Text and Photograph By Daniel Krieger
Pamela Greitzer-Manasse has slowly been getting better since she suffered a catastrophic brain injury last July, at least in a few ways. She can now open and close her right hand. She can walk with a cane, limping, but without a foot brace or her husband spotting her. And another milestone on her long and winding path to recovery: she can tie her shoelaces.
Sitting in her kitchen on a recent May afternoon with her husband, Jon Manasse, they shared what they’ve been up to since talking to West Side Rag last September for an article that recounted her experience getting hit by a reckless moped driver in front of Lincoln Center.
They had just left Manasse’s dress rehearsal of Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue with the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra at Damrosch Park. He plays clarinet and Greitzer-Manasse is a cellist. They both attended Juilliard and have lived on the Upper West Side since. And they have had distinguished careers as top-tier performers and teachers.
Though she has regained some movement in her right arm, Greitzer-Manasse still can’t play the cello. And living with this kind of injury is a new full-time occupation for her, albeit unpaid. “Everything I do is tiring,” she says. “For me to walk from one room to another takes a lot of mental energy. I have to always think about balance because I can easily fall. For a normal person, walking a block is nothing, but for me it takes so much effort.”
Her main focus day-to-day is recovery. “I think about it 24/7,” she says. “It’s a lifestyle. That’s my life.”
“She wants to improve,” her husband says. “She’s not sitting here saying, ‘woe is me.’ She’s an inspiration, and we are trying everything,” such as functional neurology, a cutting edge treatment for brain injuries that recently led them to a program in Holland. Thanks to the brain’s remarkable neuroplasticity — its ability to rewire its circuitry and adapt — they hope for continued improvement. She does special exercises to help repair traumatic brain injuries like hers, which left her semi-paralyzed on her right side.
“I am a slow work in progress,” Greitzer-Manasse, now 60, says. “I have a lot of life to live, and I want to try to live it to the fullest. But I can’t swim. I can’t run. I can’t dance. There are lots things I wish I could do that I hope to do in the future.”
In addition to the painstaking work of recovery, the Manasses are on a mission to make New York City’s streets safer for pedestrians. Last November, they called in to the Brian Lehrer show when Ydanis Rodríguez, commissioner of the NYC Department of Transportation (DOT), was a guest.
“I asked him, ‘What will you do to protect pedestrians from these vehicles?’” Manasse recounts.
His response was replete with generalities and short on specifics. He said intersections are “sacred places” and “we have to protect pedestrians,” and the closest he came to answering Manasse’s question was saying the DOT was “working with the NYPD to be sure to enforce the law.”
They felt his response was inadequate and sent him an email. They then received a letter back detailing what Rodríguez called the DOT’s “holistic, multi-pronged approach to address the safe and lawful use of e-bikes and emerging micro-mobility options, focusing on enforcement, education, engineering, and policy.”
Yet he again declined to say specifically what he would do about reckless drivers of these vehicles who constantly blow through red lights, go against traffic, and ride on the sidewalk. “The city has done nothing about this,” says Manasse, who wants there to be consequences for those who break the law.
Greitzer-Manasse, meanwhile, is forming a coalition with small groups across the city to advocate for safer streets and, toward that end, they recently told their story at a neighboring Community Board 4 meeting that addressed the issue.
In the long, intense Zoom discussion about the dangers posed by reckless use of e-mobility vehicles as well as bicycles, the one thing all speakers seemed to agree on was that something desperately needs to be done. But while most spoke out of fear and worry, the perspective the Manasses had to offer was the stuff of nightmares. “We got everyone’s attention,” Manasse says, “because they could suddenly see our family is now living a completely changed life.”
“Stories like mine are the ticket to getting something done,” Greitzer-Manasse says, “but it’s painful telling it.”
They recently approached Council Member Gale Brewer at an open house, shared their story, and soon after got an email from her with the message: “I’m on it,” Greitzer-Manasse says.
Their profound frustration is widely shared by pedestrians everywhere who have to navigate chaos and endure the stress of close calls when these e-mobility vehicles whiz past them. The drivers are emboldened to be reckless, they insist, because they know they can get away with it since the police tend not to enforce the law. “The only way any change is going to happen is with punitive measures,” Manasse says.
“Feeling safe while walking around in your city shouldn’t be a luxury,” Greitzer-Manasse says. “It should be a given.”
“We all have stories,” Manasse adds, “but what’s the answer?”
This is horrific (what happened to Ms. Greitzer-Manasse. I loathe mopeds and e-bikes and do not think they should be allowed in NYC.
