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Do the Citi Bike Docking Stations Pose a Health Hazard?

New York’s Citi Bike program follows the pattern of other urban bike share programs that promote healthy exercise habits and alternative means of transportation. But some say the program’s bicycle docking stations installed on sidewalks throughout the city present a tripping hazard.

So far, three pedestrians have filed claims charging the docking stations create “trap-like” conditions, causing them to trip and fall, according to an article in The New York Daily News. Two of the victims tripped over the docks and fell. The third fell and claimed the docking station created an optical illusion, its color blending in with the sidewalk and the street.

Personal injury laws exist to protect victims of injuries, and the rules in New York regarding personal injury are complex. In a situation where a person is injured in a fall, the property owner may be liable if he or she should have known about the hazard because a reasonable person taking care of the property would have discovered and corrected the dangerous condition.

The Citi Bike program, which launched last May, offers subscriptions to people for $95 a year; $25 per week, or $9.95 per day. An article in Newsday reports the service provides 6,000 bikes at 330 stations in parts of Manhattan and Brooklyn. As of September 15, more than 288,000 riders had subscribed to the service. The service is offered to cyclists 16 and older.

The Citi Bike program promotes the New York City cycling rules, and offers safety tips for riders:

  • Yield to pedestrians.
  • Stay off the sidewalks.
  • Obey traffic lights.
  • Ride with the traffic.
  • Use proper hand signals for stopping and turning.
  • Don’t weave in and out of traffic.
  • Ride about four feet away from parked cars and avoid the “door zone.”
  • Don’t ride distracted. Never wear two headphones and avoid texting while biking.
  • Courteously alert drivers, pedestrians and other cyclists when you approach.
  • Always wear a helmet.

David Resnick & Associates, P.C., are experts in New York City laws protecting the millions of pedestrians who travel through the city on foot. We have the experience to assess each set of circumstances to determine whether there was negligence by the property owner, if the negligence was a factor in the injury and what insurance coverage is available, so that our clients can get a full and fair recovery for their injury.

Typically, victims have three years to file a personal injury lawsuit in New York, but in some cases, the time limit is only one year. Personal injury lawsuits against the government have even tighter time requirements.

Some of the personal injury damages you could be entitled to include:

  • Lost wages
  • Medical bills
  • Lost future earnings
  • Pain and suffering
  • Rehabilitation costs
  • Spouse’s damages (loss of consortium)
  • Punitive damages

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