New York hopes infrastructure funds make bicyclists safer

Bicycling could be a means for someone to improve cardiovascular conditioning while getting from place to place. Unfortunately, commuting on a bicycle in New York also presents dangers to someone’s health and well-being since there’s such a great risk for accidents. Even when cyclists and drivers do their best to be careful, motor vehicle accidents happen. Officials in New York state hope that coming federal funds will lead to better infrastructure and fewer chances of accidents.

Significant money for bike infrastructure may help

The amount of money the state will receive for bike infrastructure is significant, topping $289 million. The funds derive from the federal infrastructure bill and provide for “transportation alternatives,” including biking.

Damaged roads and degraded plastic barriers don’t afford the same protections as ones in better condition. Hopefully, the funds can cover repairs that make biking safer for everyone; a bicyclist who hits a pothole could hurt a pedestrian when crashing to the ground, so making improvements is a widespread public safety issue.

Liabilities and bike accidents

A lack of funds may not leave the city off the proverbial hook for bicycle accidents. If a stop sign gets knocked over in an accident and the municipality does not replace the sign promptly, the city could face liability claims for any car or bike accidents that result.

Even with perfect road conditions, drivers may cause accidents. Moving violations and distracted behaviors could lead to hitting a bicyclist, and a lawsuit might follow. An insurance claim may cover the injured party’s losses although a lawsuit beyond policy limits may prove unavoidable in some cases.

Bicyclists could be responsible for accidents, too. A bicyclist who travels on the wrong side of the road or speeds on the sidewalk next to pedestrians may cause an avoidable accident, leading the victims to seek compensation.