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Central Park loop gets renewed safety focus after pedestrian deaths

One of our posts last week focused on the dangerous traffic problem in New York City, but not the problem that most residents are familiar with. The New York Times has been covering the increasing tensions between bicyclists and pedestrians in Central Park – specifically the six-mile loop around the park.

Earlier this month, a 58-year-old woman was struck and killed by a bicyclist who said he had just swerved to avoid other pedestrians. At the beginning of August, a 75-year-old jogger was struck by a teenager on a bike who hit the man after dodging a pedicab. The jogger died a few days later.

As the Times points out, pedestrians and bicyclists are usually united when it comes to disputes with motor vehicles. But in Central Park, which is largely free of motor vehicle traffic, these two groups are blaming one another for accidents.

These two recent deaths have raised awareness of some important issues. First of all, many people did not realize that bicycle accidents involving pedestrians could even be fatal. Second, law enforcement agencies have noted that traffic laws are not suggestions, and bicyclists and pedestrians who violate them put themselves and others in danger.

If you frequently travel through Central Park (or any other part of the city) on bicycle or on foot, please be cautious of the hazards around you. And if you have been seriously injured by the negligence of other travelers in the park, please share your concerns with an experienced personal injury attorney.

Source: The New York Times, “Deaths Expose Chaos of Central Park’s Loop,” J. David Goodman, Sept. 28, 2014

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