Collision Between Cyclist and Pedestrian in Riverside Park Shows Dangers of New Bypass, Witness Says


Photo by Ken Coughlin.

A cyclist crashed into a pedestrian in Riverside Park on Saturday afternoon, according to Ken Coughlin, a member of Community Board 7 who showed up right afterward. The incident occurred in a section of the park where cyclists were diverted so that they wouldn’t conflict with pedestrians.

“I came upon this scene on the RSP detour about 4:30 this afternoon. A cyclist going south and descending from 79th Street hit a woman who was walking with other women across the bike path from the Boat Basin Cafe towards the tunnel leading to the parking garage. The cyclist told me he did all he could to avoid hitting anyone and braked so hard that he went over the handlebars. The women readily acknowledged that it was not his fault and that they had no idea they were crossing a bike path. Witnesses concurred that there was nothing more the cyclist could have done. An ambulance was called but it spent untold minutes at the top of the traffic circle, unsure of where to go next.  I helped direct them down. The woman who was struck was conscious but apparently had at least an injured shoulder, perhaps more. I left after the ambulance arrived.”

The new detour on a hilly section of the park from 72nd to 83rd Street was meant to move cyclists away from the promenade on the Hudson, where pedestrians and cyclists sometimes came into conflict. But the path has drawn criticism because some say it’s not well-marked, is too hilly for most cyclists and allows other cyclists to build up too much speed. Coughlin explained to us why he’s concerned about the detour.

“It’s highly dangerous the way it is. This is perhaps the worst spot because of the steep descent and the likelihood of pedestrians crossing, but there are other dangerous locations as well, particularly the sharp turn where the detour begins near 72nd St. and the water. At the location where this crash occurred pedestrians need adequate warning that they are about to cross a bike path. Also, there are significant bumps at the bottom of the incline that need to be smoothed out because it’s possible to lose control of a bike if you’re unaware and going too fast. Finally, this detour if used at all going forward should only be for times when the waterfront path is too crowded to safely allow cycling. That is not the case most of the time.”

NEWS | 78 comments | permalink
    1. Sprocket In My Pocket says:

      If a cyclist is going so fast that s/he cannot brake to avoid a pedestrian, s/he is cycling at an unsafe and excessive speed.

      • UWSider says:

        Absolutely agree. Where the bike path is shared with pedestrians bikes should not travel at unsafe speeds. And yet they routinely do. Not all of them (yes bikers, many of you are responsible) but too many treat the bike path like a speedway. These collisions are going to kill someone.

      • Richard Robbins says:

        Agreed. CB7 passed my resolution calling for a 10 MPH speed limit for all wheeled vehicles on shared paths in Riverside Park. Unfortunately, the hills on this detour are so steep that bikes can get to 15-20 MPH without even pedaling. Plus, when going downhill with an approaching uphill, it is instinctive for cyclists to try to pick up speed to be able to climb the uphill. (I am NOT endorsing that they do so but commenting on human nature.) Mixing pedestrians with speeding cyclists in this area is a recipe for disaster.

        These views my own and do not necessarily reflect the views of CB7, although CB7 did pass the resolution calling for a speed limit by a vote of 35-2-3-0.

        • UWSider says:

          A speed limit only counts if enforced. Has anyone ever seen a cyclist stopped and ticketed for dangerous behavior?

          • Rob says:

            fwiw, I have seen far more people on bicycles being ticketed than I have seen drivers or people walking being ticketed for offenses.

        • Andrew says:

          And too many pedestrians treat cyclists like 3d class citizens and assume that any irresponsible carelessness on their part should be expected by cyclists and catered to.

          even 5 MPH may be “too fast”. it all depends on how much distance there is between the bike and pedestrian.

          if the pedestrian steps into the cyclists path when the cyclist is a foot away, no speed will be low enough.

          take some responsibility for your own carelessness. i never have pedestrians stop at a light when i have the green (unless there are cars too). people step into my bike lane without so much as a glance, faces in their phones.

          i never hit anyone, and go slow and have lights etc… but even so the irresponsibility of pedestrians is not something we should promote by pretending the cyclist is always at fault.

          i fully support a 10 MPH cycling speed limit. responsible cyclists already do that. many cyclists should not be out on the road. but there are now more than 500,000 daily cyclists in the city. we’re not a tiny part of the city. we have rights too. and responsibilities.

