Most accident stories involving bicycles in New York City feature motor vehicles as the cause of the crashes. But what about bicycles that cause accidents? A recent incident in Central Park shows just how dangerous a careless bike rider can be.
A bind man who trains for the New York City Marathon in the park was walking in the pedestrian lane when he was hit from behind by a bicycle. Police and other witnesses estimate that the cyclist was going at least 35 mph, 10 miles over the limit in the park.
The victim, 38-year-old Richard Bernstein, is an attorney, triathalete and a well-known advocate for the disabled. The accident occurred at about 10:00 AM above East 90th Street. The victim was wearing a bright yellow t-shirt and was carrying a reflective cane. He suffered significant injuries, including numerous lacerations, a broken pelvis and hip, and lost several teeth. He said that when the ambulance brought him to Mount Sinai Hospital, he learned that he was the second pedestrian that morning with injuries caused by a speeding bicycle.
The Daily News recently investigated the problem of speeding bicyclists in the park. Within 35 minutes, 16 bicycle riders were clocked at more than 35 mph, or ten mph over the usual speed limit.
From his hospital bed, Bernstein said, “It was a direct hit. I was just walking. And then I was on the ground, my face in the asphalt.”
Source: Daily News, “After Daily News exposes Central Park bike chaos, blind marathon runner Richard Bernstein is struck by speeding cyclist,” by Larry McShane and Kerry Burke, Aug. 16, 2012.