Hopefully the WSR will post info about Ms. Greitzer-Manasse’s coalition so people can join/be kept abreast.
I wish her a complete recovery.
The answer, my friend, is blowing in the wind.
Given the hot air responses of people with power to improve things, I predict stagnation: more incidents of vehicular violence (human-driven violence) and, it gets worse.
Even waking by the boat basin, turning my head to the right to make sure bikes slow down and riders dismount, another bike to my left crossed my path so close, I saw my life pass by my eyes. “It” can happen in seconds. Remember Lisa Banes.
My heart goes out to her. Not being able to play her beloved cello and all her mobility issues — it’s just heartbreaking. But please, WSR, don’t contribute to hysteria by failing to distinguish between e-bikes, which are legal and classed as bikes, and the completely illegal and much heavier mopeds such as the one that struck Ms. Greitzer-Manasse and the one that killed actress Lisa Banes (see your email tag line and your penultimate graf).
Paul’s observation is correct.
Even a light hit from a Citibike rider can cause an elderly person to fall and break a hip which is typically a permanent injury and essentially leads to death.
These incidents and outcome are not counted in data.
Seeing Citibike and other regular bicycle riders endanger pedestrians (and even cursing pedestrians who object) it is pretty clear bicycle riders are just into what they want….
While with my sister in law we met a woman who was run over in Central Park by a person riding a regular bike not e-bike and both her arms and hands were severely broken🤷♀️🤷♀️all rider and drivers of all vehicles need to be held up to the same rules of the road!!
I have a friend whose mother was killed by an idiot on an ebike. It happened in New Hampshire and not NY but the cause, an ebike in a pedestrian area, is what people are looking at here.
The fact is that enough residents here are of an age where any collision with any vehicle,… bike, ebike,moped, car, can easily cause serious injury.
That’s the concern here because those vehicles are routinely ridden on sidewalks and the wrong way on roads.
I share their frustration. But I also want to say that I am very glad that she survived and has regained some of her mobility. I’m sure that took an enormous amount of work and determination.
The police can’t enforce the law because there IS no law regulating e-bikes. DMV will have to make laws to regulate them as motor vehicles are regulated. Good idea to contact Gale Brewer. She knows what’s comin’ off.
And here’s the City law:
Here are the rules:
There is actually a law about them. Most of these vehicles are illegal only because they are not registered. Most of these vehicles require license plates, a drivers license, and insurance.
It is time to get rid of the bike lanes if the NYPD cannot take the time to crack down on the offenders and ticket them.
It is unsafe to cross Columbus and Amsterdam Avenues.
No, e-bikes, bicycles, throttle e bikes, and e scooters are to obey traffic laws, like stopping for reds, not driving/riding against traffic.
If you follow what the police say about this, who sit there and do nothing, they say they don’t try to stop or catch the motorized bikes, scooters and motorcycles that ride on the sidewalks, that go the wrong way on one way streets, that go through redlights, and that do not yield to pedestrians, because it is too dangerous to pursue them. So they do nothing. I don’t think that the erosion of life in NYC as a walking city will stop until the politicians stop bloviating and require the police to enforce the existing laws. It no longer suffices for pedestrians to wait for the walk sign before stepping off the curb, since that provides no assurance of safety. And what should those with disabilities do and the elderly, who cross slowly and may not see or hear the vehicles bearing down on them? In just 3-5 years the failure to enforce the law with vigor has educated those who ride on bikes, scooters and motorcycles that they need not obey the rules that make living in the city livable. No consequences so no compliance. And now it seems that car drivers, seeing all this, are starting to do the same thing. The police, our mayor, the city council members, the community boards and our state representatives better wake up and direct that this be stopped or they will all be swept into retirement by candidates who are out and about, see what is happening and take a stand against it.
Just put a traffic cop or two at random intersections on Columbus and Amsterdam random days of the week, stopping every single cyclist who goes against traffic, through the light or speeds.
It’s dangerous to pursue them, it’s not so dangerous to photograph them, and arrest them based on that record.
By “photograph,” if you mean Britain-style surveillance (basically a street cam every 5 feet) I’m all for it.
And then, when the NYC bureaucrats see that less than half of these motorized “bikes” have plates (or plates that are viewable), they’ll need to come up with more preventative measures.
Meanwhile, look both ways. Twice.
No, I mean cops on the streets with good cameras and lenses, dedicated to docu/catching these jerks.
Don’t need to catch more than a few flagrantly running reds with pedestrians in the crosswalks to make the point.
Right, this will take work by the NYPD.
The gas powered machines without plates are utterly illegal, but at least a pedestrian can usually hear them coming.