          Everyone pretends that cyclists always break the rules while pedestrians don’t. who are you kidding?? take a look at your own behavior and others when you are walking around the city.

          • Joe R. says:

            I hope you mean a 10 mph speed limit only on shared paths. Such a low speed limit for bikes everywhere, besides being unenforceable, would make cycling functionally useless. It also won’t make things any safer. Even a bike going 25 mph has a very small chance of seriously injuring a person.

      • Lkh says:

        @Spocket: Unless you have ridden on this bike path, you have no idea how unavoidable it is to achieve the speed you can, while breaking, going down this hill. The new bike path is hazardous for all. The path is not clearly marked and was just an accident waiting to happen.

        • Wlnyc says:

          I completely agree – if you have not ridden a bike on this path yet do not comment. This bike path is ill designed and from EXPERIENCE I can tell you this path has a pedestrian problem. My nine-year-old daughter and I were riding on Monday and witnessed multiple issues. First, the hills are so steep, it is difficult to have a family ride, and momentum builds up and is needed to ride this steep and hilly path.It is not recklessness, it is gravity. If bikers are relegated to the path, then make it a bike path and pedestrian free (it is not a critical thruway). On Monday, we had strollers in the middle of the path, joggers dashing across the road, and a Mom who suddenly placed her kid and their scooter on the path by the curve to 72nd street where it narrows to a sharp turn, and nearly got hit. If pedestrians want to be safe, then they need to pay attention and be respectful of bikers too. If bikers are being rerouted and forbidden from using a section of the greenbelt, then pedestrians should be restricted from using the bike path. Obviously, shared paths do not work in Riverside Park – a place for for ALL to enjoy.

      • Stephen says:

        You can theoretically say that about any contact between any two moving objects. Car to car, bike to car, car to pedestrian, bit to pedestrian or even pedestrian to pedestrian. As a driver, biker and pedestrian I’ll tell you some accidents are unavoidable. When a pedestrian is walking parallel to you and suddenly steps into the bike lane to hail a cab or get into their car and does not look then the chances of hitting them increase exponentially.
        Cars and wheeled things generally travel on a predictable trajectory. People can and do turn on a dime. Unless we go back to all wheeled things having a flag man in front to them accidents will happen.
        That’s why they are called accidents, not intentionals.

    2. Sherman says:

      Ok, this woman was partially at fault.

      But if the cyclist “braked so hard that he went over the handlebars” then he must have been cycling dangerously fast.

      I run along the Hudson and in RP on a regular basis. Most cyclists are respectful and responsible but some think they’re Lance Armstrong. On a couple of occasions I almost got into a physics altercation with cyclists who nearly ran into me while I was jogging (and I always carefully run to the extreme right side of the paths).

      There should be speed bumps placed in areas with high pedestrian traffic and other strategic areas.

      This seems like a very simple solution I don’t understand why this can’t be done.

      • M says:

        Speed bumps are an excellent idea. Self-enforcing. There are too many cyclists who go way too fast.

        • Brian Van Nieuwenhoven says:

          Speed bumps on a downhill?

          • user says:

            Agree. Especially on the downhill. That’s where they’re needed most.

            • Joe R. says:

              Cyclists already have issues here because of the poor pavement condition on the downhill and you’re advocating putting in what is essentially a pavement defect??? That’s grounds for a lawsuit. Also, you’re not aware of how speed bumps affect cyclists. There are all kinds of bikes. A bike with fat tires might not even need to slow down on a speed bump. A bike with narrow, hard tires could crash. There’s no one-size fits all speed bump which works for cyclists.

              No place in the world uses speed bumps for bikes. No place. And with good reason. They can cause cyclists to crash, not just to slow down. If we intentionally put something on the road which caused cars to crash there would rightfully be lawsuits. Same here. Places that have speed bumps for cars typically have pass throughs for bikes and motorcycles.

              You’re also ignoring the fundamental unfairness of the current situation. Bikes got banned from what used to be a shared path. Now pedestrians have an exclusive path all to themselves. However, bikes didn’t get their own exclusive path in return. Instead, they got another shared path, only one which was much worse in every aspect than the one before. And yet people are ready to blame the cyclist for this incident. You got what you wanted, which was to get bikes off the main path. Stop complaining about what they do on the detour. By all rights pedestrians should be banned from the detour to make things fair.

