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Articles Tagged with bicycle accident nyc

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ribbonbridgeAs New York City is experiencing a continuous increase in people using a bike to go to work, preventing bicycle accidents and making sure cyclists can commute safely between boroughs is key.

Now that the city is re-opening, bicycle and pedestrian traffic is expected to be larger than ever on all four East River bridges linking Queens and Brooklyn to Manhattan. The bridges are already so busy and crowded that it makes it difficult to respect social distancing.

In response to this concern, a team of transportation engineers led by Samuel “Gridlock Sam” Schwartz, is proposing to create light bridge structures that would be dedicated to pedestrians and bicyclists only. While this idea might seem too visionary for some, many world capitals such as Paris, London, Amsterdam or Singapore have already adopted the concept.

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New York CyclistsStreet advocates are predicting an increase in bicycle accidents in New York City as many New Yorkers , including many newbies, are opting to use a bike to commute in the city rather than risking getting infected by the coronavirus in the New York subway. The mayor listened to them and  recently announced that the DOT would double the number of temporary protected bike lanes available for cyclists to commute around the city. Nine more miles of temporary protected bike lanes will be added to the other 9 miles  already installed last month as part of the “Open Street” initiative.

Additionally another 13 miles of open streets will be added in areas that are heavily affected by the virus.

The additional temporary protected bike lanes will be installed in Queens and in Manhattan

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Bronx bicycle accidents second week of June 20202 people were killed and 20 of them were injured in bicycle accidents in the Bronx, NYC, during the second week of June. Bicycle accident injuries in the Bronx increased by 81.8 % during the week of June 8 to June 14 according to NYPD statistics.  The Bronx is the only NYC borough where bicycle accident injuries increased during this week. In all other NYC boroughs, bicycle accident injuries declined. On average, injuries related to bike crashes were down 30.7% citywide. The largest decline, 59.1%, was observed in the North part of Queens, followed by a decline of 50% of bicycle accident injuries in the South part of Brooklyn, a 45% decline in the North part of Brooklyn, a decrease of 33.3% in the South part of Manhattan, a decrease of  29.4% in the North part of Manhattan, a 16.7% decline in the South of Queens and  a status quo in Staten Island.

The Bronx is the borough that has the less investment by the city in infrastructures to protect bicyclists despite a large part of the population using bikes on a daily basis, including many delivery cyclists

While the city has been creating protected bike lanes all over rich white neighborhoods, the poor  area of the Bronx didn’t get any of these. Even last month when de Blasio announced more streets closed to traffic and a extra 9.2 miles of protected bike lanes, none of them were in the Bronx.

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Location of the MTA bus accidentA 19 year old female bicyclist was killed in a MTA bus accident yesterday.  The young woman was struck by the BmX10 bus on Fifth Avenue at the corner of the 59th Street intersection.

It is still not exactly clear how the accident occurred. A hot dog vendor who witnessed the accident told the NY Daily News that it seemed that the young woman was trying to merge into traffic from 60th street and that she was struck by the bus and then dragged under the wheels for about half a block until the bus driver stopped.

The cyclist died at the scene of the accident from severe head trauma. The driver stayed at the scene of the accident. Despite its proximity to Central Park, Fifth Avenue doesn’t have a bike lane in the Upper East Side area, therefore the many cyclists coming out of the Park at this location have to navigate between the buses and the car traffic which can be very dangerous on this busy avenue.

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9 motorists and one passenger died in traffic accidents and one cyclist was fatally sideswiped by a speeding bus. No pedestrian deaths were reported during the entire month. NYC car accident fatalities caused by speed and recklessness increased significantly in April during the lock-down. motorist deaths April 2020 NYC

Globally, the number of traffic accidents recorded by the NYPD in April dropped to 4,037 in April 2020 compared to 10,877 in March and 16,6332 in April 2019 as New York Streets stayed mostly empty because of the Covid-19 lock-down order. The number of reported accidents was approximately 4 times lower than what it was during the same month a year earlier when the city was not affected by the pandemic.

Traffic Accidents NYC April 2020
NYC Auto Accident injuries were also at their lowest with 1,287 people injured in April compared to 3,099 in March and 4,701 in April 2019. Drivers and passengers were the categories with most people injured.

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bicycle accidents severe injuries and deaths rate NYCAs New York City is gradually re-opening, many New Yorkers may opt to commute by bike rather than by subway to mitigate the risk of getting infected by Covid-19. Many of them find it more convenient to use a bike share program rather than owning their own bike.

While some might worry that less experienced bike riders using bike share programs might result in an increase in bicycle accidents, a recent study found that bike share programs might indeed lead to a decrease in bicycle accidents

A study published in the American Journal of Public Health found that bike share programs lead to an increase of cyclists on the road but a decrease in the rate of bicycle accidents. The study took place in Philadelphia and analysed the number of people using a bike since the city introduced its bike share program in 2015. While the rate of bicycle accidents doubled between January 2010 and May 2015 in Philadelphia, it decreased by an average 13% yearly between May 2015 the end of 2018.

