It’s no secret that the Brooklyn Bridge and sidewalks across NYC have the same problem. There is a bike lane, but it’s full of pedestrians who feel pushed off the crowded streets. While some cyclists have found creative solutions to make pedestrians move, other cyclists get nervous and may crash into pedestrians who are blocking their way.
While the city began constructing new bike lanes on the Brooklyn Bridge in late June 2021, it still raises the question, what happens when pedestrians are in the bike lane?
The Right of Way
The bike lane is a part of the road reserved for vehicles. When pedestrians enter the bike lane, especially when they step off the safety of the sidewalk, they don’t have the right of way. Technically, they’re jaywalking. When a crash involves a pedestrian in the bike lane, it may be more difficult for the pedestrian to claim their damages were the result of the cyclist’s negligence.
Stepping into the bike lane is never a good idea, regardless of how crowded the sidewalk may be. It increases traffic congestion as cyclists and cars have to slow down. At the same time, it increases the risk of a crash because the cyclist needs to avoid the pedestrians in front of them while also looking out for cars to their left.
Even when pedestrians are jaywalking, cyclists have a responsibility to avoid a crash. That means people on bikes need to make themselves seen and heard as they approach, giving pedestrians in their lane ample time to recognize an approaching bike and get out of the way.
If a cyclist does everything right and they’re still involved in a crash, they should contact a personal injury attorney with experience handling NYC bike crashes as soon as possible.
If you or someone you love were injured in a bike crash, you need affordable representation from a team you can trust. If you’d like an experienced New York City injury accident attorney from Koenigsberg & Associates Law Offices to evaluate your case, don’t hesitate to call us at (718) 690-3132 or send us an email!