    3. Reed Rubey says:

      All bike lanes should be designed by competent transportation engineers. Bike Lanes designed by the NYC DOT typically have gone through a thorough analysis and design process. However, I am not convinced that the bike lane designs I am familiar riding on in Riverside Park meet the same standard. I agree with Mr. Coughlin’s comments, above. Better marking to alert pedestrians and cyclists is needed. And, the bike lanes should conform to national association standards.

    4. Sid says:

      Furthermore, directing cyclists onto the Greenway through a highway on-ramp (the 79th st Rotunda) is incredibly dangerous.

    5. UWS-er says:

      I recently saw a couple pushing their baby in a stroller right in the middle of that bike path. They had no idea it was a bike path at all and that next to them was a pedestrian path. It definitely needs clearer markings.

      • kaylord says:

        At some stretches the pedestrian only path isn’t right next to the SHARED path but yes, none of it is clearly marked.

    6. Tim says:

      “The women readily acknowledged that it was not his fault and that they had no idea they were crossing a bike path.”

      I think some people are completely ignoring this statement and just spouting the same old arguments.

      Maybe posting some signage might help since people are unaware that that area is designated for bikes.

      • Evan Bando says:

        Tim, the bicycle is the vehicle moving at speed. It is fully their responsibility to ride with utmost care in an area that is clearly busy with pedestrians of all ages. It is not a velodrome. I bear that in mind every time I ride through there. There’s no excuse to be hitting anyone at anytime in that confusing interchange of paths. Simply slow down.

    7. trebron says:

      Ambulances called to any place in Riverside Park are generally lost. Especially on weekends there are numerous youth sports events, and I was present multiple times when a kid got injured and an ambulance was called via 911. In one case, a kid had a broken arm and was passing out. From 911 call to ambulance arriving at the sports field it took about 45 minutes. 911 operators do not understand the park and cannot direct the ambulances.

    8. PQDubya says:

      Its not difficult, even on a CitiBike to reach 10MPH with little effort. Certainly on a racing bike, 15MPH can also be achieved at little extra effort. Clearly not compatible with pedestrians at 3-4 MPH even if the cyclist has the best regard for pedestrians. I have stayed away from RSP because of this, someone passing you at 15MPH a mere 12″ from you is unnerving. It feels unsafe. Traffic calming measures like a broad rumble strip of cobble or speed bump at the correct interval might be a simple solution

    9. Ferd Finster says:

      If a bicyclist, an automobile driver, a scooter rider, a roller skater, or anything else with wheels is going so fast that they can’t stop safely, then they are going too fast. The bicyclist was at fault. If there was a stop sign for the bicycle path it would not make a bit of difference. Speed bumps won’t work, they’ll just ride around them.

    10. Lara MacLean says:

      I agree! I have unfortunately stopped using the path all together because I can not handle the steep detour hills. It is a shame for me, because the prior route was fine, and provided me with a commute to work without worry of cars and much needed exercise. Please go back to the old pathway! Thanks.

      • Elizabeth Oram says:

        As someone who cares about climate change, I am very upset to read that this ridiculous detour forcing cyclists onto an unsafe and hilly path is pushing people to abandon cycling to work. What is wrong with you people, blaming the very people who are part of the solution to our terrible air quality and climate crisis?? We should be encouraging people to use bikes in cities! I bet the same bike-haters commenting here are aghast at Trump’s attack on environmental regulation. Bikes in cities are to be embraced and prioritized; they are the future. Personally, I don’t bike, but I care about air quality and this is the most heavily used bicycle path in the country and the users are being pushed into an unsafe hilly area where pedestrians are unaware they are sharing the path. I’m surprised this disaster didn’t happen long ago. The bike path must be put back along the shared path on the river.

        • kaylord says:

          Totally agree we need to encourage people to cycle and that the new path is less safe. I ride my bike to get around and also walk this stretch of Riverside daily. The problem of cyclists and pedestrians clashing has simply been moved to a less safe area basically amplifying the problem. I prefer walking under the trees away from the water b/c it’s prettier. In winter, it’s often too cold by the water and in summer there isn’t enough shade. I’ve seen dozens of close calls already. It’s difficult to safely brake riding downhill so adding hills into a bike path is…incredibly stupid. People try to build up speed for the upcoming uphill ride, too. At a community meeting about the new path many kids and seniors complained about the hills, mentioned this path is narrower than the one that runs along the river and said the trees make it darker and therefore less safe when they’re commuting. It’s astonishing that someone thought this was a solution that would work. All you have to do is go for a walk in this area at almost any time of day to see it’s a bad idea.

