Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Cyclist Down on 9W

A cyclist traveling northbound was hit and injured on 9W by a motorist turning left onto the Palisades Parkway last Sunday around midday.

The cyclist, Gerry Louw was riding north on 9W at the head of a group of four cyclists, when the motorist turned without warning directly in front of him.

The motorist, a woman of about 55 or 60 years old, shortened the angle of her turn to avoid Louw but hit him anyway. She was attempting to drive onto the on ramp to the southbound Palisades Parkway about one half mile south of State Line.

Louw sustained multiple lacerations, road rash and other injuries to his back, leg and other body parts: His bike was likely damaged beyond repair.

Police officers from the nearby Alpine police unit were on hand as well as Palisades Parkway police when Benepesbikeblog came on the scene.

Louw said he had the right of way, but the motorist disregarded him and turned in front of him. He also said that last year someone from his triathlon team was hit at the same intersection, in an identical manner and sustained severe injuries.

BBB has witnessed the result of a similar accident last year, where a cyclist was badly injured in the same location, again by a southbound motorist turning onto the parkway.

Louw said he is willing to work with others to improve the safety of the intersection, which he said is very dangerous for cyclists, including putting pressure on local DOT and police to install more or better traffic indicators at the intersection.

"I do want to use this to make other cyclists aware of the danger out there and to see what I can do to make the on-ramps to 9W safer, and...repair or improve cyclist-police relationships (they do not seem to like us - I wonder why?) Since we as cyclists use 9W a LOT I think we should do something about making it a better and safer environment for us," he said.

If you wish to contact Louw please leave your comment on this blog with your email address.

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