observed a cyclist go through a red light on Amsterdam Avenue and hit an elderly woman crossing the street.

      She went down in the street – was not able to get up. People tried to help; 911 was called.

      The cyclist was in cycling gear on an expensive bicycle (this was NOT a delivery person)

      Weekly, observe near misses by cyclists nearly hitting people.
      Typically the cyclists are going through red lights.
      (Yes also there are pedestrians who are irresponsible and cross on red lights)

      Last fall, in the village, saw two incidents – cyclists hit pedestrians. One was on a Citibike. Again it was “regular” people, not delivery people. (Delivery people are exploited and unfairly criticized IMO).

      Sorry – but in NYC, cyclists behave really badly.

    68. Peter says:

      Cherry Walk, where I jog several times a week, is indeed a disaster, as others have said. And I absolutely agree with somebody above that walkers in the bike lane are more of a problem than bikers in the pedestrian lane. But speeding bikes, especially on weekends in fine weather, are a menace, whatever side they’re riding on.

      The signage is terrible, just terrible: poorly designed, inconsistent, thoughtlessly placed, faded almost to illegibility. The icons they use for skaters are overly fussy and look like runners with funny shoes. (And how often do you see a skater nowadays anyway?) Would a European visitor know what PED stands for? Would an American think it’s “pedestrian” or “pedaler”? Why are there arrows showing the direction only for northbound pedestrians and not for southbound?

      Simple, clear, consistent signage should be an easy first step to improving things on the shared pathways.

    69. Sarina says:

      About time! I walk through Central Park almost daily, and witness many bicyclists treating the pathways as their own tour de France. I’ve also noticed that some even stop to observe the signs to walk their bikes and yet, still continue to speed up and down the path. Having said that, this past weekend was my first time walking down Riverside Park and I’d like to echo the sentiments described below. Bicyclists feel that they own the paths and rely on bells & shouting to communicate to predestrians. They swerve in and out of lanes with reckless idsregard for human life. It’s not right — I have to abide by the rules of the road, why doesn’t everyone else? The city needs to provide greater enforcement & governance!

    70. Arik Hesseldahl says:

      It’s just as bad in Central Park where bicyclists openly flout the laws regarding where they can and cannot ride. They also ride their bikes on sidewalks, which is illegal too, especially on along the avenues bordering the park. You spend 30 minutes watching bike traffic at about 95th -96th and Central Park West and if it’s a warm day you will see no fewer than a dozen of these violations within that time. NYPD does nothing about either inside or outside of the park. Calling them is useless because the offenders are moving fast. Bicyclists have their own activists. When will someone stand up for the rights of pedestrians to safe use of the sidewalks?

    71. Anthony says:

      I cycle there daily and would be all for a separate bike lane.

      Cyclists view reckless cyclists as a risk to everyone including themselves.

    72. Norma Lehmeier Hartie says:

      I both ride my bike and walk on the path along the river. I would never walk my small dogs where the path is shared. I ride my bike early–6-7 am–because of too many crazy bike riders and clueless walkers/joggers.

      Everyone needs to take responisbility for safety!

      I agree about the maniacs (usually in packs) on road bikes who ride too fast. And tourists on Citibikes.

      What really angers me is when joggers and walkers are in bike only lanes (and vice versa, although that rarely happen.) I was in an accident on my bike when a jogger with earbuds blasting music cut in front of me on a bike only section and I had to jam on the breaks and I fell. Asshole didn’t even know.

      I do think cops should patrol and hand out tickets to walkers in bike lanes, reckless bike riders, etc. Awareness is what is needed.

      FYI…the pathway from Battery Park north to endge of Manhattan is busiest in country.

    73. Duke says:

      We only hear about the people that get hurt. I cringe and the thought of all the dogs that must get hit by cyclists. It’s out of control!

    74. Anthony says:

      The comments from pedestrians to ban cyclists are completely inappropriate.