      • Kindly Dr Dave says:

        Hear! Hear! Good observation!

    11. noma says:

      This is terrible news. After experiencing this new bypass in person I am unfortunately not surprised. It’s a horrible setup that is now unavoidable for both pedestrians and bicyclists. Someone please bring back the old route, i felt much safer then.

    12. Benoit says:

      Riverside Park Conservancy keeps failing park users when it comes to security. The new traffic patterns between 83rd and 72nd streets are the latest ill-conceived addition to confusing and dangerous traffic initiatives, and the mergers/splits of pedestrian and cyclist lanes are utterly atrocious — accidents waiting to happen.

      Even more dangerous is Cherry Walk between 99th and 125th Street: there is a wide lane for two-way wheel traffic (bicycles and skateboards) and a narrow lane for two-way pedestrian traffic (runners and walkers). The road marking have become illegible and the green line that used to separate both lanes has totally faded. Hence, there is no way to know that the traffic pattern is completely counter-intuitive, and people tend to bear right — meaning that many northbound runners use the bicycle lane and many southbound cyclists use the runners’ lane. On several occasions, I have had to dodge bicycles in the runners’ lane only to be cursed at in the most vulgar way by cyclists not aware that they were in the wrong lane.

      As a long-time and caring member of the Riverside Park Conservancy (erstwhile the Riverside Park Fund), I have flagged this serious safety problem in writing to the agency’s last two Executive Directors. Absolutely nothing was done to improve our safety, yet money was spent recently on Cherry Walk to replace a decrepit and probably not so useful sundial at 125th Street.

      How many more accidents do we need before The Riverside Park Conservancy starts caring about the park users’ safety?

      • Kevin says:

        Plus, the condition of the pavement on that entire stretch is unacceptable. Large chunks missing, uneven pavement, tree roots busting thru, broken up pieces of rock all over the place.

        As to running north, I gave up staying in “ the proper “ lane and having a pas de deux with every 3rd biker barreling right at me. I stay way to the right and can now jog without anger :-)))

    13. Chrigid says:

      Serious question: if bicycles were required to have horns, would this have happened?

      • Brian Van Nieuwenhoven says:

        The pedestrians saw the cyclist a approaching and didn’t move, so yes.

      • EagleEye says:

        Probably, as it all happened too fast for someone to honk and expect the pedestrians to move out of harms way. Bikes are required to have bells in NYC.

      • pete says:

        just what NYC needs – More horns!

      • Ken says:

        Bikes are already required to have bells. Maybe if the cyclist had been ringing his bell all the way down the slope, the pedestrians would have looked up and seen him coming, but to do that he would have had to have known there were people about to cross his path. We can’t assume that either cyclists or walkers will be aware of the inherent dangers at this very treacherous corner.

    14. Sam Koo says:

      I would like to suggest no bikes at all in any parks.
      It is such a quite and peaceful place but too many go too fast on their machines for no good reason.
      Speeding machines vs fragile bodies. Who wins?
      Practically all bikers wear racing outfits. That should indicate that parks are not racing grounds.

      • pete says:

        and what about stronger human bodies running at faster speeds than smaller fragile bodies? ban those too?! Parks all over the world allow biking, usually with safer bike lanes than the one where this incident happened. accidents will always happen but restrictions should be put in place to keep them at a minimum

    15. james arrowsmith says:

      Since we are talking about cycling let me raise a closely related issue although it relates to Riverside Drive rather than the park itself. As a pedestrian I am deeply concerned by the frequent failure of cyclists to obey red lights at crosswalks and to violate legal speed limits . This dangerous and criminal behavior occurs most weekends and is usually perpetrated by packs of uniformed males on racing bikes, not cyclists on Citibikes. There is a total absence of city or state law enforcement, perhaps reflecting political pandering to the bicycle lobby .

