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Riders: Concrete Wheel Stops Make For Dangerous Hazard At CitiBike Stations

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- If you use the CitiBikes that are parked around the city, you are advised to be careful because you could hurt yourself before you even get going.

As CBS 2's Amy Dardashtian reported Wednesday, a concrete barrier a few inches high has been mounted at each kiosk, and has posed a safety hazard.

"So I pick up the bike and I'm about to ride away, and I hit this speed bump here," one rider said. "If I was riding down and I didn't see that, I might go head over heels."

"I didn't even notice," another man said.

The barriers are sectioned off by plastic poles, but they just out. Riders narrowly navigate around them.

"I just think they are inherently flawed, the way that they're set up in the street," said rider Tyler Lawrence.

Department of Transportation spokesman Seth Solomonow said the concrete barriers are "wheel stops installed at on-street bike share stations to prevent vehicles from running into and damaging system equipment." But riders have been running into them, and the damages have been creating liability for the city.

At 56th Street and Madison Avenue, there are two wheel stops. Last week, fire officials said a man crashed into a wheel stop near the intersection and fell unconscious.

"I was standing on the curb here, and I looked over, and the gentleman was on the ground there, bleeding from the head," said Barbi Woodard, who works at the Obika Mozzarella Bar.

People who work in the area said it was the second bike accident that day, and not long after, they saw police officers spray-painting it orange and putting a cone next to it. But many said that does not remove the danger.

"Especially when it comes nighttime, if there's no shiny tape or whatnot. I've run over that at night," Lawrence said.

On, another person recounted a similar scare in Brooklyn.

"I smashed into the barrier, which caused me to fly over the handlebars and land on my head," the CitiBike user said.

The city is already facing two lawsuits from riders injured at CitiBike kiosks. One woman is seeking $1 million for tripping at a CitiBike station.

And when the snow falls, riders said the wheels stops will create even more of a hazard.

The city would not comment on the accident that happened last week. A spokesman said the wheel stops are at many CitiBike locations, but not all.

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