Watch out on West Side Highway, Bike Path
an article from NY1 about a cyclist injured on the Greenway Thursday, June 22nd at 11:30pm
Cyclist In Critical Condition After Colliding With Tow Truck
A 56-year-old man is fighting for his life after being struck by an NYPD tow truck while riding his bicycle on the West Side Highway bike path at around 11:30 Thursday night.
The tow truck was headed southbound and making a right turn into the Pier 76 pound facility with a vehicle in tow when it struck the cyclist, who was heading northbound with a companion on the bike path near 12th Avenue.
According to standard procedure, the tow truck driver was given a breathalyzer. No arrests were made and no tickets were issued.
However, the incident does raise some critical questions, including why the driver wasn't issued a ticket for failure to yield the right of way. Drivers in the area have to pass a big sign saying they have to yield to cyclists, and even if the cyclist had a red light, the tow truck in this case would have also had a red light.
Cyclists along the path say they have become accustomed to being constantly on the lookout.
“I’ve been using this path for years riding from 86th down,” said bicyclist Ruth Spencer. “Now that there’s two accidents in my building and now this, I’ll be even more careful.”
While NY1 reporter Gary Anthony Ramsay was conducting an interview with one cyclist, another cyclist off camera was hit by a car making a right turn into the piers. The cyclist was unharmed, other than some cuts and bruises, but he stood up after the incident and shouted to the driver that he had the right of way.
“It happens a lot,” said the cyclist Paul Barenholz. “People don’t respect the right of way, they don’t watch when they’re turning here. I just got back from Denmark. They respect bicyclists there, they respect lanes, people look to the right when they make a right turn. All the automobiles do it.”
While the NYPD has been unable to completely resolve the circumstances of Thursday night's incident, it does appear to highlight what has become a dangerous intersection.