Justice Reginald A. Boddie


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City of New York moved for summary judgment and dismissal of this complaint by bicyclist Olenick, who sued to recover for personal injuries he sustained in a collision with a pedestrian on the Brooklyn Bridge. Olenick argued the pedestrian walkway and bicycle path on the bridge had inadequate traffic control devices, including regulatory signs or separation for bicycles and pedestrians and the city failed to keep the walkway and bike path safely separated. City argued its design of the pathways was shielded from liability by governmental function immunity. The court found the city’s development and implementation of the markings plan to increase visibility on the bridge was a proprietary function, thus, its claim of entitlement to summary judgment for governmental function immunity was meritless. Olenick argued as the city did not conduct a study regarding avoidance of bicycle/pedestrian accident and their concomitant injuries before creating the plan it could not invoke the qualified immunity defense, and the court agreed. Also, the court noted the question of whether the city’s negligence constituted a proximate cause of the subject accident was a question of fact for the jury. Thus, as factual questions remained, summary judgment was inappropriate, and denied.