Cyclist hits and kills pedestrian in Central Park-
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  1. #1
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    Cyclist hits and kills pedestrian in Central Park

    A Death in Central Park Raises Real Questions About Bicyclist Behavior - CityLab

    Anyone else seen this? It brings up a lot of thoughts.

    Obviously, its horrible this woman was killed. The sad part is, if it was a car that hit her, no one would really care or know her name. There's been a lot of talk about the difference in coverage. Release of the "driver's" name by NYPD and how there has been an assumption of guilt on his part vs assumption of evidence for autos. The NYPD show of force to "tame" the cyclists of Central Park. This is the same city and Police Department that used "I didn't see him" to justify one of their own running down a pedestrian in a crosswalk who was cross with the signal.

    It sounds like this guy was riding a road racing bike and may or may not have been training. I don't know Central Park, but I know from my own experiences even on my commute I don't like multi-use areas because of pedestrians and joggers. More to the point, people racing and speeding in cars aren't used to condemn car commuters.

    I don't mean to do what drivers do when they hit us, but on mixed use trails it seems like it's pandemonium. Cyclists, pedestrians, and dogwalkers all behaving like morons.

    It also seems to highlight the vast disparity in how pedestrian deaths are treated.

  2. #2
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    Dec 2003
    The last paragraph in that post are very well-stated.

    If anything good can come out of the death of Jill Tarlov, it would be an increased realization of the responsibility we all have toward each other as human beings, all of us trying to use the limited resource of street space in New York or any other crowded city. People in cars, people on foot, people on bikes: we are all just people, fragile and vulnerable creatures of flesh and blood. We should take care of each other.
    Police response sounds pretty typical. I wouldn't have a problem with them getting out and emphasizing good law-abiding behavior, if that emphasis was equally applied. When a car kills someone, they should get out there and emphasize to car drivers to behave and drive safely. They should emphasize to pedestrians and dog walkers and parents of children to be predictable and consistent in busy multi-use environments because erratic behavior causes crashes and injuries.

    I use multi-use facilities, but I temper my expectations there. I know I cannot cruise at a fast pace there. I know I cannot hammer. I know that I have to go with the flow of "traffic" and be satisfied with that. I know I have to be on my toes in case someone stops suddenly, darts in front of me, or lets their dog string a trip line across the trail with a flexi leash.

    Yet there are plenty of idiots who do their training rides in those very same places, they set public Strava segments there, and they go 30+mph in those zones.

  3. #3
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    Sep 2014
    Yeah, I saw this around the internet. Condolences to the friends of family of the deceased.

    Just for general context for those who haven't, I've cycled around Central Park a couple of times and found it fun, if somewhat confusing. The main loops involve fairly narrow demarcated cycle and jogging lanes next to wide motor vehicle lanes. Cyclists tend to use the latter (seems far safer for everyone involved) or hog the dividing line as can be seen in this google street view capture, since few cars use (or are allowed to use, I don't really know) the road. A van honked at me when I cottoned on to the line hugging, though. It is however, a well paved loop that seemed mainly used by athletes (there are plenty of other trails for hikers and picnic lovers) and the going gets fast, even on the jogging lane. A largish group of fairly fit runners even passed me on the hill. The pedestrian crossings thus have lights, which seem a little ridiculous (I think I might have jaywalked across the path myself once or twice myself), given, again, the general lack of cars on the road and the fact that it's a park; but not completely out of place given how fast cyclists (and joggers/runners as well) were going (and that lot of us were wearing headphones, to be honest). Still, I saw no one pounding it on the small downhill, and no one really seemed to be hitting much more than 25mph.

    I really don't know what the answer here is, not that its my place to comment on that. It's obliviously tragic when someone gets killed walking across a park. But having benefited from it I'd be remiss not to note that the loop was also a fun, healthy and cheap (if you have access to a bike) way to exercise in NYC.

  4. #4
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    I've never been on that loop on Central Park, so its good to have context. I know not to race on a multi-trail, but where else in NYC would someone be able to have a training ride? It doesn't seem NYC has many areas that are all that conducive to training rides.

  5. #5
    jrm is online now
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carton View Post
    The pedestrian crossings thus have lights, which seem a little ridiculous (I think I might have jaywalked across the path myself once or twice myself), given, again, the general lack of cars on the road and the fact that it's a park; but not completely out of place given how fast cyclists (and joggers/runners as well) were going (and that lot of us were wearing headphones, to be honest). Still, I saw no one pounding it on the small downhill, and no one really seemed to be hitting much more than 25mph.
    You really can't have uncontrolled crossings when you have vehicular, bicycle and ped traffic all converging at the same point. If it were my responsibility i'd have a grade separated crossing, a bike track or/and median bulbout that would act as a pedestrian crossing mid point so that pedestrians wouldn't have to sprint across multiple lanes of vehicular and bicycle traffic just to cross the street.