Such an unnecessary loss (temporary, we hope) of talent. So sad. When will we do something about these reckless and dangerous drivers? We have all experienced these harrowing experiences.
NYC has become impossible for pedestrians, with everything except trucks on the sidewalks. The City needs to require ALL vehicles, including pedal bikes, to have license plates and insurance, lights, horns, and everything else. And they ALL need to stay off the sidewalks. And slow down on the street. And obey all traffic rules. Any balking needs to be met with ignoring. This MUST be done.
yes, pedal bikes need to be licensed too . A senior, a person with a disability, any pedestrian can be knocked over and seriously injured. A senior who fractures their hips is suffering a serious, increases mortality. When I had back surgery, walked to 8th Av in Chelsea with my physical therapist, bike after bike crossing red lights, one so near I lost my balance, was advised not to cross the ave or adjacent streets but walk around my block for exercise.
Pedestrian killed last August by hit and run biker on 22nd st 8th Av, ,1 block from elementary school on street with good bike lanes and traffic lights. Have photo of biker but no ID. The cameras set up for cars would catch bike licenses too.
Dept of TRansport statistics-313 injuries in 2022 by pedestrians hit by bikers., without reporting categories of serious to minor. My physical therapist said he sees many pedestrians in rehab hit by bikers. That’s not minor.
City Council member Robert Holden submitted bill for lucences Oct 2022, abt 10 co-signers, none in Manhattan
Bikers now supporting new law , permission to go thru red light if no pedestrians in sight. a bad, bad OK which can only lead to a sliding slope of more accidents. Transportation Alternatives argues that licensing will lead to less people biking, and there is safety in numbers. With 100,000 plus riders daily, according to City Bike, we can loose thousands who don’t want to be licensed and still have many bikers. An argument that ignores the pandemic astronomical increase in biking and a changed world.
City Council has monthly hearings on transportation. a forum to speak out on Zoom or write and submit testimony 72 hours after heating ends. Google for dates and register.
I support the biking to reduce car congestion, pollution,accidents. I was hit by a yellow cab , in a coma, multiple back surgeries. JUst advocating for regulation of bikes for safety
Vision Zero means ZERO accidents and deaths.
By the way, please include City Council Member Robert Holden of Queens on all plans. He is the only City Council Member ready and willing to take on the bike lobby about this.
his staff said he only has about 10 signatures of other Council members on the bill submitted last October 2022 and none from Manhattan
I live on Central Park West and it infuriates me to see minibikes, mopeds, skooters, and e-bikes blow through red lights. I would say only 1 in 10 stops – if that. It’s not just the safety issue but also the feeling of “if they don’t have to obey the laws, why do I?”
I’d like to join the efforts here. My husband and I have both spoken to/emailed Gale Brewer in the past about this, so I’m glad she has indicated her intention to help. My daughter is going into middle school and will soon be walking to and from school by herself or with friends, and my biggest worry is motorized bikes/scooters and other e-vehicles that do not stop at red lights and/or go against traffic. Many times I’ve stepped off the curb at a walk sign only to be brushed back by an e-vehicle running the light. Best wishes to Ms. Greitzer-Manasse as she recovers.
As a fellow musician, New Yorker, and human being, my heart goes out to Ms. Greitzer-Menasse and her husband. Like most of the commenters and ALL of my friends, I am frustrated, disappointed, and angry at the failure of city officials to take action against this scourge, as the quality of life in our city is ruined by the reckless disregard of so many on 2-wheels for the safety of pedestrians. I have written to every city agency I could think of that might offer solutions to the problem and gotten only one, rather tepid, unpursuasive response, from the DOT. We should be well beyond “looking into it,” “creating a task force,” etc.
Please, WSR, publish any information you have about citizen groups that are working together to pressure our elected and appointed officials to take this serious problem seriously. I want to join one.
And still the NYPD doesn’t bother to enforce the laws.
Obvious point I know, but what happened to Ms Manesse will happen to others.
They wrote 2000 more summonses YTD than last year and confiscated hundreds of bikes, ebikes, scooters, etc. Go to a community precinct meeting and you’ll learn real numbers and what’s actually happening. Your elected officials need to create better laws.
That’s a pretty low rate given how much law breaking there is by delivery guys.
The laws are clear. Enforcement is a joke, has been for 15 years.
It was 2000 MORE than the year before and we ALL KNOW that the officers were dissuaded from going after the “hard working deliveristas” at that time. Legal Aid society would have a fit if the hard working deliveristas were getting summonses. Sorry, it’s true. It got so bad that now the officers are allowed to go after them.
