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Articles Posted in Bicycle Accidents

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11 pedestrians and 1 bicyclist died in auto accidents in New York City last March. In March 2013, before the Zero Vision campaign was launched 11 pedestrians and 1 bicyclist were also killed in traffic accidents in the city.  After a promising start in 2014, the Vision Zero program seems to have lost some of its effectiveness.

After declining to 15,553 last February, the lowest level over 4 years, the number of motor vehicle accidents in New York City jumped back to 19,055 in March 2017.

Traffic accidents are continuing to increase steadily in the city as do the number of injuries related to these accidents. However despite a rising trend, the number of  auto accident injuries in March 2017 was slightly  lower than in March 2016 but higher than in March 2015, 2014 and 2013 (see graph below).

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dangerous-NYC-bike-laneNYC Bicyclist advocates are warning that a fatal bike accident may occur if nothing is done to address safety on the Kent Ave bike lane in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NYC. The lane is constantly clogged with cars and construction vehicles forcing bicyclists to dangerously veer back and fourth into traffic. A recent video (click on the picture to access video) on Twitter by Transportation Alternative Advocate Maximillian Sholl shows traffic of trucks and cars casually driving on the protected bike lane forcing cyclists to ride on the sidewalk.

Out of the 319 complaints about blocked bike lanes that have been reported to the 311 number since last November when this service was created, 19 were related to clogging on the Kent Ave protected bike lane.

This dangerous situation comes from high traffic activity generated by dozens of waterfront construction sites. According to bicyclists some of the construction sites are very respectful of bicyclist safety while others don’t really care. Fore example the Domino Factory construction site has workers sweeping the bike lane regularly and workers are flagging the traffic to give bicyclists the right of way. Things are different with the 420 Kent Ave construction site. The bike lane in front of the construction site is often obstructed by trucks. Workers who are supposed to flag traffic don’t do it and sometimes curse at bicyclists.

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NYC DOT proposal for bike lanes on Fourth Ave BKIn an effort to protect Brooklyn bicycle commuters from dangerous accidents, the DOT recently proposed to add a protected bike lane to Fourth Avenue. The bike lane would allow bicyclists to safely commute between Bay Ridge, Sunset Park and Park Slope. The DOT  presented the proposal after a first redesign of the Avenue five years ago led to a decrease of 61% in pedestrian injuries. The DOT believes that the addition of protected bike lanes may reduce bicycle injuries in a similar manner. Based on previous NYC statistics the addition of bike lanes usually results in a 20% decrease in all road users injuries including a 22% decrease in pedestrian injuries and 25% decline in motor vehicle occupant injuries.

If accepted the DOT proposal would lead to the creation of a 4.6 mile protected bike lane that would be the biggest one in New York City.  According to the DOT, the addition of the protected bike lane would be a life changer for many bicyclists who are commuting daily in Brooklyn. Because Fourth Avenue stays a busy Avenue despite the previous road diet, many bicyclists are still afraid to use it.

The first road diet implemented in 2012 consisted of the removal of one lane in each direction and the addition of additional space for pedestrian crossings in the middle of the Avenue. The new DOT proposal includes the addition of one bike lane on each side of the road protected from traffic by parked cars. Additionally concrete pedestrian islands would be installed at all four corners at intersections.

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Protected bike lanes have proven to be one of the most efficient street designs to prevent bicycle accidents in New York City. Yesterday the Department Of Transportation (DOT) announced that it was planning to add such a bike lane on 7th Avenue from 30th Street to Charlotte Street, in downtown Manhattan. The project was partially presented last night to the Community Board 4.

Despite having several safer options to ride safely North or South in Chelsea and in the West Village, a significant number of bicyclists are still riding on 7th Avenue.  In a 14-hour period, the DOT counted 2,350 people biking at the intersection of 20th street and 7th Avenue. The traffic is usually fluid on the downtown segment of the avenue and speeding is common, increasing the risk of serious or fatal crashes.

If the project is accepted, the number of  traffic lanes will be reduced from 4 to 3 and a protected bike lane will be added.  The DOT believes that the project will reduce speeding and increase bicyclists safety. Pedestrian safety will be improved as well as crossing distances being shortened.