    16. Mullettman says:

      Speed bumps would more effective than some seemingly toothless CB7 resolution. I have never seen much in the way of enforcement. Even if unsafe bikers (and the occasional moped) can somehow find a way around speed bumps, they would still have slow down, making it safer for all pedestrians.

    17. Alexander says:

      Ride this path almost every day to and from work. Feel very bad for the pedestrian…and the biker. Hope they recover soon. While I enjoy the challenge of the new path with it’s hilly areas, I get so ticked off at night when I’m right where this happened…there is seriously NO visibility as you approach this hill, no light at the top of it. Almost pitch dark, with a glaring light somewhere in the background that kind of blinds you as you approach it. Couple that with a really torn up pavement right at the top and you are asking for accidents. Why on earth would they FORCE us to leave the path by the water and not provide for our safety on this new path? Infuriating and a lawsuit (justifiably) waiting to happen. And what will become of this new path when it pours rain or snows? I’ve already seen that it floods after a decent rain…no way to really go around it. I’m quite sure they won’t be shoveling snow from it for us bikers. They take away our shared path, put us in a new path (that we STILL have to share) that is too challenging for many (every day I see people walking their bikes up those hills), and then totally ignore our safety. Why wasn’t this area repaved and properly lit before they forced us to go this new route? Why aren’t there more signs making pedestrians aware they are on OUR path now? Very simple, easy remedies.

      • GerryK says:

        I’m with you, Alexander. On a nice day, the river path is a glorious route, but I now stay up top on the promenade level and, heading downtown, don’t cut over to the river until 72 St. or 59 St. (after wending my way through the new apartment complex). This is somewhat ironic, as they built that cantilevered extension on the river in part to divert cyclists from the promenades, but it’s just too dangerous now. even for dweebs like me who go slow.

      • Park user says:

        Excellent points. It’s the way it is because it was done on the cheap. Insufficient money was allocated for this project — $170K, of which about $30K went for administrative costs — but they went ahead and did it anyway. You’re right: it’s a horror show at night. I always ride the old path after dark because it’s safer, and there are hardly any people out anyway. And forget snow and ice — the park can’t even properly clear the main path after a storm.

      • Nicolas Lawson says:

        @ Alexander. I agree with everything stated. This is my daily commute and often in the dark. This intersection is the most dangerous part. I rely on memory of the hill, holes, and turns to make it through and usually stand in case I made a mistake. Even with the hazard, I still prefer this route to the path by the water to avoid the inevitable pedestrian/cyclist conflicts.

        In response to the previous comments about carried speed for next hill. At this point in the southbound path it is all downhill.

        • Alexander says:

          Exactly…relying on my memory of that area at night as well. There is also a dumpster or something to your right when climbing that hill…so it’s also a pitch-black obstacle course of sorts. Just the worst spot to be routed to as it stands now. I will also consider taking the original path at night, as others have stated.

      • llong says:

        ” Why on earth would they FORCE us to leave the path by the water and not provide for our safety on this new path? ”

        It’s because of the 5% of bike riders who ride dangerously.

      • Matt H says:

        Honestly, as a matter of principle, when it’s late at night, if the weather’s bad, I’ve been sticking with the old routing, and dragging the barriers open so following cyclists can do the same. In busy conditions the detour grudgingly makes sense to me, but not even in mid-50s weather even 15 minutes after dark in October. The esplanade is goddamned empty so much of the time by now.

        I don’t think pedestrians should be barred from the bike detour entirely, btw. I think there should be signage strongly *suggesting* they use parallel paths closer to the river instead. Maybe have a rule against dogs there. Certainly dogs that are off leash.

        • Bronx Boy says:

          “Maybe have a rule against dogs there. Certainly dogs that are off leash.”

          It’s going to be hard to get them to read the signs

    18. Michael Hobson says:

      My take since the State law provides that bikers must ALWAYS yield to pedestrians then 1. bikers must always be looking out 2. you bikers have bells and must use them WHENEVER YOU INTEND PASS walkers particularly when you are coming at our backs at speed 3. Since bikers MUST yield to walkers logically it can almost never be a pedestrian judged at fault. Speed is an issue but would wager than had biker here been ‘looking out’, braked the bike and used the bell, this might not have happened, speed notwithstanding. I personally find the lane divergences a great improvement: the bikers are in the ‘foothills’ away from the population and OFF the promenade finally. I willingly give bikers their space at intervening junctures. But must concur it’s mostly on bikers to see that these things are avoided. as infrequent as possible.

