New York City has made great strides in recent years, installing bike paths and trails, sponsoring events and making New York a more bike-friendly place. The city has constructed more than 100 miles of greenways in recent years and there are at least 200 miles of bike lanes on city streets, and the numbers are growing.
With growth in bike riding as a form of transportation and recreation comes the need to maintain trails and lanes to preent bicycle accidents and keep riders safe. Unfortunately, the city does not seem to have been as enthusiastic about maintenance as it has about headline-making openings and additions to bicycle riding. The result is unsafe bike trials that can lead to injury or death.
One unsafe bike trail is the Shore Parkway Path in Brooklyn. A recent ride along the East River revealed numerous unsafe conditions that could easily be corrected. The photos here illustrate the problems that a rider encounters when cycling along this trail.
First, there are numerous patches of sand that represent a serious hazards to bikers. Suddenly encountering large amounts of sand can send a bicycle into a skid, throwing the rider and injuring other bicyclists and pedestrians.
One would think that potholes are easier to repair on bike paths than on city streets. However, there are large potholes on the Shore Parkway bike trail that represent a significant hazard to bike riders, especially when they are not able to see them in time to take evasive action.
Sinkholes on the path represent another, and much higher, level of danger to bicyclists. This photo shows a sinkhole that was previously repaired but has now opened up again.
The City of New York has made significant payments to injured cyclists because of potholes and sinkholes – by some estimates, the city paid out $3.8 million because of injuries caused by poor maintenance between 2005 and 2010.
Source: New York Daily News, “City has paid $3.8M since 2005 in lawsuits where bicyclists were injured, killed from bad roads,” Oct. 12, 2010.