Law

Cyclist Critically Injured in Central Park, Raising More Questions About Bicycle Safety

Yet another serious cycling accident in New York City has resulted in a critical injury.

According to news reports, a 43-year-old man riding an e-bike in Central Park collided with an elderly pedestrian near the Loeb Boathouse on East Drive and 72nd Street. The collision, which occurred inside a crosswalk, resulted in the cyclist falling from his bike and injuring his head.

“The old man was crossing, and the bike went straight,” said Sheik Rahman, a snack cart operator who witnessed the accident. “The bicyclist was spread out in the road, and looked badly injured,” Rahman told the New York Daily News.

Both men were transported to Weill Cornell Medical Center. Police say the elderly man’s injuries were minor, while the cyclist was admitted in critical condition. Department of Transportation officials were later on scene inspecting the crosswalk’s walk signal button to ascertain if it was working properly.

As police worked the scene, three more cyclists were injured by collisions within 100 feet of the crosswalk. In one incident, two cyclists ran into each other, sending one woman to the hospital. The other incident was a solo crash caused when a cyclist attempted to ride and use his smartphone simultaneously.

Will NYC’s Cruel Summer for Cyclists Extend Into Fall?

These latest incidents come during the city’s worst year for cycling fatalities in recent memory. Nine cyclists have been killed in crashes since June, and a total of 19 have died in 2019. These figures more than double the cyclist fatality count from 2018.

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio has been outspoken in his public comments regarding this spate of incidents, calling for new measures to protect cyclists. The mayor and other local officials have called on prosecutors to take a tougher line against motorists who strike and kill cyclists, treating the collisions as criminal in nature rather than unfortunate accidents.

The city is also counting on two major initiatives to stem the tide of cyclist deaths: Vision Zero and Green Wave. The former is a street safety initiative designed to reduce all traffic deaths in participating cities to zero; the latter is a cycling-specific project designed to make local roads safer for cyclists.

Both Vision Zero and Green Wave are relying on infrastructure improvements (more crosswalks and bike lanes, safer intersections) and educational awareness to reduce cycling injuries and deaths. However, progress thus far has been disappointing.

Local cycling groups have taken to the NYC streets this summer to protest the city’s perceived inaction on cycling safety. These protests and rallies have mobilized a community of cyclists who feel as if their concerns are not being taken seriously. Recreational riders and the city’s large cohort of bike messengers have both appealed to city officials to do more to prevent collisions.

Finding the Right Cycling Accident Attorney

At The Frankel Law, we have more than 40 years of experience handling the very complex personal injury cases. If you’ve been injured in an accident — or someone you love has been hurt – call for a free consultation. There is no attorney fee unless there is a recovery. Call us at (212) 888-5100 or contact us at www.frankellawfirm.com.

 

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