I hope that Ms. Greitzer-Manasse’s organization puts the call out for all the people who have been injured to join and come public, I
have a good friend who spent 2+ years recovering, a year of re-habing, plus suffering from additional “injuries” such as a stroke that resulted from the original injury. While she is improving, it’s ongoing. She still suffers psychological trauma.
It’s not just e-bikes. Let’s not target the (mostly good) trend of non-car transportation by painting all bike users as dangerous to pedestrians. Careful riders and drivers are rewarded with honks and middle fingers if they actually obey the law.
Too many vehicles — bicycles (powered by humans, motor-assisted, fully-motor-driven) scooters, cars, vans and trucks — are allowed carte blanche to terrorize pedestrians in this city.
They ignore speed limits, run red lights, turn into crosswalks where people are walking, make right turns on red (and sometimes LEFT turns on red), go the wrong way down one-way streets, ride on sidewalks — and there are no consequences. Even serial offenders are allowed to continue driving!
The man who was killed last week on Amsterdam Avenue was crossing with the light in the crosswalk. This was not an accident. It was at the least negligent homicide. When that driver is charged, I may finally believe someone in this city gives damn about pedestrian lives.
I have lived here my whole life and don’t drive.
The “regular” bicyclists including Citibike and racing bicyclists are menaces to pedestrians.
They don’t care – in fact they will curse out any pedestrian who questions them.
Vehicles are inherently more dangerous but most vehicle drivers follow the law.
The vast majority of deaths by drivers occurs at night/unlicensed drivers/under the influence.
That is a different problem than “regular” drivers
Hang in there. You are doing great thing…beginning with tying your shoelaces. Only others with a traumatic injury will know what a great victory that is..
Keepbup the good work. When you get sad, look over your shoulder and see how far youve come
Congrats on tying your shoelaces. Only other with a tramatic injury will recognize that grest accomplichment.
The story is very moving. But also motivating . Can you run a follow up with suggestions for how to get involved advocating for safer streets and in particular with regard to motorized vehicles / e-bikes / scooters etc. at least based on your experience with the issue.
Thank you for this important article.
And I am incredibly grateful and appreciative to this couple who are doing so much work for our behalf.
Anyone who reads this has had either had a near miss or has been hit by a bike, moped, etc.
I was hit at night by a delivery guy going the wrong way on a one-way street who blew through the red light.
Today, that bike would be electric, and I would be dead.
Why are electric bikes allowed to go faster than the speed limit? Blow through red lights? Ride on the sidewalk? Yes, I’m being sarcastic, but that’s what happens every single day on the UWS.
I don’t care that they are delivery men trying to make a living. I make a living every day, and I don’t put someone’s life in danger doing it.
Ban electric bikes. Period.
Thank you for your bravery! This is the most pressing issue for quality of life for New Yorkers. I would like to help. Please let me know how.
WSR – please do not screen me again. I have every right to ask what does “I’m on it” mean coming from Gale Brewer. What kind of response is that? Will you follow up to see what “I’m on it” is supposed to do?
Nothing has been done or addressed for the last 6 months by our elected officials and it’s been talked about ad nauseam at the police community meetings and in the news. The precinct HAS listened and THEY have been upping the summonses. They reported that they have increased writing summonses and CONFISCATING all kinds of illegal e-bikes YTD by 2000 more for bikes/e-bikes/scooters, etc than last year.
BUT – if Gale Brewer promises an answer, we’d like to hear it because “I’m on it” needs to mean something will create stricter laws than a summons.
That is an excellent question, and as the writer of this article, I am on it! I’ve been trying to line up an interview and hope very much to have an in-depth discussion with Gale Brewer about this issue, which I hear she is taking seriously. Like you, I would very much like to hear what she has to say about it. Stay tuned for another article that will report that — and thanks for your interest!
Oh my! I am so thankful and impressed with your response! Thank you very much! Grateful for your continued reporting on this.
There should be some kind of required educational program before anyone can operate a city bike or any motorized bike/moped in the city.
It can be a requirement before getting a citi bike acct. or revel acct…
Including a signed pledge to FOLLOW THE TRAFFIC RULES!
( same for bike rentals!)
There need to be well-publicized consequences, fines, revocation of privileges!
Our scofflaw population in NYC is not used to this, but it works in many other places in the world! We should learn from them!
Exactly why we shouldn’t have that e-bike charging station by the busy 72nd St. subway station. We don’t need to witness more horrific pedestrian accidents.