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NYC traffic deaths and injuries declined for all categories of road users except for cyclists between February 2020 and March 2020. As businesses gradually shut down around mid March and the city was officially locked down on March 22nd,  traffic in the city drastically declined and so did the number of traffic accidents.  The only two categories of road  users that recorded an increase in accidents between February and March were motorcyclists and bicyclists. The fear of catching the corona virus in public transportation or taxis has lead to an increased amount of people using bicycles and motorcycles in the city in March. Another factor was the increased amount of speeding recorded in the city as streets were getting emptier and emptier.

Drop in accidents not only due to Covid-19 but also to new NYPD report policy

The number of traffic accidents reported by the NYPD dropped to 10,877 in March compared to 13,586 in February and 14,183 in January. The drop seen in traffic accidents over the last few months is not only related to the coronavius crisis but also to the new NYPD “No Report” crash policy.

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new bike path in NYC during covid-19After a rise of almost 50%  of injuries caused by bicycle accidents in New York City between March 2nd and March 9, the New York DOT created two temporary bike lanes in Manhattan and in Brooklyn. The new bike lanes have been installed in the East of Manhattan and the South of Brooklyn where many of the accidents reported at the beginning of this month occurred.

The creation of the temporary bike lines takes place at a time during which the Covid-19 crisis has lead to a significant decrease in car traffic and a boom in bike traffic

Between March 1st and March 11, CitiBike rides increased by 67% compared to the same period the previous year with  a total of 517,768 trips compared to 310,132.  The bike traffic increased significantly on the four bridges connecting Manhattan with Brooklyn and Queens. The New York Times  reports that on March 9, 21,300 bike crossings were reported in one day compared to 14,032 a year before, a 52% increase. The increase in bike traffic resulted in an increase of bicycle accidents injuries all over the city (see previous blog) with many of them occurring near bridge crossings.
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bicyle accident injuries during Corona Virus80 people were injured in bicycle accidents in New York City between March 9th and March 15th compared to 56 during the same week last year.  This 42.9% increase occurred as more and more New Yorkers make the decision to ride a bike instead of taking the subway during the COVID-19 crisis.

Distracting driving is the number one cause of bicycle accident injuries in New York City

Unfortunately despite significant safety improvements implemented by the Vision Zero program, riding a bike in the city is still dangerous especially for newbies. Among the 80 bicycle accident injuries reported by the NYPD, 38 occurred in Brooklyn, 19 in Manhattan,  11 in the Bronx, 11 in Queens and 1 in Staten Island. Distracted driving and failure to yield were the most common causes of injuries with 33 accidents caused by distracted drivers and 15 caused by  failures to yield.

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accident sceneTraffic fatalities in New York City were up again last year after five years of decline (see previous blog).  A recent article in the New York Times takes an in-depth look at the NYC motor vehicle accident crashes to find out if it was possible to identify specific patterns in the accidents that lead to injuries and deaths. The findings show that despite the common perception that pedestrians are not careful enough while crossing the street and that cyclists ride like dare-devils, most pedestrian and bicyclist deaths were caused by distracted driving or failure to yield. Pedestrian and cyclist errors were only cited in 5% of the fatalities.

When a driver fatally hits a pedestrian or a cyclist in New York, there is a good chance that he or she will not face serious consequences as long as the driver is not drunk and stays at the scene of the accident. Last year 28 cyclists died after being struck by vehicles but only 4 drivers were arrested . 8 others received a summons. The police often blame the victim.  Last year, Susan Moses, a 63 year old woman was killed by a Lyft driver on a busy street with no bike lane. In their report, the police blame Ms Moses for moving across the road to turn left and not wearing a helmet. They did not charge the driver despite camera footage showing the Lyft driver recklessly crossing the double line in the middle of Kings Highway to try to pass the cyclist as she was trying to turn.  Later on in a very rare move, a judge from the Department of Motor Vehicle reviewed the footage and revoked the driver’s license. The judge said that she didn’t agree with the police statement and that the driver was responsible for the accident. Previous to working for Lyft, The driver who killed Ms Mos used to work for Uber but he accumulated so many complaints from passengers that Uber removed him from the App in 2018.

Some locations such as Williamsburg, Greenpoint, Third Avenue and Southern Brooklyn are among the most dangerous areas for cyclists to ride. Brooklyn has the most cyclist deaths among all New York City boroughs. Other locations such as 125th Street and Chelsea in Manhattan as well as the South area of Prospect Park have a high rate of pedestrian accidents.   A significant part of the accidents are caused by trucks and large vehicles such as SUVs.