A cyclist was fatally struck by a car in NYC on Thursday. The victim, identified as 53 year old Robert Spencer, is the sixth person to die in a bicycle accident in New York City since the beginning of the year. Spencer was riding his bicycle on Borden Avenue on Thursday morning a little bit before 8:00 am when he was struck by a car traveling on Second Street in Queens. The driver, a 51 year old man stayed at the scene of the accident and wasn’t charged.The victim was rushed to the hospital but he couldn’t be saved.
The area where the accident occurred used to be industrial but recent developments are quickly transforming the neighborhood into a more residential area. While there is a protected bike lane on Second Street, Borden offers no protection for cyclists. According to residents, speeding double parking and failing to yield to pedestrians is common on Borden. The shareholders of the Murano, a residential building located a block away from the accident have already written a letter to the city and to their Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer to ask for a two-way protected bike-lane on Borden as well as other traffic calming measures. Their effort was supported by Van Bramer who wrote directly to the DOT on March 4th to support the residents’request for a bike lane and other traffic calming measures. The residents of the Murano also tried to lobby their local community board for protected bike lanes along Borden Avenue, but the community board refused to consider their request. (read more in Street blog)
Bike lane delays are not about the money but about the community
Community boards are often the main holdup to bike lane installation. Recently DOT Commissioner Poly Trottenberg told the media that bike lane delays were not related to cash but to getting the support from the community boards, local pols, and the surrounding neighborhood. Businesses are often the most reluctant as they fear that a diminution of curbside parking may lead to a decrease in their revenue.