While finding a safe and effective way for bicyclists, pedestrians and motorists to coexist on the streets of New York City may be of current concern, it is hardly a new issue. In fact, news stories dating back to near the turn of the 20th century told bicycle-related tales that demonstrate how, when it comes to NYC traffic, the more things change, the more they remain the same.
For instance, a story appearing in the Times in 1896 is dedicated to NYC’s first-ever car accident, which happened to involve a bicycle. Reportedly, a motorist was racing a “horseless wagon” on the street that is now known as Broadway. Witnesses said that the motorist appeared to lose control of his vehicle and started zigging and zagging in such a way as to confuse the bicyclist. Ultimately, the bicyclist ended up with a fractured leg and the motorist was taken to jail.
But bicyclists were not always innocent victims. Another story involved five riders, two of whom were on a tandem bike. This group behaved so recklessly on Broadway that they were arrested for riding in excess of speeds permitted by law. And two others were caught speeding about on 14th Street. These two “scorchers” were fined three dollars and lectured by a magistrate who told them of having to flee for his life to get to avoid being struck by such reckless riders.
So there you have it, negligent motorists endangering bicyclists and negligent bicyclists endangering pedestrians. Sound familiar? And the search for solutions continues as the city grows more crowded and the situation becomes more complicated.
If you should ever be injured in a bicycle-related accident, you likely could use the services of an experienced attorney. Often bicycle accidents require extensive investigations to determine liability. An attorney could help you prove your side of the story, which may result in you getting the compensation you deserve.