    19. Big Earl says:

      Knee-jerk reaction public sentiment has been cars are death makers when over 60% of the time the cyclist is at fault for not obeying basic laws. Cyclists feel they have absolute free rein to ignore rules. When they screw up and ignore laws and a car hits them, they die. When they screw up and ignore laws and hit a pedestrian, the pedestrian loses. Cyclists are the common denominator. Rather than blaming the city and cars, lets start to put the blame squarely where it belongs – on cyclists.

      • lcnyc says:

        Knee-jerk reaction public sentiment has been bicycles are death makers when over 60% of the time the pedestrian is at fault for not obeying basic laws. Pedestrians feel they have absolute free rein to ignore rules. When they screw up and ignore laws and a car hits them, they die. When they screw up and ignore laws and a bicycle hits them, the pedestrian loses. Pedestrians are the common denominator. Rather than blaming the city and bicycles, lets start to put the blame squarely where it belongs – on pedestrians.

        See how that works?

    20. Andrea Lois Becker says:

      I’m with #15. I am now fearful to cross any street in my UWS neighborhood esp. at night and especially West End A., where I live. Cyclists ignore all lights, all laws, and some don’t have lights, bells, and are dressed in black. They come hurtling out of nowhere as I walk on a crosswalk with the light in my favor. They go the wrong way on one-ways streets, as well, another dangerous habit. Why are there never any police ever about to ticket or even just warn them? Sooner or later, someone will be a fatality because of a bike. (I hope it’s not me.) And the same even goes for scooters which might not kill anyone, but can cause painful and even serious injuries, especially to the elderly. Parents need to educate their children to be mindful of others when they ride on sidewalks.

      • Wlnyc says:

        And Adults need to be mindful that kids are not robots and no matter how much they are taught, may make mistakes…Is a child on a scooter is your biggest concern?

    21. LoveOurParks says:

      My sympathies and get well wishes the injured pedestrian and cyclist. Unfortunately it was only a matter of time for a pedestrian-cyclist accident on this new very hilly, dangerous, poorly marked, poorly lit shared detour. The poor design will result in many injuries and law suits. It was a hasty poor decision of CB7 to ban cyclist year round from the bike path and create a dangerous shared detour. Speed bumps will only make the new detour more dangerous for cyclists and pedestrians. Some of the issues w/ the detour that make it incredibly dangerous for pedestrians & cyclist…the NB detour entrance @ 72nd St along the water, the “intersection” @ the bottom of the hill upon entering the detour from RSP 72nd St, the rotunda at 79th St w/ vehicular traffic, the steepness of the hills, bumps, unlit paths and the fact the detour is so poorly marked, especially by the ball field. I used the detour 2x and felt unsafe. I now ride down WEA instead to avoid it. It is honestly safer riding along side traffic than using the detour. I cycle every weekend, the bike path along the water betw 72nd & 83rd streets is now virtually empty on the weekends w/ only a few pedestrians. The benches are mostly empty as well. The bike path from 96th to 125th is marked and most riders & pedestrians abide by the road marking. The path along the water from 72nd to 83rd should be reopened to cyclists w/ better pavement marking. It is a shared path that all should be able to utilize safely.

    22. No bikes city says:

      This city is not bike friendly!
      This will continue and continue and continue until bikes are banned from the city.

    23. js says:

      In last few months have seen two incidents on Amsterdam Avenue – cyclists blew through red lights and hit elderly people crossing.
      The cyclists were not delivery people – they were “cool” 20-something guys.

      A wrong way cyclist crashed into our friend who was on a Citibike. Again, not a delivery guy

    24. Lord Of The Slice says:

      THE KEY PHRASE IS:

      “The women readily acknowledged that it was not his fault and that they had no idea they were crossing a bike path.”

    25. Jan says:

      bikes, scooters, skateboards, bikes with motors etc etc etc — dog leashes across sidewalks — people are the problem — everybody is self centered so there is no solution. but. make space on the westside highway for the bikes! :-D. we actually need to start a pedestrian rights group — pedestrians/people/walkers seem to have no rights in NYC. whatever.

