Cyclists and Pedestrians Can’t Stop Colliding in Prospect Park

01/12/2012 9:48 AM |

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In an incident all too similar to one that occurred this time last month, a cyclist collided with a pedestrian on Saturday on a downhill stretch of Prospect Park’s West Lake Drive where the Department of Transportation erected large traffic cones in an effort to keep cyclists and pedestrians out of each other’s paths. The collision took place around 4pm on January 7th, and while park officials claim the cyclist fell and was the only one injured, NYPD say a 62-year-old pedestrian was struck and taken to New York Methodist Hospital to be treated for a broken hand.

The narrow lane surrounded by large traffic cones installed along the dangerous stretch, the Brooklyn Paper reports, has become a nuisance, confusing cyclists and impairing their visibility so they have less time and less room to maneuver when a pedestrian crosses their path.

On a recent Brooklyn Paper visit to the hill, cyclists appeared confused about whether they should ride between the cones or beside them—especially since the barrels sit next to a lane marked with a bicycle symbol, which, confusingly, cyclists are only supposed to use during the few weekday hours when the park is open to cars.

The number of accidents on this stretch of road near the Vanderbilt Street Playground—or at least the attention paid them by a community suddenly on edge about all things bike lane-related—has risen dramatically in recent months. In November a pedestrian ended up in a coma after a collision with a cyclist on West Lake Drive, and last month a cyclist was rushed away in an ambulance after crashing on the same stretch of park road. Earlier in December, a cyclist was struck by a van elsewhere in the park and seriously injured while NYPD handed out fliers about an upcoming speeding crackdown on cyclist riding on West Lake Drive.

While accidents keep occurring, the Prospect Park Alliance tells the Paper that it will continue to monitor traffic on the hill.

Follow Benjamin Sutton on Twitter @LMagArt

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