As every day goes by without an end in sight or a cure for the coronavirus crisis that has shook the entire world to its core, business owners have no choice but to adapt to life with COVID-19. For restaurant owners who are now forced to once again close their indoor dining options, this means moving as many seats outside on the street as possible to attract customers. But while this option may be suitable for restaurant owners, it can be dangerous for bicyclists as they try to maneuver the streets filled with tables and chairs.
Case in point is the story of Alex Sirken, who was injured while riding his bicycle on Seventh Ave South when he hit a wooden platform left on the bike lane by Ofrenda, a Mexican restaurant in the East Village.
The DOT has been allowing restaurant owners to temporarily set up tables and chairs for outdoor dining mostly in parking spaces in the streets of New York City. However, the guidelines are clear and do not permit restaurants to install seating areas on “No Stopping Anytime or No Standing Anytime Zone, bike lane, bus lane/stop, taxi stand, or car share space.”
When restaurant owners utilize bicycle lanes for seating, it increases the risk of bike accidents as bicyclists are forced to merge into the traffic to ride around the table.
Problems with the DOT’s Guidelines for Outside Restaurant Seating
Even when restaurant owners abide by the DOT’s guidelines in installing restaurant seating in parking spaces of the parking protected bike lanes, it can still cause problems. In such a set up, bicyclists are forced to cross through the table installed on the sidewalk and the tables installed in the parking spaces. This seems to be unsafe for bicyclists and for the restaurant staff who constantly have to cross the bike lanes with their orders.
Contact Our New York Bicycle Accident Attorneys
If you have been injured or lost a loved one in a bicycle accident in New York City, you need to immediately contact an experienced New York City bicycle accident attorney to protect your legal rights and get you the full compensation that you deserve. For more information or to consult with an experienced New York City accident attorney, please call Gersowitz Libo & Korek, P.C. at 1-646-798-1535.