Letter: Dangerous Hoboken bike-riders on sidewalks

Hoboken411 reader Allison witnessed a nutty incident this week downtown, and shares her observations about what took place.

Bike riders should alert pedestrians

“The issue of bike riders vs cars/pedestrians comes up often on Hoboken411, so I wanted to write in and tell you something I saw while walking to work this morning. I was on the sidewalk on Newark between Park and Garden heading towards the PATH (south side of the street). This particular sidewalk area is fairly narrow to begin with and there was a woman walking ahead of me about 100 yards.

A man on his bike came from behind me on the sidewalk going full speed and went to pass the woman up ahead.

He did not have a bell or anything to warn pedestrians of his approach – thankfully the woman didn’t suddenly move to the side otherwise he would have smashed into her.

Instead, he passed her going full speed while hitting a parked car on the street as he sped by. This car was actually a small pickup truck (dark blue) and when I walked past I noticed that there was a piece of plastic that was missing from the sideview mirror due to the bicycle impact.

I have no problem with bicycle riders whatsoever – I understand the environmental as well as health benefits. However, I’d like bicycle riders to let us know if they are pedestrians and thus will be riding on sidewalks, or if they are motorists and will be riding on streets. If I knew that bicycle riders across town share sidewalks with pedestrians I’d make sure that I’m alert and watching out for them at all times.

However, I see the “bike lanes” on Hoboken streets when I’m driving, so naturally assume that is where I need to watch for them.”