Gothamist spoke with Steve Vaccaro about an apparent trap set for Prospect Park cyclists and the NYPD’s response.
Compared to Second Avenue, cycling through Prospect Park on a weekday evening is as safe as it gets: Foot traffic is low, and cars are nowhere in sight. Unlike the code-red vigilance needed on a traffic-heavy morning commute, riding through the park requires more of a low-level simmer of awareness. Keep an eye out for raccoons.
Midwood resident Michael Wilhelm thought he was safe as he rode laps around the park with a friend last Tuesday. The pair had completed three loops and were cruising at around 18 miles an hour when suddenly, Wilhelm ran into a rope strung across the three lanes of Park Drive near the entrance at Bartel-Pritchard Square. It snagged his wheel, threw him over his handlebars and sent him skidding across the concrete.
Steve Vaccaro, a lawyer who specializes in cyclists’ rights, believes the incident should be investigated as a crime, since intentional injury qualifies as reckless endangerment. He said that kids—or people with “kid mentalities”—do occasionally amuse themselves by injuring cyclists, citing a Park Slope computer programmer who was hit in the face with a brick, and instances of tacks left in Central Park.
“When you take a fall off a bike, it makes a tremendous difference when you have any warning,” he said. “But as horrible as his injuries sound, I think it could have been much worse.”
Read the full article here.