The Daily News has smelled blood in the bike lanes all month, with their "psycho cyclist" speed trap cover stories blasting through the miasma of vibrator giveaways and fetish slave tell-alls. Today, the News brings us the story of legally blind lawyer Richard Bernstein, who was struck and injured by a speeding cyclist on Monday morning as he was training for the NYC Marathon. “I should have said to the guy, ‘Are you blind?’ ” Bernstein joked.
Bernstein—a Michigan native who says he's spent endless hours in the park over the last seven years memorizing “every crevice and turn”—was wearing a fluorescent yellow shirt and bright blue sneakers, and carrying a reflective white cane, when he was struck by cyclist Omar Shakir above E. 90th Street around 10 a.m. Monday. “I got destroyed,” the 38-year-old told the News from his Manhattan hospital room. “It was a direct hit. I was just walking. And then I was on the ground, my face in the asphalt.”
Bernstein suffered a fractured pelvis and hip, and lost some teeth—he also couldn't get out of his hospital bed for two days. Bernstein seems to blame the layout of the bike lanes for the accident: “It’s ridiculous. The bikes and pedestrians are too close together. What if it had been a stroller? The child would have been killed.”
While all the details in the article seemed designed to enrage anti-bike enthusiasts, there's one thing that stands out: the bicyclist doesn't seem like a monstrous jerk, a fact even the News can't quite bury. Bernstein said that while he was on the pavement, he heard Shakir take blame for the accident—and Bernstein doesn't plan on suing anybody over it. Shakir was "apologetic and distressed" over the incident: “I was coming around a hairpin turn, my gear caught and I accidently hit a walker,” he recalled. “I didn’t see him until the last minute.”