With the amount of traffic on the streets, New York is a city where walking is heavily encouraged. It can give you a good workout and more time to enjoy the unique locations and architecture that the Big Apple has to offer.
Unfortunately, it isn’t just the impatient drivers in Times Square you’ll have to worry about. There are plenty of reckless residents you’ll come across on the sidewalks as well. Cyclists haven’t had the best relationship with pedestrians in this city. Despite the multiple bike lane expansions within the last decade, there have been more than 2,250 pedestrians injured by cyclists since 2011. As more cyclists are trying to get the most out of the last months before winter arrives, keep these safety tips in mind for your next stroll:
Use the bicycle lane only when it is necessary
The purpose of bicycle lanes is to keep cyclists away from cars and pedestrians. Since this lane was made specifically for them, they can defend themselves by saying that you should not have been in the lane in the first place. However, with how chaotic New York’s streets can get, sometimes you have limited options. Maybe a large crowd is blocking where you need to go. Perhaps there is some construction or a police investigation going on at your sidewalk. These are reasonable excuses to step foot on the bicycle lane.
If you are traveling on a different wheeled object such as a scooter or skateboard, then you have a legitimate reason for using the bike lane. You may not take as much room as a bicycle, but you are still going much faster than most of the other pedestrians.
Do not listen to loud music
Many people who take walks around the nation try to add more ambiance to their trip by putting on some headphones as they go outside. Some like a calm, soothing melody as they walk through a forest, while others listen to more upbeat tunes while taking a jog.
In New York, that’s very hard to pull off without putting yourself at risk. You’re sharing the sidewalk and paths with thousands of people every day. Even if you’re not walking on the bicycle path, you still need to hear a cyclist behind you warning that they are coming up on your left. Even if the cyclist was going too fast, it can be hard to make it appear like you weren’t distracted in that scenario.
Since the likelihood of getting hit by a reckless cyclist is much higher in New York, you need to know what legal assistance is available if you got hurt despite taking these precautions.