NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — It’s chaos on the concrete.
Midtown’s crowded sidewalks have people walking into potential danger, CBS2’s Lisa Rozner reported.
CBS2’s cameras caught pedestrians running in the bike lane during rush hour at Eighth Avenue and 45th Street. Some were lugging baggage, others making deliveries.
“There’s less people here,” one man told Rozner.
“Most of the tourists use the sidewalk, and it’s really slow,” Matthew Pizzulli, of Clifton, New Jersey, said.
“You try to stay aware, but I shouldn’t be here,” said Ann Lemonda, who was trying to catch a train.
That’s prompting cyclists to either dodge the people on foot or ride in the car lanes.
“Just try not to hit anybody, ring my bell as much as I can,” one rider said.
“You just have to act like a car kind of. You have to stand up and make yourself take up the space,” said Mike Herman, of Washington Heights.
Some pedestrians Rozner spoke with believed the white painted diagonal lines between the bike lane and parking spaces were for people traveling by foot.
“If you’re a New Yorker, you know how to deal with it. We all walk in the street,” Bob Terzi said.
But the Department of Transportation said the lines are actually a buffer to keep cyclists safe from car doors opening.
“I was on the pedestrian lane, and this bike rider wanted to cut through the pedestrians, and I got hit and fell,” said Sylvia Geronimo.
“It’s an unsafe, dangerous situation and, if for nothing else, the city should fix it now for liability reasons,” Paul Steely White, executive director of Transportation Alternatives, told Rozner.
CBS2 brought up the issue two years ago on Seventh Avenue near Penn Station. The mayor said taking away one lane of vehicle traffic for pedestrians was “worth looking at.”
“We recognize we’re going to have to do some work to widen some of those sidewalks to create safe spaces for them,” DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg said earlier this week.
DOT officials said they are now looking at widening the sidewalks near Penn Station. However, the area on Eighth Avenue is not on their list.