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Articles Tagged with bicycle accident nyc

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Second-Avenue-and-BordenA 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

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memorial for NYC victim of bike accidentA 25 year old bicyclist was fatally struck by a hit and run truck driver in NYC.  Aurilla  Lawrence was fatally hit by a gas tanker truck near the intersection of Broadway and Rodney Street in Williamsburg last Thursday night around 11:30 pm. The driver fled the scene of the accident and so far is still at large. Lawrence was a beloved member of the bike messengers community who  nicknamed her  “Aurilla Gorilla”.

Last Sunday around 200 bike messengers and street safety advocates organized a memorial ride on the streets of New York to commemorate the victim. Bicyclists met at Lenox Avenue in Harlem and rode their bikes South on Fifth Avenue toward Union Square. The Union Square Park is an area where Lawrence used to hang with fellow bike messengers in between deliveries. As a tribute to her, the bike-a-thon made a stop at the park and  participants raised their bikes to her memory.

Then the 200 cyclists continued their way toward Brooklyn. They crossed the Williamsburg bridge to ultimately arrive at the location of the accident where a ghost bike and a makeshift memorial were installed.  The participants gathered around the memorial and paid tribute to their beloved co-worker.

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19 people died in 167,686 NYC motor vehicle accidents in January 2019 . More than half of the fatalities were pedestrians. 3 of the fatalities were cyclists, 3 were passengers and 3 others died behind the wheel. This number compared to 20 fatalities in December and respectively 11, 18, 17, 13, 21 and 28 in January 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014 and 2013.  This is the highest amount of traffic deaths for a month of January in 5 years. (click on graphs for full size view)

Car accident deaths NYC January 2019
For the third consecutive years NYC auto accident injuries in January stayed above 4,000. 4,347 people were injured in motor vehicle accidents in New York City in January compared to 5,361 in December 2017 and respectively 4,351, 4,383, 3,624, 3,449, 3,899 and 3,993 in January 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014 and 2013.

Auto Accident Injuries NYC January 2019
Pedestrian fatalities increased by more than 40% in January 2019 compared to January 2018. However the number of pedestrian fatalities was still half what it was before Vision Zero started. 10 pedestrians died in traffic accidents in New York City in January 2019 compared to 7 in January 2018 and 20 in January 2013. A month before in December 2018, 16 pedestrian died in traffic fatalities. The period covering October November December and January is the most dangerous for pedestrians  because the sun goes down a little bit after 4 pm and pedestrians become less visible by motorists during the rush hours.  The city is running preventive campaigns to raise awareness about this problem.  It looks like the campaign was more effective last year than this year as monthly pedestrian injuries never went above 10 during the entire period of October November December and January. This year, except for October monthly pedestrian fatalities were back above 10 during the fall and winter months.

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NYC Motor vehicle accidents injuries reached a record high in 2018. 1,083 pedestrians, 4,281 cyclists, 18,687 passengers and 26,843 motorists suffered personal injury in a crash in New York City in 2018. 60,646 people were injured in NYC traffic accidents in 2018 compared to 58,990 in 2017 and 54,818 in 2013. Over the last five years the number of traffic injuries increased by more than 10%. The main reason for this increase are motorists injured in auto accidents often related to distracted driving. Distracted driving is the number one cause of crashes in New York.

Motor Vehicle Accident Injuries NYC 2018
The total number of traffic fatalities in New York City in 2018 was below 200 for the first time since Vision Zero was implemented. 112 pedestrians, 70 motorists, 9 cyclists and 8 passengers were killed in traffic accidents in the city in 2018. Annual traffic fatalities declined by more than 30% since 2013.

traffic fatalities New York 2018
The total number of crashes in the city has been culminating above 227,000 for the last 3 years with a record 227,924 accidents in 2018. Driver inattention is the primary cause of accidents followed by driver following too closely. Backing unsafely and changing lanes unsafely are two other common causes of accidents in the city. Since 2013 auto accidents increased by 12%.

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e-bikeOn Wednesday, at a hearing on four e-bike and e-scooter bills  Mayor de Blasio and DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg indicated that they were not in favor of immediately legalizing the usage e-bikes and and e-scooters. According to them, they are too dangerous and can lead to additional pedestrian and regular bicycle accidents.

Polly Trottenberg said that the DOT had two e-scooter fatalities on record. She also added that New York State should be first to legalize this mode of transportation. However Governor Cuomo recently indicated that localities should be in charge of deciding whether or not they want to legalize e-bikes and e-scooters.