      First of all, pedestrians have no more of a right to use the Greenway than cyclists. If you think it’s dangerous for both, then why not ban pedestrians. Pedestrians have sidewalks which largely keeps them safe from cars. Not so for cyclists.

      Second, the vast majority of cyclists are responsible and do not speed or pose any danger to pedestrians. The cyclists who do speed are jerks and i can assure you most cyclists view them much like responsible drivers view speeders zipping in and out of lanes. They are a danger to everyone, especially other cyclists. i would support stronger enforcement, fines etc…
      the biggest problem i see is the number of e-bikes on the greenway, includign some that are all motorized. that and speedsters geared up like they are racing a velodrome. these people are a distinct minority and other cyclists hate them too.

      I am all for a bike path there. but the problem is pedestrians are not going to respect the bike bath. they certainly don’t outside of riverside/greenway.

    75. Sydney says:

      Every speeding cyclist should be arrested for attempted murder.

      So few follow the rules, like it’s some racetrack.

      They need speed bumps ever 20 feet.

      • Leon says:

        Zig zags are a much better option than speed bumps because speed bumps are a major inconvenience for strollers and wheelchairs. But your point is well taken.

      • Jon says:

        I am baffled by all of these speed bump suggestions. Do you really want to walk on a path where you have to mind your step for a speed bump sharp enough to slow down cyclists every 20 feet for a mile or more??? Sounds miserable. Clearly the better solution is to have a separate space so there is no concern about cyclists at all. The greenway further south e.g. south of 14th street does a great job of this with a bike free walkway along the water. The only pedestrian/cyclist conflicts exist at crossings (where speed bumps would be appropriate, eg on the cyclist path bordering cross walks).

    76. gary says:

      The police need to be present on a regular basis to give out tickets for speeding, serious speed bumps should be built. I was hit a by a bro on a bike, you know the type, gut hanging over his too tight cycling shirt. Someone will get hit and die if nothing is done.

    77. UWSHebrew says:

      Unfortunately, too many people that live here are extremely self-centered and do whatever they feel like, no matter what signs state is not allowed. I had to give up jogging around the beautiful Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir in Central Park because even though there are signs everywhere that no dogs or strollers are allowed on this circular path, people do walk their dogs and bring their strollers, and many times, even ride around on bikes. Unless rules are enforced, the arrogant people who live here will continue doing whatever they like.

      • Matt H says:

        When have you ever seen bikes on the reservoir path? I run there pretty regularly and I’ve literally never seen that.

        The occasional stroller or even rarer dog, sure. But honestly if seeing that makes you so nervous for your safety that you won’t run there any more, I think you need to start working with a physiotherapist on balance and agility drills more than you need to go for a run.

        • Mark P says:

          Matt H – thanks for your comments elsewhere including responding to mine. In this case, I feel similarly to UWS Hebrew as I have shared his experience. On the reservoir I routinely see people walking and even running in the wrong direction even though every entrance to the path is signed. I have heard some of these people speaking English so I don’t think it’s just foreign tourists. And I too have, in fact, seen one person riding his bike on the reservoir path. When I told him “this is not a bike path” his response was “F**k you”.

          Just two days ago I was walking around the Great Lawn and, despite their being numerous red flags indicating the lawn is closed, what do I see? A couple, with a child, pushing their stroller! on the lawn!

          I’ve seen people let their dogs run around in fenced areas of Teddy Roosevelt Park. When I asked one woman if she was from here (she wasl), and if she knew this was not a dog run, her response? “Mind your own business”. As if her anti-social behavior only affected her.

          All that said, I do still run around the reservoir. And I still believe most people intend well. But I don’t expect any given person to people to behave, remotely. I take the situation for what it is.

          • Matt H says:

            Thanks for the appreciation. I like what you’re adding to the dialogue a lot too.