    26. Jan says:

      bike lane on westside highway

    27. DP says:

      I see a few people implying it was at least partially the pedestrian’s fault b/c apparently she was walking in the bike lane and didn’t know it. But if it were the same scenario with a car instead of a bike, I think most people would be crying “Vision Zero” and blaming the driver regardless. Yes, clear signage for cyclists and people is important, but cyclists still need to to obey rules and speed limits and should be held accountable when they don’t.

    28. Elizabeth Benedict says:

      I used to love riding in this park up and down the Hudson. Not any more. Not only this stuff but people. ALWAYS MEN, ride in packs and so fast and refuse to slow down or break up their duets, and are utterly obnoxious. Guys, this is not the Tour de France.

    29. Randy Klein says:

      I have been riding my bike in NYC since 1977 when I moved to the UWS. This is way before the earth became aware that bikes don’t give off emission fumes. I have had two accidents in all of that time. Both caused by a child scooting out in front of my bike which forced me to stop short and fall. Both times, I have fractured bones. The good news is that I didn’t hit the children. Note that I don’t ride fast. To the bikers who think the riverway is the Tour de France, get over it. It is not. Simply slow down. But to the renters of bikes who are unaware of biking protocol, the rules have to be set. This is where the city is failing with its new love of bikes. I lived in Amsterdam for a year and became aware of how people responsibly ride. The baby carriages are pushed by adults. They should be aware of sticking their children in harms way. The people walking in a bike lane should move out of that lane to allow bikes to travel without the fear of hitting someone. NYC is new to bike traffic. Slow down, don’t speed, be aware of your surroundings. But, pedestrians need to learn to respect bikes. Delivery persons need to observe the rules as well. And, police giving tickets to bike riders without ticketing the pedestrians is incorrect as well. Biking is good for everyone involved. Just slow down. The Riverside Drive detour on 79th Street is ill conceived. The hills on each side of the circle force a bike to go fast as they exit the circle. NYC DOT … you may want to hop on a bike and try your detour before deciding on whether it is safe or not. Randy Klein

      • Alexander says:

        YES…YES…YES! all of what you said. was just thinking…one of them needs to try this new detour…and then try it at night…and then after it rains…

    30. Kindly Dr Dave says:

      This detour IS DANGEROUS FOR CYCLISTS. The approaches to the 79st traffic circle where cyclists must avoid moving automobiles and passenger-unloading cars are UNSAFELY STEEP.
      I have taken a dangerous fall there at the top of the too steep incline. Bad engineering. City will be sued – and rightfully so.

    31. Liz D. says:

      Cyclists who are ignoring pedestrian safety is a growing problem. Some cyclists think that they can use it for Olympic speed trials!!! There should be speed bumps installed the entire length. Additionally, there should be some type of “cost” to deter such aggressive and unsafe behavior. Impending bikes and/ or imposing fines for reckless biking is warranted. Will it take the death of a cyclist or pedestrian to get the city to take action???

      Act now

    32. JSN says:

      I lived in Amsterdam, Holland for 8 yrs and jogged regularly in Vondel Park, which is the Central Park équivalent in Amsterdam. I never saw reckless behavior toward pedestrians, dogs and kids from the hordes of cyclists who biked through the park on their way to destinations in the city. Never saw a collision nor been clipped by a rider going too close to me. I think the major problem is that cyclists in NY don’t pay enough attention to pedestrians and don’t seem to understand their responsibility to be alert. Moreover, speeding Lance Armstrong wannabes did not use Vondel Park as a velodrome.

    33. Hecht E. says:

      The place to the crash is a down hill with a curve that preclude the vision of both pedestrian and cyclist at the corner and the needing to a very fast mental decision .

    34. Ken says:

      I heard somewhere that some riders compete using their Strava app or whatever to see how fast they can make the run from, say, the Battery to the GW Bridge. If true, this explains at least some of the reckless behavior along the water prior to the detour. Can anyone confirm that this is a thing?

    35. Joanne Nasuti says:

      I wrote to Riverside Park Conservancy on June 28, 2019 warning them that the stretch between 72nd and 75th streets was very dangerous as cyclists come speeding down the hill when heading south and there is a path which they share with pedestrians. I even included pictures.
      They wrote back indicating that they were aware of the danger and doing something about it. I think they put up a few extra useless signs and that was it. Agreed that engineers need to design these paths.