Despite being illegal the usage of e-scooters and e-bikes has been increasingly popular in the city especially among delivery workers.  On Wednesday, many of them were present at a press conference held outside of City Hall before the City Council hearing on the bills.  Delivery workers who are using them for work are fed with paying for tickets that can go up to $500 or have their vehicle confiscated. They want the city to legalize this new mode of transportation as soon as possible. Last year the NYPD confiscated 1,215 e-bikes and distributed 1,154 tickets for using e-bikes. Additionally 1,362 moving violations were issued to e-bike riders during the same period.  For a delivery worker the amount of a ticket can be equivalent to a week of work.

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Broken glass on NYC bike lanesAnti bike lanes activists intentionally put NYC cyclists at risk of  dangerous accidents by spreading broken glass on the  12th and 13th streets bike lanes in the West Village in Manhattan.  This is the second time that a bike lane has been intentionally vandalized for political reasons. In November, thumbtacks were thrown all over the 43rd Avenue bike lanes in Sunnyside, Queens by bike lanes opponents.

Yesterday afternoon, “bring back our parking!” graffiti and other anti-bike lane signs appeared on the 12th and 13th street bike lanes. Broken glass was also spread over the two bike lanes putting cyclists at risk of dangerous accidents.

According to Street Blog, the graffiti reflect the opinion of the anti-bike lane 14th Street Coalition. This group is asking the city to remove the two bike lanes on 12th and 13th street as well as the bus lane on 14th street.  The two bike lanes and the dedicated bus lane were implemented by the city in anticipation of the L subway lane closure. Now that the city announced that the L will not shut down, some anti cyclists neighborhood groups want their their street back to the way it was before.

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10 motorists and 7 pedestrians died in NYC traffic accidents in October. No fatalities were recorded among cyclists and vehicle passengers. Truck accidents reached a record high while bus accidents were unusually low for October. Motorcycle accidents started to decline compared to the summer months as the temperature drops and bikers keep their motorcycle in the garage.

The total number of monthly traffic deaths continues to decline despite a rise in the total number of monthly accidents in the city. Traffic injuries continue to rise as well.

Traffic Accidents Injuries and Deaths NYC October 2018
Over the last five years while Vision Zero initiatives focused mostly on making the streets safer for pedestrians and cyclists, distracted driving has led to a significant increase in accidents injuries and fatalities.

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While the number of traffic fatalities is on the rise nationally, in New York, most probably because of the many Vision Zero Initiatives launched over the last five years, traffic fatalities were at their lowest during the third trimester of 2018 compared to the third trimester of the five previous years. The decline in traffic fatalities during the summer of 2018 is due to the decrease in pedestrians and cyclists fatalities while the number of motorist fatalities was at its highest since the beginning of Vision Zero.

From July 1st to September 30 2018, 59 people lost their life in NYC auto accidents compare to respectively 65, 61, 60, 76 and 82 during the same period of 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014 and 2013. It is interesting to notice that there are now as many motorists deaths as pedestrian deaths. Pedestrians used to be the category of road users the most at risk of dying in trafic accidents. However according to the most recent statistics drivers now have as much risk as pedestrians of getting killed in a traffic accident in New York City. Total traffic fatalities in New York City third trimester 2018

A record number of 16,300 people were injured in car accidents in New York City during the third trimester of 2018 compared to respectively 15,860, 16,048, 13,998, 13,472 and 14,900 during the third trimester of 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014 and 2013.  Not only in New York but all over the US, distracted driving has led to a significant increase in motorist injuries. Over the last 3 years and despite Vision Zero intense efforts to make New York City Streets safer, the number of motorists injured in car accidents in New York has been increasing tremendously.

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16 people died and 5,484 suffered personal injury in auto accidents in New York City during the month of July 2018. While the number of people dying in car accidents has been on a slightly declining trend over the last few years  in New York City, the number of people injured in such accidents has been on a rising trend. The total number of crashes is also on a rising trend:

  • In July  2013, 22 people died and 5,077 were injured in 19,384 crashes
  • In July 2014, 28 and 4,591 in 19,287 crashes
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84 people including 49 pedestrians, 6 cyclists, 3 vehicle passengers and 26 vehicle drivers died in traffic accidents in New York City during the first semester. This is the lowest number of traffic deaths ever recorded in the city during the first six months of the year. Last year 96 people died in traffic accidents during the same period. It was the  first time that the number of traffic deaths was below 100 for the first six months of the year.Traffic Deaths NYC first semester 2018

While less and less people are dying in auto accidents in the city, more and more are getting injured. 28,544 people suffered injury in a crash during the first semester of 2018 compared to 27,923 during the same period of the previous year and respectively 27,540, 23,530, 24,508 and 26,119 during the first semester of 2016, 2015, 2014 and 2013.

As part of the Vision Zero initiative, the speed limit in the city went down to 25 mph in 2014. This speed limit decrease may have been a factor in the reduction of traffic deaths and in the increase of injuries. Accidents at lower speed may prevent road users from dying, instead they are getting injured.