            Back to the reservoir path, I never have a good sense of whether the counterclockwise-only rule really matters. It seems to me that the path works okay so long as people are _predominantly_ going one direction, even if there are a few scofflaws.

        • UWSHebrew says:

          You’ve made quite a lot of assumptions “makes you so nervous for your safety”, “start working with a physiotherapist on balance and agility drills”. Both do not apply to me, I’m a former athlete in football and basketball. When I’m jogging on a relatively narrow path, I do not like side-stepping dogs or strollers. Bikes are indeed rare, but I stay in Manhattan during the summer, and the tourists bring bikes to the Jackie O path in full force when I like to jog, which is mid-afternoon. I have not been back to that path in three years because of the dogs, strollers and bikes. Obnoxious New Yorkers (the dog owners know they should not be there, but love doing it anyway, I asked a few of them), and ignorant tourists ruined what Jackie O gave millions for, which was a path for people sans dogs, strollers, bikes.

          • Matt H says:

            My bad, I read “safety” into your concerns when you didn’t mention it specifically. I apologize.

            Bikes on the reservoir are/would be crazy annoying, I understand peeve at that. Wrong-way users, strollers, on-leash dogs, and off-leash dogs I’d call minor annoyances (although in increasing order of severity). Nothing that would make me give up running there myself, but to each his or her own.

    78. Mike says:

      Separate bike/pedestrian lanes will solve crashes no more than lane markings keep cars from colliding. That’s because the issue is when members of one group *cross* the paths of the other (mainly pedestrians crossing from the park side of the path to the river side). Children are especially problematic in this regard, animals on long leashes, and runners who suddenly U-turn without checking behind them.
      If the city *limits where pedestrians can cross from parkside to waterside*, it will be safer for everyone.

    79. sergio aguirre says:

      I don’t think any one follows the rules, yes bike are going fast and people are walking in cycling lane,talking on the phones. But that is ok ?

    80. Lori says:

      I ride there regularly, both for commuting and recreation. I have never had a problem, but have seen the shared strip get very crowded at peak times. Bikers have to slow down. Give yourself extra time, just like you would if you were commuting by subway. I agree that laws should be enforced. Menacing is not okay. I have never seen bicyclists scream or curse. Most of us are considerate and don’t deserve to be punished for the extreme minority.

    81. Patrick Williamson says:

      They cylclists are rude and ruthless. The crossing at Pier 1 and the bicycle path will eventually yield a fatality. Out of control bicyclists should be subject to the same laws as motorists. That will slow them down. Welcome to Mayor Di Blasio safe streets progressive project

    82. BILLY AMATO says:

      Let’s make this simple bikers/skateboards and anything on wheels should have their own separate path/area away from walkers and runners.
      Sharing these paths with anything on wheels is not working.

      Back to the drawing board…

    83. Geoff Cohen says:

      While this is unfortunate, there needs to be greater tolerance and awareness by all parties. As a cyclist, I see riders going much too fast on what is a shared use path, and hate seeing people ride that way. Yet, as a cyclist, riding at responsible speeds, I see parents pushing strollers into the path of bicycles, runners, and other pedestrians, with the parents often distracted by their phones and oblivious due to the use of headphones.

      Everyone needs to behave more responsibly on these shared use paths. Limit the speeds of cyclists, and require that people leave an ear open when on their phones. And electric bikes present an entirely different problem. Again, an enforced speed limit would help the situation..

      Let’s remember that Vision Zero applies to everyone,

    84. josh says:

      People have to get away from this false dichotomy. Yes it is true both riders and pedestrians are careless. But they are not analogous. If people walking at normal pace bumped into each other, no to little harm. Is same true for riders? I saw a bicycle on Saturday nearly plow into a stroller and the bicyclist yelled at the parent to get out of his way. Pedestrian should always have the right away whether it’s with Cars, which is already codified in law, or with riders. Just like people and automobiles sometimes have traffic and have to slow down bicyclist have to realize that occasionally they might have to slow down to it it’s not the end of the world.