People ask why the NYPD doesn’t enforce traffic laws, and ask yourself when you last saw a NYPD on a traffic stop. Here are a couple of points for you to considerer,
1. NYPD officers must now fill out a vehicle stop reports for every traffic stop, not only is this extra work it also leaves cops open to all kind of issues. The vehicle stop report collects data on each officer such as who they stop as respect to, age, race, sex, So now 5 years later someone in some office somewhere can form an opinion as to an alleged bias of an office they have never met. If an officer stops nobody what opinion can be made?
2. The mistrust of Police, If a NYPD Cop does a traffic stop guess what happens almost every time? Bystanders start recording officers (officer who are already wearing body cameras that are recording on every stop. This causes cops to think why I am risking my life on a car stop for people who hate me.
3. NYPD officers are about to get their 1st pay raise in 8 years. Pay equals respect any the NYPD has been disrespected for years.
4. The NYPD is having tremendous manpower shortages. as crime rises, they simply don’t have time to do car stops.
5. Lower standard, The NYPD is being forced to lowers standards to maintain staffing levels which are still dangerously low, many of the new hires are former NYC Correction Officers or former Traffic agents.
6. Cops never get in trouble for doing the minimum, they do get in trouble for trying to make NYC safer.
NYPD officers are paid to enforce laws and protect people. According to #1, #2, and #6 on your list , cops are not doing their job.
Job=stop law-breaking drivers and fill out form.
Job=stop law-breaking drivers and accept the risks inherent to being a cop, which is not among the 25 deadliest jobs in America according to the US Labor Dept.
Job=be an active force for a better NYC, not doing the minimum.
“Pay equals respect”
The average NYPD officer receives over $2,000,000 in pension and other benefits after they retire, for doing absolutely nothing. That feels like a significant amount of “respect” to me.
Read the first article – the Cops are actually told NOT to stop them by the City Council! We need a new City Council.
Thank you OPOD for an excellent summary of why it’s in a cop’s best interest to ignore bikes and mopeds running amok. There has to be an incentive for the police to enforce these laws. Why not make promotions to the next level contingent upon achieving certain numerical bike/moped tickets? Without this kind of mandate, nothing will change, regardless of how many citizens complain. At the same time, we need to create a bike licensing program for both pedal powered and electric devices (including motorized standing scooters). Dogs are required to have licenses. In bygone days, so were bicyclists in NYC. We must reinstate this to enforce the law.
Reality check – we are paying the NYPD over $5bn a year, I should hope they can do a little paperwork seeing as it is their literal job to enforce the law.
My mother, 85 years old in 2021, was hit by a bike while crossing the CPW bike lane. Her hip was broken and although she has mostly, and quite miraculously, recovered she just didn’t deserve to go through this after living such a healthy life. NYC can’t create bike lanes and allow e-bikes and fail to enforce laws to regulate them. I myself am now terrified to cross the street.
I haven’t seen anyone mention this: To the extent that a driver of one of these unlicensed vehicles is riding as a condition of employment, can we not hold the employer responsible for any damages resulting from reckless or illegal use of the vehicle? Such a law should have an impact on the behavior of the operators of the bikes. Sending my love to my friend Pam Greitzer-Manasse.
Crossing the UWS streets, I’m these days less concerned about cars than all these other vehicles. Besides not observing any rules, they don’t have lights and are not easily visible in the evening. They can suddenly come at you from between cars dutifully stopped at the red light. Paris just forbad E-scooters, deciding that the safety of the Parisians was more important than riding something else than the car. After all, there is still le metro!
Great point Elizabeth. A month ago, I rented a car and was returning it about 10pm. I came close to hitting a cyclist who whizzed through the intersection because he was wearing dark clothing and had no bike light. We have to require bikes being ridden after dark to have headlamps and tail lights, just like cars. And in order to enforce this, we’ll need a bike licensing program and significant penalties for breaking the law.
There are signs every 100 feet on the Hudson River Greenway that say e-bikes, e scooters, and motorized vehicles are forbidden. In the meantime, enforcement is so poor that gas powered motorcycles are routinely using the bike lane now and police officers just stand and watch. I even see parents transporting little kids on escooters, mostly overweighted, not wearing helmets, and at speeds where if they crash, it will be life threatening damage. An escooter is not built to handle turns and sudden braking with 2 people onboard, quite obviously.
If you are running, stay in the pedestrian zone. If you are riding a bike or roller skating, stay in the bike lane and keep right. If you are riding an e-bike or e scooter (or a motorcycle as is often the case), stay out of Hudson River Park before someone gets killed. And unfortunately that’s what it will take before NYPD and park police start to take this issue seriously.