    As the article states they still don't know who had had the "right of way". I see this ALL the time, If people dont see car(s) coming and/or see other people crossing the street against a light b/c they assume if others are doing it than they should be safe as well. In this case the cyclist already dodged a group of pedestrians, yelled at this lady before hitting her which tells me she followed the larger group of pedestrians. Whether this group and the lady were crossing against the light, we dont know. But it sure could explain the cyclists actions prior to the contact. Again no one knows who had right of way. But this article goes on blaming cyclists without knowing who was in the right and who was in the wrong. Yes this is tragic, but really people have to stop being lazy and seriously consider the consequences of there actions. This goes for BOTH the pedestrian and the cyclist in this event.

  6. #6
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    It's a tricky situation. I occasionally ride on a MUP, and when there's many people, I try to keep the speed slow, especially if there's people who seem like they're being unpredictable. Yesterday I was on one on my commute and this lady was teaching her kid to ride a bike. The kid goes straight across the path right in front of me, so I had to come to a complete stop. That, IMO, is just plain dangerous and irresponsible on the mother's part. She looked at me and laughed like "haha, that was cute of my kid". There's also an elderly home along this path and most of the older people are clueless, at least half of them are on the wrong side. There's also this guy I see regularly riding what is sort of like a SUP with wheels and he has a 10-12' stick he pushes himself along with, probably around 15-16mph, and if you come within a few feet of him, you'll get whacked with this stick, and he swerves each time he pushes himself. Point being, people are completely unpredictable, so this guy may very well have had the unfortunate luck of having this lady step out in front of him when she shouldn't have. I yell "on your left" all the time to people and they get startled and jump, so who knows how people will react. Sure, this guy absolutely shouldn't be going 30mph or trying to compete on Strava on a MUP, but IMO this could still the the victim's fault ultimately. It's like when the police always blame speed for car accidents because someone's going 75 in a 65. Just because they were going over the speed limit doesn't make it their fault. It may have been the person who failed to signal, cut them off, blew a red light, etc. It's an easy way to close a case for the police.

  7. #7
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    This is the real group giving cyclists a bad name:
    dilettante Giro d' Italia, Tour de France, wannabe pro-racers.

    They are all clad in spandex, they are always going nowhere they need to get to on a bike, but always as fast as possible within limits. In this case, the retard apparently instead of just preemptively braking like a normal person, had to be a Stravatard and futilely yell in vain, only to crash into a lady at speed and kill her. Accidents happen and are unavoidable, but they usually happen when you are not paying attention, like the case for this lady. But the racer wannabe, Stravatard, did have advanced warning of the imminent collision and instead choose keeping up speed at all costs. Here is another example of a death at the hands of a Stravatard, this time in San Francisco in 2012:
    San Francisco cyclist to face felony charges in pedestrian death | Bicycle Retailer and Industry News

    However reading any cycling forums, you would get a sense from all the wannabe racers who are car-dependent that the problem is the people who use a bicycle for their daily life and thus out of necessity have to ride on the sidewalk, sometimes decide to ride the wrong way, run red lights when it suits them, etc. I am pretty sure what really angers motorists is a group of racing wannabes who converged at a suitable parking lot with their bikes in their cars, to cause even more necessary traffic by creating a long peloton for even more holding up of traffic.

  8. #8
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    Nov 2013
    I have been the c**ks**ker on the MUP a few hundred times. NO accidents, but hammering too fast and rustling everyones jimmies...I admit it.

    I've come real close to taking out people on the MUP a few times and it was a painted line, signs posted stay to the right, type of MUP. having a good time great day and absolutely hammering, people ahead staying right, then last minute doing some odd crap. happens a lot but no damage no hits...

    worst was recently when another oncoming cyclist got into my lane and I was -hammering- zero time to react...that person was an ultimate d**K going into my lane while I was coming like a freight train (33mph)... rubbed handlebars nothing else....

    Today...Now...I have thought about this a ton...and this year especially (after the jerkwad oncoming cyclist) I will kill someone/get killed by someone some day doing that,

    I have backed off a boatload when I am on the mup. I will go out at night with all my lumens blazing and hammer... but no more when daytime and the mup is partly loaded

    yes this mup was built by cyclists and for cyclists primarily, but it is a mup afterall and no matter the outcome, if I am going above 15mph, and an incident occurs, I must take some or all blame since I have a whole lot of control of my speed and braking, and few other MUP users know or realize the bike in the distance can be coming real fast, or even know to look over the shoulder before crossing paths or changing direction...and I cannot expect them to change habits.

    It is me who needs to change no one else. working on it

  9. #9
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    Deaths Expose Chaos of Central Park Loop

  10. #10
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    Written by the widow of a pedestrian killed earlier this year by a cyclist on the same loop. IMHO, a must read.

  11. #11
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    That's a great letter. If something similar happened to me, I'd like to think that I'd feel the same way.

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