      • Mark P says:

        I agree with you: pedestrians should and do have the right of way, over bicyclists as well as cars.

        That doesn’t preclude that pedestrians should also act responsibly, with consideration for others. The two ideas aren’t contradictory. That is what those of us opposing tribalism (cyclists vs everyone else, there’s your false dichotomy) are trying to say. Just because a pedestrian can’t hurt you by bumping into you doesn’t mean they can’t hurt you.

        We are diverse, and we live with one another, and it is our human responsibility to treat others as we would wish ourselves to be treated. Each of us is free to shirk that responsibility, but that doesn’t discharge it.

      • Joe says:

        Pedestrians *don’t* always have the right of way over cars or bikes. One good example of that is when there’s a traffic signal and pedestrians have a “don’t walk”. Another example is the law at uncontrolled crosswalks, which states that a pedestrian may not walk in front of a vehicle if that vehicle is too close to safely stop. Far too many pedestrians in this city think they can just cross midblock in front of cars going 40 mph and expect the cars will be able to stop because “they always have the right-of-way”.

        The law gives pedestrians right-of-way in many circumstances, but it’s not absolute.

        • Josh says:

          That is true if pedestrians go where they are not supposed to be. Sure, if someone jumps in the middle of the highway, then they assume risk. These people walking are allowed to be on the sidewalk. Children are not required to walk in a straight line and stay out of cyclists way. When pedestrians are where they are allowed to be, all vehicles (cars, bicycles, scooters, etc) should yield.

          Sorry , that is literally the only way it will be safe. Speed bumps are fine, but if cyclists don’t yield in shared spaces, accidents will happen.

          Cyclists act like having to momentarily slow down is like the greatest affront. Imagine as a pedestrian walking in a busy area (like Times Square) you yelled and cursed at every person who stepped in front of you and/or slowed you down. They would take you to bellvue. Yet that is what I see everyday on the bike paths (I bike this stretch frequently, never in spandex).

          • Joe R. says:

            The problem here is that shared paths don’t work when there are large numbers of pedestrians, cyclists, or both. It was stupid of the city to even consider having shared paths in this area. Whether they slow down or not, it’s not pleasant walking and having lots of bikes. And if you’re riding it’s not pleasant having to constantly watch for people walking in every direction. The current setup can’t work, and idiotic suggestions I’ve read like speed bumps or zig-zags will make a bad situation worse. Speed bumps also represent a huge liability for the city if a pedestrian trips on one or a cyclist falls. When you have uneven sidewalks, people can sue the city. To even suggest intentionally adding what are in essence pavement defects shows how out of touch with reality some people here are. Frankly, speed bumps shouldn’t even be used on regular streets. Putting them in bike or walking paths is sheer insanity.

            Separate paths is the one and only answer.

    85. Stashy says:

      Cyclists routinely zoom the wrong way on 1-way streets, zip through red lights, ride on the sidewalk. All of this is, of course, unlawful, but cyclists can do this with impunity because there is no way to identify the offenders. Solution: adult bike riders must register with City, and receive a bib (like a marathoner’s bib), all at no cost. Not wearing a bib? Your bike is impounded, like a car whose driver has no license.

      • Joe says:

        Do they impound the cars of motorists when traffic laws are violated? No, they dont. So what’s the reason for impounding bikes? Also, just because something is technically illegal doesn’t make it dangerous. The police already disproportionately ticket cyclists relative to number of people they injure and it adds nothing to street safety. We don’t need to add more pointless laws which do nothing for safety, like requiring cyclists to register or wear a stupid bib. You just want to humiliate cyclists by forcing them to wear a ridiculous looking bib. Let’s have pedestrians register their shoes and wear bibs while we’re at it.

        The solution here is separate paths. This way, each group can do what it wants and nobody complains.