How about this: Everyone who has submitted comments here pledge to call or write at least one city official to express themselves on this matter. Perhaps we can start with Gale Brewer, since she has indicated she is “on it.” Other obvious targets would be Mayor Adams, Comm. Sewell (NYPD), Comm. Rodriguez (DOT), Comm. Cortes-Vasquez (DIFTA), Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine
I was walking on the sidewalk when a policeman was approaching me from the other direction. Right behind us was a deliveryman riding on the sidewalk. I said to the policeman why don’t you do something and he said he couldn’t do anything. At the very least, why couldn’t he have told the rider to get off the sidewalk since it is illegal! Totally frustrated pedestrian. Pamela’s story could be ours.
It’s not just ‘those vehicles’. It is the entire bike lane. I’ve lived here my whole life and never got into a habit of looking both ways even on a green light. Bikes, electric bikes, mopeds, even bicycles blow through at 35 miles per hour, against the light, against traffic and are never ticketed. I’m shocked there are not more serious injuries. The cops and traffic cops do no. thing. This has been a long time coming even before the bike lanes. Crossing with the light in Central Park you often take your life in your hands as Lance Armstrong wannabees come roaring through at 50 mph yelling at you to move as if you are some idiot tourist interfering with the Tour de France instead of a pedestrian enjoying your park. ONCE I saw the cops set up at 81st street ticketing riders, it should be a regular occurrence both in the park and in the bike lanes. And guess what city? A source of income.
I wish Pamela Greitzer-Manasse all the best.
NYC bicyclists are complete dangers to pedestrians.
That includes “regular” bicyclists and Citibikers.
They routinely go through red lights, go the wrong, ignore bike lanes.
Citibkers curse at any pedestrian who cautions them
I used to bicycle in Central Park – but no more
Last Sunday I was visiting a friend downtown. As we walked on the pedestrian path along the river, we frequently had to dodge a number of illegal bike riders, including a man who had an infant strapped to his chest. There wasn’t a police officer in sight to stop them from weaving between the crowds on the walkway. There’s a parallel riders path nearby but, for a reason known only to themselves, the bike riders prefer to risk the health and well being of their fellow New Yorkers.
Thanks so much to the Manasse family and especially to Pam, for their sacrifice and effort of becoming advocates on something that is a surprisingly complex issue, on top of all that is required for recovery. Huge thanks, and big good wishes for continued improvement and regaining of your abilities.
On the policy issue, here is another vote for all commenters sending letters. Those can endorse cameras on avenues and big intersections to start, maybe also liability to employers as responsible for e-bikes – not riding on sidewalks, observing traffic lights, even on registration for vehicles that go above 10 mph…?
What is wrong with this city? What is it with the urge toward chaos? Can you imagine how many people are getting hit and one never hears about it? Just take a look at these comments – many people have been victims or have close relatives who are victims. Just a few days ago around 10am on 72nd street and Bway, near Fedex, a woman was hit by either a bike or a car and it looked like she was severely injured. Her story is nowhere to be found. Does anyone know her outcome? This city makes me literally sick.
As a automobile driver and pedestrian on the west side, i am horrified at the current lawlessness of the variety of wheeled vehicles currently in our neighborhood. While waiting in my car for the street sweeper recently, I was wondering if there should’nt be and enforcement force dedicated to enforcement of current laws related to bikes,scooters, mopeds etc. It should be similar to the parking enforcement agents. They are clearly the most efficient agency in the city. Cars parked on the wrong side of the street during alternate parking hours WILL be ticketed. Likewise parkers at expired meters WILL be ticketed I see more traffic agents on in a day, than police officers on the street in a week.
I admire Pamela Greitzer-Manasse’s grit as she faces a challenging recovery, and wish her the best as she navigates her way. What happened to her is tragic and still not sufficient for necessary actions to be taken to make pedestrians feel safe. At 72 I am not as fast on my feet as I formerly was, and my vision is not as clear as it had been. I am careful as I walk on sidewalks and cross streets with the light in my favor, but still feel the tension that I may be hit. I have had many close calls.
I have been fighting the lack of regulations on e-vehicles, as well as regular bikes and mopeds for about six months now. I’ve written numerous letters to CB7’s Transportation Committee, Gale Brewer, Shaun Abreu, the Mayor-you name it. I’ve been told Gale Brewer is working on it with the Mayor. To date nothing has happened. I sincerely believe Gale IS working on it. CB7 has assured me they are working on it. I’ve heard nothing from Shaun Abreu or his office.
But I fear that the outcome will have no teeth. Deliveristas, 65,000 of them citywide are working for Grub Hub, Door Dash and many other corporations who have lobbyists with friends cozy with City Hall. Citibikes owned by Lyft have the same. They also have the major support of lobbyist Trans Alt. They believe in a bike-centric city and are influencing the soft peddling (pun intended) of the whole matter. There’s even been a proposal by a City Council member to let bikes go through red lights as if they are merely stop signs!!