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The truck driver who fatally struck a bicyclist may face criminal charges. The NYPD Collision Squad Investigation told the media yesterday that they are planing to recommend criminal charges against the truck driver who killed 31 year old Kelly Hurley. The woman was riding her bike through the intersection of First Avenue and East 9th Street when she was hit by a box truck making a left turn. Both the truck and the bicyclist had the green light.This type of intersection is called a “mixing zone” intersection. According to the NYC traffic law the bicyclist had the right of way. The truck driver failed to yield and struck her. According to the Collision Squad Investigation the woman tried to avoid the truck by dismounting her bike but she couldn’t avoid it. (Read more in DNA)

A few days ago, comments by a NYPD representative who blamed the victim and cops being seen ticketing bicyclists a lock away from the fatal crash outraged bicyclist advocates. (See previous blog)

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Kelly Hurley, The 31 year old woman who was critically injured in a bicycle accident in New York (see previous blog) didn’t survive her injury. She was taken off life support a few days ago and passed away.

Kelly was heading North on First Ave in Manhattan when a truck making a left turn onto East 9th Street hit her. She had the right of way. Despite violating the right of way law, NYPD announced today that they only issued a summons to the driver for “not having a cross over mirror”. The police also blamed the victim and said that “the victim sadly slipped off her bike”. (see DNA info)

The police were observed ticketing bicyclists one block away from the fatal accident scene.  (see the Gothamist)

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the truck was making a left turn onto 9th Ave when he hit the bicyclist A bicyclist was hit by a box truck in New York yesterday morning.

The 31 year old woman was riding her bike on East 9th Street around 7:20 am. As she was crossing First Ave she was hit by a box truck.

The box truck was making a left turn from First Ave onto 9th Street when he struck the bicyclist. The woman was pinned under the back wheel of the driver’s side. Witnesses heard her say “I can’t move, I can’t breath”.  Shortly after, emergency responders arrived. They lifted the truck to free the victim. She was transported to the hospital in critical condition.

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NYPD logoGiovanni Nin died in a bicycle accident in NYC last June in the Bronx, NYC. The driver who hit him fled the scene of the accident. 11 months later the police arrested him. On June 11 2016, Giovanni was heading for a nap at his girlfriend’s between two shifts at Fedex.  It was around midnight. As he was riding his bike on East Tremont Avenue he was hit by a BMW SUV. The driver left him dying on the street. The police identified the car but the car owner, 44 year old Victor Pelaez declared his car stolen. He told the police he wasn’t behind the wheel during the accident. However cell phone records showed that Pelaez was near the scene of the accident when it occurred. Pelaez was also seen by an NYPD detective driving the supposedly stolen car on August 10. He was arrested last week and charged with leaving the scene of an accident resulting in death. Read more in the Gothamist

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NYC DOT bike lane porposal Amstedam AvePeople riding bikes in New York City decrease their risk of being seriously injured in a bike accident by 75% when they are using a protected bike lane.  According to a 2014 DOT study, protected bike lanes have led to a decrease of 22% of pedestrian injuries and to a minor decrease of  bicycle accident injuries despite a dramatic increase in bicycle traffic in the city.  Recently a new DOT proposal to extend the Amsterdam Avenue protected bike lane with a painted bike lane above 110 street seems somewhat weak.

The Amsterdam Avenue segment that runs from 110th street to 162nd street is a busy two way 4 travel lane corridor with no bike lanes.  Columbia University, City College of New York, several senior centers as well as various commercial and residential buildings are located on this segment of Amsterdam Avenue.

Speeding, unsafe intersections and the absence of bike lanes are making the avenue unsafe for the community. Between 2010 and 2016, 4 pedestrians died on this segment of Amsterdam Avenue. Between 2010 and 2014 8 bicyclists and 28 pedestrians were severely injured.

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car that hit the bicyclistA 76 year old man was critically injured in a bicycle accident in NYC last Friday. The man was riding his bike North on Colden Street in Queens, New York City.  He was struck by a car at the intersection of Colden Street and Elder Avenue around 5:30 pm. The car driver didn’t stop. He fled the scene of the accident leaving behind a man suffering critical personal injury.

The NYPD is still looking for the suspect who was driving a teal-colored Honda CRV. He was seen fleeing South on Kissena Boulevard from Franklin Avenue.

If you have any information about the suspected hit and run driver you can call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 800-577-TIPS or for Spanish 1-888-57-PISTA (74782). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers Website at WWW.NYPDCRIMESTOPPERS.COM or texting their tips to 274637(CRIMES) then enter TIP577. Below is a video of the car just before the bicycle accident. Read More.