Pedestrians, Bicyclists Need To Get Along

Written by admin on . Posted in Opinion and Column.


To The Editor:

I was very much interested in the West Side Spirit’s story (“Dismount Signs Ignored, Taken Down in Riverside Park,” Sept. 1) about bike rider’s etiquette (or lack thereof) in Riverside Park.

I am a bike rider and I always dismount and walk the bike through the park from 72nd Street until I reach the river. My experience is that I’m invariably smiled at and thanked for showing them this small consideration. To me it makes good sense. Who wants to terrorize pedestrians and dogs?

Now on to the signs!

“Cyclists Must Dismount” seems a bit like those garbage trucks that shout “Don’t Litter.” ”Please Don’t Litter” has more of an appeal and I think people would surely respond to it. Similarly ,“Cyclists Please Dismount” has a much more charming and persuasive ring.

While workers were putting up the new vandal-proof dismount signs, I suggested they should instead hang banners over the pathway. They might read “Please Dismount for Safety’s Sake.”

Personally, I have a beef with pedestrians and joggers who inhabit the bike lane all the way down to Battery Park City. There is a path especially for them, but they use the bike path anyway. It’s a menace to bikers, especially when fast bikes need to overtake the pedestrians and come very close to hitting oncoming bikes in the other lane!

Part of the pleasure of cycling along that route is being able to look at the buildings, the sky and the river. The advent of nearly running into a pedestrian who has just arrived in one’s lane is very upsetting indeed. During the weekends, it’s sometimes hard to even get past groups of pedestrians in the bike lane.

David Hakes
Upper West side

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  • Nicholas Arena

    Bicycles in a crowded, large city should NEVER go fast. Is it a race, or is it recreation that takes
    place while others — young children, pedestrians, mothers with infants — also enjoy the scene.

    By the way, the mere fact pedestrians get into the bike lanes shows the utter senselessness of
    placing one in proximity to the other.

    Just some thoughts,

    Nicholas A. F. Arena, Esq.

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