One of those paths was targeted Tuesday by a fanatic who pledged allegiance to the overseas terror organization, ISIS.
Sayfullo Saipov, a legal immigrant from Uzbekistan, revved up his Home Depot rental truck at Houston Street and started speeding south on the West Street bike lane.
He plowed into five bicyclists visiting from Argentina, killing them, and another tourist from Belgium, before slamming into a school bus on Chambers Street, killing two more people before running from the truck and getting shot by a New York City Police Officer.
The horrific assault took place in the shadow of the heavily symbolic One World Trade Center, the looming tower that was built in the years after the 9/11 terror attacks.
The 9/11 Memorial at the same site was built in the footprints of the toppled Twin Towers, just south of Chambers Street.
The truck attack has been used many times before in Europe these last two years, and New York City had a scare earlier this year in Times Square, when a drugged-up Navy veteran in a Honda sped the wrong way down Seventh Avenue, killing a tourist from the Midwest and running down 23 others.
The suspect, Richard Rojas, later admitted he was trying to commit “suicide by cop.” But he failed.
After the Times Square incident, the NYPD and other agencies re-evaluated the security situation near the pedestrian plazas there and added more concrete barriers and steel bollards at 42nd Street and 7th Avenue, where Rojas had jumped the curb with his Honda.
In 2016, the city had installed 200 custom-made steel bollards in the streets surrounding the pedestrian plazas. One of those bollards stopped Rojas’ Honda from hitting more people.
Undoubtedly, the NYPD and Department of Transportation will be doing more evaluating now, after Saipov’s attack left 8 people dead and 15 injured.
As Governor Andrew Cuomo pointed out at a press conference Tuesday, “The new terrorist tactic which they have called for publicly are these lone wolves who commit an act of terror.”