    86. Norm says:

      A few weeks of plainclothes cops patrolling the area on foot to flag down and issue tickets to speeders wouldn’t hurt at all.

    87. ThinkPink says:

      Last weekend on both Saturday and Sunday I witnessed 2 separate electric delivery bikes flying down down the shared pedestrian/bike paths. Electric bikes are terrifying. This needs to be stopped.

    88. Joe says:

      Just a couple of general observations here:

      1) The problem here isn’t cyclist or pedestrian behavior, it’s the fact you asking two disparate modes with dramatically different characteristics to share the same space. It’s almost like putting cars and trains on the same path. It doesn’t work. “Shared” bike/walking paths were all in vogue in the 1950s when planners thought a bicycle was just a slightly faster pedestrian. Now we realize unless the volumes of cyclists and pedestrians are very low, shared paths can’t work. Separate paths are the best solution anywhere in this crowded city.

      2) I highly doubt large numbers of cyclists are going 30 mph. Because it’s a small vehicle, people tend to overestimate the speed of a bike. I’ve had people think I was going 50 or 60 mph when I was only going in the low 20s. Only a strong cyclist can even reach 30 mph on a level path. Few can maintain it for more than a couple of seconds. It’s more likely the faster cyclists are going in the 20 to 23 mph band.

      3) Speed bumps and calls for speed limits are nonsensical given that the solution is separate paths. Speed bumps will make walking miserable, and speed limits can’t legally be enforced on cyclists because they’re not required to have calibrated speedometers, nor would such a requirement be even remotely feasible. The general speed limit in NYC is 25 mph. The limits of human power pretty much ensure few cyclists exceed that limit for more than a brief time.

      4) When cyclists and pedestrians are forced to share space, which will be the case until separate paths are made, any cyclists wishing to ride very fast should do so at off-peak times. There’s nothing wrong with fast riding, but it’s stupid to try it on a crowded path. It’s unpleasant, plus it’s dangerous to the cyclist and those around them. If more people in this city could learn common courtesy, we wouldn’t have half the problems we do.

      5) Pedestrians can also be better behaved when it comes to respecting the space of cyclists. Sure, this is a shared path, and pedestrians come first here, no argument about that. I’m referring to bike lanes elsewhere in which pedestrians regularly walk out in front of bikes without looking, then complain they were almost hit. We all have to respect each other. Pedestrians are no exception.

    89. TCB says:

      Separating cyclists and pedestrians is definitely the ideal. However until separate or wider paths can be built, why not put perpendicular, staggered, metal or concrete barricades along the path every 30-50 yards. A series of barricades that are set up similarly to the barricades at the north end of the soccer field just below 72nd St would work well to slow down the cyclists. They would not be able to attain the high speeds they ride at currently as they’d have to keep dismounting at each barricade. For these Tour de France-type cyclists it would undoubtedly be maddening. Maybe so much that they’d even abandon this bike path for their high speed training! The rest of the cyclists are typically more casual, considerate and mindful that they need to exercise caution especially around the elderly, small children who inevitably dart out and dogs on leashes.

      Also, how about ticketing for excessive speeds for reckless endangerment. I’ve used this path for close to 20 years and this issue gets worse every year.

      • Joe says:

        This is a horrible idea, especially at night when cyclists won’t see the barricades, and ram them at full speed. Also, the path isn’t crowded all the time, which means cyclists don’t need to slow down all the time. The barricades aren’t just going to affect those you call Tour de France cyclists. Commuter cyclists would have to dismount at every barricade. End result of all this won’t be slowing down cyclists. It’ll be making the path unusable to them, and they’ll end up riding elsewhere, with more getting injuring or killed as a result.

        The separate path should have been built already. The answer is to just build it yesterday. Temporary fixes make no sense.