      I am more scared of being hit by a cyclist in NYC than a car. I used to cycle frequently and never approached the speeds that these characters do. And the way they yell sometimes is more unsettling.

    36. RSP user says:

      Easy solution — bikers should drive slowly enough that they can brake when they see a person without hitting her. This biker was simply going too fast.

    37. Flabbert says:

      The bike detour is dangerous for all the reasons already mentioned and a few more:
      The hills
      The cars on the rotunda
      The 2-way narrow lanes
      The ice and slipperiness
      The pedestrians, dogs and carriages
      The darkness
      The park vehicles that routinely drive through the areas that are too narrow for passing
      The lack of signage
      The families and groups of people walking their bikes up the hills side by side, blocking the way for others

      There will be more accidents.

      There was only one problem on the original path, the spandex racers,who make up probably 5% of the riders. Can’t we just ban racers,racing bikes, or people going over a certain speed, rather than punish and endanger all the commuters, families, and exercisers of all ages?

      • Joe R. says:

        Why not just have separate paths for pedestrians and cyclists along the stretch in question, enforced by a fence instead of road markings? There’s no need to ban any kind of cyclist if we thoroughly separate traffic. Shared paths don’t work, never have, unless the number of bikes and pedestrians are both very low. That’s not the case here.

        As an alternative, how about building a viaduct to just take cyclists over the area in question. The principal is the same-complete separation of users. None of the other solutions posed by people here are going to work. Pedestrians behave a certain way. Cyclists behave a certain way. It’s difficult or impossible to get either group to reliably change their behavior. Often those behaviors are incompatible, which is why you don’t mix the two. Separate paths, period. No other real answer here.

    38. Marc Luxemburg says:

      pedestrians have the right of way
      bikers need to SLOW DOWN
      If the biker flew over the handle bars in an attempt to slow down he was evidently going way too fast

    39. eeeg says:

      What’s worked well for me: Follow traffic laws,

      but also:
      walk like cyclists and drivers and other pedestrians are idiots.
      Bike like pedestrians and drivers are idiots.
      Drive (okay I don’t drive, but..) like pedestrians and cyclists are idiots.
      Try not to be an idiot.
      And do all those things like children are children.

      But also, that new path is horrible.

    40. Joe R. says:

      Many of the comments here completely ignore the fundamental unfairness of the current situation. Bikes got banned from what used to be a shared path. Now pedestrians have an exclusive path all to themselves. However, bikes didn’t get their own exclusive path in return. Instead, they got another shared path, only one which was much worse in every aspect than the one before. It’s inevitable that cyclists and pedestrians will hit each other on the new path given the poor visibility, sharp turns, and steep grades. And yet people are ready to blame the cyclist for this incident. You got what you wanted, which was to get bikes off the main path. Stop complaining about what they do on the detour. By all rights pedestrians should be banned from the detour to make things fair, or at least safe. I can’t believe an adult or adults actually came up with this so-called solution. It reminds me of something a kid would have thought of.

      You need separate paths. If for whatever reason the detour must continue to have pedestrians on it, then we need another route for bikes. I would build a viaduct over the main greenway for the length of the detour. It would take cyclists up and over everything so they could ride as they please, and people on foot wouldn’t need to deal with bikes. It’s a win-win for everyone. It might even make sense to just continue the viaduct all the way to lower Manhattan given the conflicts elsewhere on the greenway.

    41. Greg says:

      How is it that of all these comments there isn’t greater discussion of pedestrians needing to pay attention? Pedestrians are hazards to themselves and others. Pedestrians are arrogant to think that they universally have “right off way” and don’t need to pay attention to how or where they walk. Looking at their mobiles, walking three wide anywhere when obviously other people are around, zigzagging/stopping-and-starting in walkways, not being more mindful of kids/pets, etc. There are bikers who are probably discourteous in the way they ride but as a whole I’d say cyclists are more concerned for their well-being than pedestrians are for their own. You all sound ridiculous talking about speed bumps and speed limits. Why are there no laws or regulations to careless, thoughtless, selfish walking habits?

    42. E says:

      That lovely walk up the hills was so nice. Sorry it’s been given to cyclists, but appreciate that there is a problem. Probably not the best solution, but what is? It’s kind of terrifying to be a walker now anywhere – bicyclists on sidewalks and running red lights in all parts of the city.