Since I became active on this issue, the city announced a pilot program to bring e-bikes to our parks! (Trans Alt) And the MTA has decided that e-vehicles including mopeds CAN RIDE on both subways and buses as was written about previously in WSR. They seem unconcerned about battery fires but tell riders they must have a UL approved battery! Will there be monitoring of that? Of course not.
It’s important to understand what we’re up against. Our streets and sidewalks have been commoditized to such a degree that we can no longer be safe on them. I advise everyone concerned to WRITE and CALL your elected leaders and your City Council members. Talk to your block associations. If you are hIt by an e-bike, or regular bike call 311 and make a record of it. I hope you will not be seriously injured as was Ms. Greitzer-Manasse or Lisa Banes!
We should do everything possible to stop what has actually become a blight on our ability to walk safely in our city! As I left my apartment early evening this week I barely got out the door when a deliverista came riding down the middle of the sidewalk and cut me off. He just kept going despite my saying something to him. No sooner had he rode off than another one came riding up the middle of the sidewalk and I had to quickly sidestep him!
As I mentioned in an earlier comment, I wrote to half a dozen city agencies and got only one tepid, pro forma reply. Today, I called Gale Brewer’s office for the second time, to alert her to this discussion and to ask her what she’s been doing since declaring she’s “on it.” I won’t hold my breath waiting for a response.
I think your analysis is spot on, but don’t want to give up in despair. How can we come together to pressure the political and commercial powers that profit from this situation or at least enable it to continue, to enact AND ENFORCE policies that will sharply reduce the harm suffered by Pamela Greitzer-Menasse and others? How can we take back our sidewalks, crosswalks, pedestrian paths, and now SUBWAY TRAINS (!), and restore some measure of safety, and yes, pleasure – to the experience of walking in our city?
One thing we can do is to ask CB7 in their next Transportation Committee mtg. to have a hearing with the public on this topic including the new pilot program in Central Park!! Mark Diller is the head of the Transportation Committee of CB7. I’ve already spoken with him at length about this. We need to lay out regulations we want enacted. The police precinct should be there. We need to get CB7 to demand enactment of regulations to the city. Also call Shaun Abreu who is Councilman from District 7 and has been completely absent on this! Gale Brewer is District 6. At least she’s responded!! Where is Abreu??? Don’t give up! It shouldn’t but it does take persistence!! Thanks for your activism.
The bicyle lobby Transportation Alternatives plus affiliates Open Plans and Streetsblog are very powerful, influential and well-funded forces.
TransAlt works closely with/connects with elected officials and City DOT. Several members of CB 7 (other CBs too) are affiliated with TransAlt/Open Plans.
TransAlt priority is on bicyclists, Citibike, expanding the bike infrastructure etc – bicycles supersede pedestrians and mass transit.
I’ve been commuting by bicycle in Manhattan for 30+ yrs and feel less safe now than ever before. The app-based delivery companies have hijacked the streets and sidewalks (including newly-minted, tax payer funded, protected bike lanes and pedestrian zones) for their personal profits. And TransAlt, who purportedly is concerned for our safety, remains silent on the two-wheeled lawlessness that makes our public spaces increasingly dangerous. Pols, predictably, talk the talk but do nothing. Cynically, it would seem that Silicon Valley has everyone who could possibly improve this deadly situation firmly in their pockets. The opposite of progress.
The abject disdain the NYC DOT has shown- to New Yorkers -of all ages & abilities -whether in regard to the barricading/gating of the Orwellian named “Open Streets”CLOSED STREETS which prevent the disabled from equal access & egress -limiting their mobility choices because Uber & paratransit drivers REFUSE to lift policing gates to pick them up or drop them off …or the clear resistance to controlling scofflaw Deliveristas on e-bikes -or pedal bikes which weave in and out on sidewalks -disregard red lights and go the wrong way…and it falls at the feet of the Lobbying org Transportation Alternatives which seems to have polished their skills at regulatory capture with a willing DOT Commish Ydanis Rodriguez who gets his orders from Mayor Adams. And for that matter-so do the NYPD and FDNY which -word has it -have been told to lay off the biker bro’s -at any speed and anywhere. PS…by the way- 12 disabled petitioners (3 boroughs) just filed a complaint in Federal Court -Title ll among others- against the DOT & NYC…enough already!
I happened to meet Commissioner Rodríguez’ mother when he was on the City Council.
