Disability rights advocate Richard Bernstein filed suit against the city of New York for “dangerous inaccessibility of Central Park for blind pedestrians and others.”
He filed suit today to “stop the City of New York and New York City Department of Transportation from discriminating against blind, visually impaired and other disabled individuals by denying them equal access to Manhattan’s Central Park.”
Bernstein has been in Mt. Sinai hospital for a month because of a fractured pelvis and hip and severe facial injuries caused by a bicyclist going 35 miles per hour. Bernstein was walking and was hit in the back by the cyclist, who was looking at his rear tire — the cyclist admitted fault.
According to his suit, Central Park is surrounded by a boundary created by East and West Drives, enclosing the majority of the park. He says the defendants have refused to enforce rules mandating bicyclists to stop at red lights and stop signs and allow cyclists to pass pedestrian crosswalks without stopping, denying visitors safe entry to the public park.
Bernstein is not asking for monetary damages, and said he only wants an order requiring the defendants to stop violating federal law and discriminating against blind, visually impaired or other disabled individuals by denying them equal access to Central Park.
Bernstein is blind, and has successfully represented the disabled in numerous cases, including the Detroit Department of Transportation for bus accessibility, the University of Michigan for stadium accessibility and Detroit Metro Airport for better disabled access.