    90. alice gingold says:

      In general, the cyclists in NYC have little or no regard for the safety of pedestrians! The food delivery bikes race from every angle. There are large groups of bikers who think nothing of riding on crowded sidewalks. Pedestrians must look in both directions before crossing streets.
      The mayor and others think having all these bikes is great, but people are endangered by these reckless bikers.

    91. UWS Pedestrian says:

      I’m holding Council member Rosenthal as responsible for this situation as I do the reckless bikers. She has failed to represent the interests of the community she was elected to represent and failed to demonstrate leadership and be an advocate for safe use of a public facility. She does not deserve our trust or votes.

      • Cato says:

        She doesn’t need your trust *or* your vote. She’s term-limited.

        And when she runs for Comptroller there will be a lot more voters for her from outside our district, so our experience of her won’t matter.

        • UWS Pedestrian says:

          Term limits generally are a good idea but, as you correctly point out, they can permit politicians aspiring to higher office to avoid dealing with specific local problems as they focus on the issues relevant to their next job. Guess our focus has to be on candidates to succeed her. But I still won’t vote for Rosenthal even if she decides to run for president, along with everyone else!

    92. Ellen Jacobs says:

      Cyclists should be required to have license plates. Creating radar zones would record those ignoring speed limits, who would be identified through their license plates. One of the more dangerous places is the entryway to Riverside Park at 72n Street, which is an extremely narro, curving path, where a speeding biker wanting to veer out of the way of pedestrians is prevented by the metal fences on each side of the path.

      • Joe says:

        License plates for bikes are a stupid idea which cost the few munipalities which tried it lots of money to enforce. And you’re not going to catch too many bikes speeding given that the speed limit in NYC is at least 25 mph. In that particular location the speed limit of the adjacent roadway, namely the Henry Hudson Parkway, is 40 mph. By default then that’s also the limit on the adjacent bike path, not that anyone even comes close to riding at that speed. Besides, it’s legally impossible to enforce speed limits on cyclists because bikes aren’t required to have calibrated speedometers, nor would any such requirement be even remotely feasible.

        If there are problems, it’s solely because you’re asking a lot of cyclists and a lot of pedestrians to share the same space. There would be problems even if no faster went faster that 10 or 12 mph. The fix is separate space for everyone.

    93. Patricia says:

      Talk is cheap.
      This problem is not isolated to parks. It’s widespread and out of control
      If there is no consequence to bikers who ride wherever and however they please….. cruising sidewalks, zipping two ways in a one-way bike lane, ignoring traffic lights they think don’t apply to them…..children, old people, and everyone else will continue to be victims.
      A bike culture was introduced (forced on) New York City without the studies having been done to determine how to keep EVERYONE safe . Another “ready-fire-aim” plan. It is truly an outrage.

    94. Ted says:

      There are well mannered safe cyclists on the river path. Unfortunately there is a not insubstantial minority of cyclists who disregard rules and endanger others. Many of these cyclists seem to feel they should have unlimited access and privileges but no responsibility or accountability. I have been told so many times, “Hey I don’t think riding here is a problem”. As if drivers might say “I don’t think this traffic lights important”. And now there are e-bikes, e-skateboards and e-scooters.

      Construction can’t be done soon enough.

    95. Peter says:

      These stories are so upsetting. I’ve lived in this city my whole life – 48 years – and grew up near this section of Riverside. I’ve been riding bike in NYC since the 70’s and was a bike messenger for the better part of the late 80s. The problem is that bicyclists feel any bike lane gives them the right to ride as if they were in the Tour de France. This strip on Riverside, the Central Park loop and the Brooklyn bridge are riddled with these bike maniacs. I love biking fast, too, but if there are pedestrians, I respect them and slow down to avoid accidents such as these. I see these maniac bikers zoom past pedestrians at high speed, often screaming like the maniacs they are. The solution is having no bike traffic where there are pedestrians, period. If you have biking, then make sure they have their own dedicated lanes with enough room and barriers to separate them from pedestrians. I’ve had enough of this.