In the ongoing turf war between cyclists and the rest of the city, the situation remains grim. On Sunday, a cop patrolling the Brooklyn Bridge footpath was struck by a cyclist and suffered an arm injury, giving new meaning to “Cops in Bike Lanes.” Following the unfortunate death last month of a pedestrian in Central Park, the two sides of the debate over cyclists’ place on New York City’s streets and pathways are becoming more entrenched.
The incident is being treated as an accident, the New York Daily News reports, and the injured officer is in stable condition. Anyone who has walked or biked over the Brooklyn Bridge can attest that weekends are the craziest time of week to navigate the wooden pathway across the span, and the nicer the weather is the more hazardous the trip. Cyclists especially must maneuver around tourists and unwitting gawkers who cross blindly in front of them, or block the path for a photo op.
But while we may recognize the hazards, it is too easy to blame only the victim in any cyclist-pedestrian clash.The details of Sunday’s incident are unclear, but the injury has provided fuel for both sides of the issue: those who blame pedestrians (even uniformed ones) in the way of bicycles, and those who blame crazed bicyclists, running down everything in their path. Hopefully this incident can be a turning point in cyclist-pedestrian relations, rather than another point of heated contention.
Follow John Sherman on Twitter @_john_sherman.