A bicycle accident in New York left a young woman seriously injured earlier this month. The woman was thrown from her bike and landed on pavement while she was traveling down a darkly-lit, twisty, and hilly bypass created to shuttle bicycle traffic through Riverside Park. Safety advocates have long said that this mandatory bicycle bypass was designed poorly and puts bicyclists at unnecessary risk. Indeed, this bicycle accident in Riverside Park is just the latest in a string of crashes on the dangerous stretch of asphalt.
The bypass was created by city planners to keep bicycle traffic away from pedestrians in the park. However, extensive research shows that pedestrian traffic rapidly declines during the winter months leaving bike safety advocates wondering if traffic really needs to be rerouted during those months.
The issue is twofold:
- Cyclists say that the bypass was poorly designed with bad lighting, tight corners, and hills that naturally increase speed (and danger levels).
- The bypass is mandatory year-round for bike traffic.
The Parks Department-who is in charge of the bypass-did not admit that the design is faulty but a spokesperson for the agency said they would continue to monitor traffic and accidents in the area.
However, in the event it is shown either by the Parks Department itself admitting that the design of the bypass is faulty or by an independent evaluation by a civil engineer showing the design in some way contributed to the bicyclists’ injuries, the City of New York (Parks Department) could be found liable to pay for the pain and suffering of the injuries suffered by injured victims.
If you’ve been injured while riding on a stretch of road or bike path owned or controlled by the city because of a fault either in design or maintenance, you could potentially hold the City responsible for your injuries and lost time from work.