Tom Sganga was riding eastbound on Grand Street around 7 p.m. this evening when, he says, a minivan pulled out of parallel parking spot right into his path.
His leg was hurt in the collision, and the frame of his electric Kysmo bike bent, but mostly, he was just fuming.
“He pulled right out in front of me without even looking,” said Sganga, who lives in the neighborhood and rides the Grand Street bike lane frequently. “I wouldn’t let him leave until the police came.”
Four cruisers responded to Sganga’s call. Officers advised him to have his injuries evaluated by a doctor. They did not charge the driver of the Chevy Venture van, which carried New Jersey license plates. Asked why no ticket was issued, one officer at the scene shrugged and said, “For what? I didn’t see it happen.”
I think the officer did the right thing, since it’s very possible Mr. Sganga was in the driver’s “blind spot” and there’s no way to prove anything. Further; my experience has been very negative in terms of bike riders nearly mowing me down on many occasions (when I was crossing a street with a green light or just about to step off the curb). On the other hand, I have NO love for New Jersey drivers – nor for anyone who drives a huge car in NYC.
I am sorry he was hit….and surely the driver should be more careful I am glad he was not hurt but my question is isn’t the type of bike he as riding illegal or did it have a license.
bike lanes are for bikes period, there also need to be signs to remind people
to look up from their phone before they cross the street
Electric bikes are indeed illegal to ride on the street in New York State (you can only legally ride them on private property). See recent stories on the subject at NYT and WSJ. The state assembly has passed legislation that would legalize e-bikes, but the state senate can’t seem to pull it off (they’ve been trying since 2009).
That said, in theory Mr. Sganga might have been riding under pedal and not electric power, which I’m not sure would be illegal.
Bike lanes are for bikes period, but cars can legally cross the bike lane to get from the traffic lane to the parking lane and vice versa, which sounds like what happened here.
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