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Articles Tagged with bicycle accident nyc

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11 people died in auto accidents in New York City last May compared to 20 in April and 18 for the same month a year ago. This is a the lowest number of traffic deaths recorded since March 2016 where the number was also 11. This record low number of auto accident deaths occurred despite traffic accidents reaching 20,689 during the same month. This is the highest number of monthly motor vehicle accidents ever recorded in the city. The month before there were 17,585 motor vehicle accidents and 19,911 in May last year.

Traffic accidents in the city have been on a rising trend.  However it is only the second time that this number is above 20,000. Before that, the monthly number of accidents only went above 20,000 once in October 2015. (Click on graphs for full size)

Auto Accidents NYC Monthly Graph
While the number of traffic accidents has been increasing steadily, the number of deaths related to theses accidents have been declining over the last 4 years. This decline may be explained by the various street safety initiatives that have been launched under the umbrella of the Vision Zero Program to reduce traffic deaths in the city.

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9 cyclists died in bicycle accidents in New York City during the first 6 months of 2017 according to recent articles by Aidan Gardiner in DNA Info. During the same period of time last year 12 bicyclists died in New York City and respectively 5, 10 and 7 in 2016, 2015, 2014 and 2013.  Indeed despite the launch of Vision Zero  in 2014 and after a drop in 2015, the number of bicycle accident fatalities was higher most of the time  than what it was in 2013 before Vision Zero was launched.  The main reason why the number of  cyclists fatalities remain high is because the number of people using bikes in New York City has been exploding over the last few years. According to data from the NYC DOT (see graph below), the number of people commuting to their work by bike has grown by 80% between 2010 and 2015, faster than in any American city.

bicycling statistics NYC
A better way to find out if the streets are safer for New York City bicyclists is to compare the ratio of cyclists deaths to the number of commuters for example. In 2013 this ratio was 10/37589 = 0.026%, in 2014 it was 5/41,789=0.011% and in 2015 10/44,976=0.022%. This ratio indicates that streets were safer in 2014 and 2015 than they were in 2013. However the ratio also showed that when Vision Zero was launched in 2014  street safety for bicyclists increased significantly but then dissipated after the launch. The data shows that street safety for bicyclists must be an everyday focus at all levels of the Vision Zero program.

The NYC DOT also calculates the New York City Cycling Risk. This indicator compares the Bicyclists Severe Injuries and Fatalities (KSI) to the estimated million cycling trips taken in New York City every year. According to the most recent report of the DOT, the bicycling risk has been constantly decreasing since 2000 and was at its lowest in 2014 (see graph below).

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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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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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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.

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Vision Zero was launched in an attempt to reduce pedestrian and bicyclists deaths in NYC. However, in an unexpected twist, the program primarily helped in curbing motorists deaths. 

Back in 2013 before Vision  Zero started, 286 people died and 54,818 suffered personal injury in motor vehicle accidents in New York City. Among the 286 deaths were 168 pedestrians, many of them children and elderly. In New York City, car accidents have been the leading cause of child deaths for many years. According to statistics, two thirds of the children involved in fatal accidents were child pedestrians being struck by cars. Elderly are also at higher risk of being struck by cars in New York City, especially after sunset when the visibility is reduced.

When Bill de Blasio became Mayor on January 1st 2014, he pledged to change this situation and provide safe streets for New York families.  Vision Zero was launched for this purpose in January 2014 and is still ongoing. The program includes various initiatives such as speed limit reduction, dangerous streets re-design and  more forceful prosecution of traffic violations. Since the program started, the total number of traffic deaths gradually declined from 286 in 2013 before the program to 250 in 2014, 235 in 2015 and 223 in 2016. From the beginning of 2014 to the end of 2016, the total number of traffic deaths declined by 22% in New York City.

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Trasnportation Alternatives logo9 people including 7 pedestrians and bicyclists died in NYC car crashes in the first 10 days of 2017. In a recent statement, Paul Steely White, the Transportation Alternatives Executive Director, expressed his outrage and asked the city of New York to accelerate street redesigns. He also wants the New York police to change their attitude and be more accountable.

In his statement, Steely White, noted that 7 of the 9 fatal crashes occurred in locations that have been previously identified by Vision Zero as “priority areas”.  Transportation Alternatives asks the city to allocate immediate funding to redesign these high crashes locations.

Steely White also expressed his outrage towards NYPD investigators behavior. The  NYPD has a horrible habit of blaming the victims and exonerating drivers. For example, the driver of the box truck who fatally struck Rafael Nieves last week and left the scene of the accident was let go without his case being referred to the district attorney (see previous blog). The police also didn’t charge the driver who killed 43 year old Marlon Palacios. The driver told the police his leg had become stiff and got stuck on the accelerator.  The police have the power to act as a judge and a jury while a court should make such decision.  Additionally  the police are supposed to deter dangerous driving in New York City but they often blame the victims and let go reckless drivers.

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37 pedestrians and one bicyclist were among the 50 victims who died in NYC traffic accidents last fall (September, October, November).  This is 15 less accident fatalities than in the fall of 2015,  21 less than in the fall of 2014 and 34 less than in the fall of 2013. Since 2013, the number of people dying on the road has been decreasing each fall in the city.

While less people are dying in NYC car accidents, more are getting injured. After recording a decline in 2014, the number of people injured in traffic accidents during the fall months went back up slightly in 2015  and reached its highest in 2016. 15,480 people were injured in traffic accidents in New York City during the 3-month period of September, October and November  2016 compared to 13,693 during the same period of 2015, 13,350 during the same period of 2014 and 14,449 during the same period of 2013.

The total number of motor vehicle accidents in New York City is continuing to rise as well.

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accident sceneA  NYC pedestrian was fatally struck by a dump truck. A bicyclist died after being clipped by a box truck. A pedestrian lost his life after being hit by a car. All 3 accidents occurred in Brooklyn Monday afternoon.

85 year old Rafael Nieves was walking back home from a trip to the supermarket around 1pm in Williamsburg. As he was crossing Grand Street near Lorimer a dump truck ran over him. The driver didn’t even stop. The police located him later on. According to their investigation the truck driver didn’t know he hit someone. Nieves, a Puerto Rican military veteran leaves behind him two children and five grand children.

A few hours later, around 4:45 pm, a 70 year old bicyclist died after being hit by a delivery truck. Iosif Plazinsky was riding his bike on Avenue X near Coney Island Ave. The bicyclist was hit twice by the truck. After the first collision he lost balance and fell. Then the truck veered to the right and struck him again. Plazinsky was rushed to the hospital but he couldn’t be saved. The truck driver stayed at the scene of the accident. Plazinsky was a retired construction worker from Odessa. He lived in Brighton Beach with his family. He had 3 grand children and one about to be born.

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After a young bicyclist was struck by a car in New York City, the Court of Appeals held the city of New York liable for failing to install traffic calming measures in a street the city knew was dangerous. The Court of Appeals decision  is related to a crash between a bicyclist and a car that occurred back in 2004  on Gerritsen Avenue in Brooklyn, NYC.

On December 5 2004 around 6:30 pm, 12 year old Anthony Turturro was riding his bike on Gerritsen Avenue. At the time of the accident, Gerritsen Ave was a four lane avenue with two lanes of traffic going in each direction.  As he was attempting to cross the avenue at mid-block, the young boy was struck by a car. The driver, Louis Pascarella, was speeding. The police investigation established that when the crash occurred, the driver’s speed was 54 mph, 24 mph over the 30 mph speed limit at this location. Turturro suffered serious injury. The driver pleaded guilty  to assault in the second degree.

RECKLESS DRIVING AND SPEEDING