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Attorneys to talk at Westbeth on avoiding cycling accidents

BY LINCOLN ANDERSON  |  Bicycle activist / attorneys Steve Vaccaro and Adam White will give a free talk at Westbeth on Wed., April 30, on “Cycling Rights and Advocacy.”

Sometimes even the best cyclist gets into an accident. The attorneys will discuss what bike riders should do at the scene of an accident and how to ensure access to health coverage. They’ll also talk about how to avoid tickets and what to do after getting them. In addition, they’ll share ways that people can become advocates for cycling in New York City and how to get involved.

Steve Vaccaro after a nasty crash on the Riverside Park bike path in February. He has sued the city over a dangerous condition that caused the accident.
Steve Vaccaro after a nasty crash on the Riverside Park bike path in February. He has sued the city over a dangerous condition that caused the accident.

Vaccaro said he’ll also probably give a PowerPoint presentation on StreetsPAC, a new organization that seeks to impact the city’s political process by supporting pro-cycling candidates and policies.

Speaking of the best cyclists getting into accidents, Vaccaro unfortunately had a bad one in February when he was riding on the Riverside Park bike path at W. 94th St. and hit a sheathing for a bollard that had been removed so that snow could be plowed. The sheathing stuck up higher than the surface of the bike path, and Vaccaro hit it, sending him flying.

He struck the side of his face on the asphalt, gouging his brow down to the bone, plus scraping the side of his face, and, as seen in the photo, quite a lot of blood came down. He also suffered a fractured wrist, among other injuries. He has since sued the city for allowing the dangerous situation.

“The park has replaced that particular bollard,” Vaccaro said. “But I’m told there are others further Uptown that are always in the hazardous condition.”

This sheathing for a bollard (which had been removed for snow plowing) caused the accident.
This sheathing for a bollard (which had been removed for snow plowing) caused the accident.

A similar hazard with a small, projecting metal stub existed on the East River bike path at 23rd St. but was removed not too long ago.

The April 30 talk will be in the Westbeth Performance Center, 55 Bethune St., starting at 6:15 p.m. Food will be provided. Bike parking is available. The event is co-sponsored by the Vaccaro & White law firm and the Five Borough Bicycling Club. RSVP at  bikenyc.org/event/6074 .

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