Parents of a victim lost to the terrorist attack on one of Lower Manhattan’s bike trails has filed a notice of their intent to sue New York City. The parents of Darren Drake state that New York designed a bike path that was unsafe for people to use. According to them, New York should have foreseen the possibility of a terrorist attack and not allowed the terrorist to have “unfettered” access to the bike path. According to the family, this was “grossly negligent” of the city and its various departments.
Bike lanes and bike-sharing programs have shot-up across the world in recent decades. Possibly fueled by urbanite’s increased enthusiasm for exercise and the environment in recent decades, New Yorkers know that the best part of biking is how quickly it can get you somewhere. As bike lanes and Citi Bike’s ridership have skyrocketed in the city over the last few years, the lawsuits have, perhaps predictably, followed.
Lawsuits about bike paths or the Citi Bike program are nothing new for New York. Riders have sued New York City for potholes and speed bumps to poorly designed intersections. Citi Bike has even more lawsuits. Citi Bike has been sued by riders who have been injured by broken or defective bikes. Citi Bike has also been sued by pedestrians harmed by accidents caused by Citi Bike stations. In one case, Ronald Corwin is seeking damages from New York City after his Citi Bike collided with a concrete barrier.
Citing the rise in terrorist attacks that weaponize vehicles and the unfortunate popularity of New York as a terrorist target, Drake’s parents state that the horrific accident was foreseeable.
According to the lawsuit, reasonable, competent officials would have recognized that vehicles had “easy access” to the bike trails and constructed barriers. These barriers are, in fact, recommended by the New York State Department of Transportation. According to its website, “unauthorized motor vehicles are banned from bicycle or shared-use paths, barriers should be provided.” The State’s recommendation will likely prove to be weighty evidence against the City.
According to a neighbor of the victim’s family, the parents are “heartbroken, especially since this terrible tragedy was completely preventable.”
According to USA Today, New York City had no comment on the pending case.