She and her elderly neighbors/friends all used buses, access a ride and cars driven by relatives etc to get around.
Ironic that her son prioritizes bicyclists and expanding the bicycle infrastructure
The West 71st Street Block Association will immediately join the Manasse’s coalition as we are currently working hard to stop a dangerous proposal to place an e-bike charging station at the already unsafe and over-crowded 72nd Street subway island.
The public is overwhelmingly against this as we fear more accidents, and common sense tells anyone this is a terrible idea! Please sign our petition to stop the plan at change.org. (Just type in “e-bike charging station”.)
We have proposed other locations, but are concerned about recent silence from everyone, including DOT and our Freedom of Information request re: current plans for this.
Please help us top this plan which could cause accidents similar to the terrible one that befell Greitzer-Manasee. We wish her continued recovery and hope she can soon return to her beloved cello and other activities.
Thanks for the detailed instructions in re your petition. I just signed it.
Ydanis is only a (shameless) figurehead at the Department of Transportation (Alternatives). What was once a municipality to maintain streets is now agency captured by two massive and well funded lobbies cosplaying as activists who are influencing redesigns and street blockades called open streets under the rubric of safety but say nothing about the scourge of two wheel scofflaws breaking traffic laws with impunity. They in fact have normalized this and for some reason, the NYPD doesn’t do much to stop them and FDNY doesn’t call for a ban on ebikes after hundreds of fires they caused.
I caught these lobby “advocates” basically doing an infomercial on the streets calling for the city to do a full on restructuring of streets to literally cater to the ebike “micromobility” menace while ebike riders broke traffic laws right in front of them.
Ydanis and these lobbies are transportation and safety nihilists.
WHY is vehicular assault on the SIDEWALK treated as an “accident” by the NYPD? If you drove a car, even a Mini-Cooper, down the sidewalk and creamed someone it would be a crime, same thing if you were to hurt someone going the wrong way down a one-street, blowing a light or stop sign, or failing to yield ( same with a Harley, or a truck, obviously). Is there a single City Council person with stones enough to simply lay the obvious on the line, and propose a law that 1) Assault with a motorized vehicle not obeying traffic regulations is ipso facto assault with a deadly weapon and therefore the driver should be so charged and 2) Any employer of said driver is liable for full civil penalties whether or not they “knew” the employee was breaking the laws, and criminal penalties if they had previously been notified of such incidents, including but not exhaustively, delivery services, apps, and physicals businesses, even if their headquarters are elsewhere. My Dad had to let employees w bad driving records go because he couldn’t get insurance for them.. WHY is this any different? In today’s NYC, we have accepted a totally cynical sensitivity by politicians who are only looking out for number one and don’t want to offend potential voters by doing anything at all- because anything at all offends someone these days- and simply giving lip service to real victims of crime like Pamela.
Everyday, able bodied New Yorkers hold the power to drastically reduce the number of delivery e-bikes and illegal (unregistered/unlicensed/uninsured) gas powered motor vehicles simply by getting dressed and going out into the world. By doing their own shopping, picking up their own takeout food. And in the process, supporting neighborhood businesses with foot traffic. Think back to pre-COVID, before delivery workers were labeled “essential workers.”
Even if politicians and law enforcement actually had the will to remove the danger and lawlessness from the equation, it is our own privilege and laziness that has resulted in this unsustainable explosion of two-wheeled convenience vehicles. We can take back our own streets!
Tim-you are 100% right!! I do all my own shopping and but for the occasional Chinese food delivery from my local restaurant I use NONE of the delivery services. I am astonished by how many people in NY seem not to want to interact with their communities, and it doesn’t bode well for a city that was in lock-down for almost 2 years and now seems to relish isolation. Of course there are people who are disabled or injured or sick who need food delivery. That’s ok. But I’d venture a guess that most of those who use these services are not in that group.
We do have the power to change endangering our neighbors with all these deliveries by voting with our feet! If you are able to visit your market or restaurant and pick up your own food, Save money and interact with the members of your own neighborhood!
Whatever you do — do not attempt to enjoy a sunset stroll on the “Cherry Walk” path next to the river between 96th and 125. It is a high-speed thruway for ebike delivery men zooming at 20-30+ mph — rushing up silently behind you — if you had taken an unsteady step to the left, or your dog darted this way instead of that you would be very seriously injured. It is a total insult to the people who want to use the park that their walking path has been taken over by unregulated commercial interests using it as their own delivery highway while NYers risk their life to take a walk down by the river. So dumb. Take a lovely urban amenity and turn it into a fearsome raceway where older folks risk their lives trying to enjoy a public park. For shame.