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Articles Tagged with bicycle accident nyc

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accidents queens blvdBicyclists using the  so called “Boulevard of Death” will soon be protected from dangerous accidents. A controversial protected bike lane will be built on Queens Blvd despite the opposition of the Community Board 4. Last Tuesday night during a contentious meeting of the Queens Community Board 4, its chairman Lou Walker pushed a vote to accept a DOT safety plan to re-design Queens Blvd but without the Bike lane. Walker’s argument was that Queens Blvd was “not a park” .  The day after, Mayor de Blasio announced that despite the vote, the DOT will go ahead with its plan to safely re-design Queens Blvd including the protected bike lane. “I respect those who disagree with us, but in the end, the safety of our neighbors and our children is the most fundamental responsibility we have in this work,” de Blasio said in a statement released this afternoon. “Today, I have instructed the Department of Transportation to move forward on the next phase of safety enhancements to Queens Boulevard, including a protected lane for cyclists.”

Queens Boulevard is infamously nicknamed Boulevard of Death because it is one of the most dangerous streets in New York City. As part of the Vision Zero initiative the Boulevard will be completely redesigned by the end of 2017. The project is divided into 3 parts. The first part was completed last year between Roosevelt Ave and 74th Street. It included Queen’s Boulevard’s first bike lane. The second part of the project is the one that was partially opposed by CB4 on Tuesday night but pushed through  by de Blasio. In this phase, a protected bike lane will be installed on Queens Blvd between 74th Street and Elliott Ave. In this section of Queens Blvd. from 2010 to 2014 777 people were injured (including 42 severely) and 5 people died in traffic accidents.   In its PDF presentation, the DOT estimates that 250 people ride their bikes every day on this part of Queens Blvd. When the bike lane will be installed there is a good chance that this number will increase as people will feel safer using their bikes.

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During the summer, there are between 500 and 700 bicycle accidents  in New York City every month. Most of them will result in injuries and an average 2 to 3 bicyclists will die in these accidents. Bicyclists who wear a helmet reduce their chance of death or serious injury in an accident by 85% according to recent studies.  In New York State the law makes it mandatory for bicyclists under 13 years old to wear a helmet. Adults are not required by law to wear a helmet but are highly encouraged to do so especially if they are riding in the congested streets of the city.

From April to the end of October 2016 the NYC Department of Transportation is organizing giveaways and helmet-fitting events across the city.  23,000 free helmets will be distributed to New Yorkers during these events. One of them took place last week at the Brooklyn Public Library (see NY Daily News).  Saturday, May 14th, a free helmet fitting and distribution event took place at St. Catherine ‘s Park, 1245 1st Ave in Manhattan. Another distribution of helmets took place on Sunday May 15th in Brooklyn during the Bike Bonanza event. During this event, families were invited to participate in free fun activities and get free helmets. For more free helmet events check here.

Bicycle accidents injuries deaths NYC February 2016

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Heather29 year old Heather Lough died from critical injuries sustained after she was struck by a truck while riding her bike in Brooklyn, NYC. The young woman had just been hired to work at the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens and was on her way to work when the accident happened.  Heater was coming out of the Metro North station and was riding her bicycle on Southern Boulevard when she was hit by a truck making a left turn at high speed. The bicyclist got stuck under the wheels and she was dragged for some distance under the truck until the driver stopped.  She was taken to the hospital in critical condition where she died from her injuries after five days of pain and suffering. The truck driver, 45 year old Robert Owens from Upper Manhattan was charged with reckless driving and failure to yield.

Heather’s best friend set up a fundraiser to pay for a natural burial near her family in Washington State. If you wish you can donate here.

The picture is from the fundraising page

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NYC fatal bicycle accidentA bicyclist was struck and killed by a reckless driver in New York City yesterday night. The 26 year old driver of a Honda Sedan was caught on a surveillance camera recklessly speeding on Brooklyn streets moments before the accident. Witnesses told CBS news that they saw the car speeding on Avenue P and blowing two red lights. At the second light the reckless driver collided with a car that was crossing the intersection with the green light. The impact was so strong that the two cars careened away into a nearby bicyclist who got pinned under one of them. Witnesses ran to the scene of the accident and lifted the car to liberate the bicyclist but he couldn’t be saved and died from his injuries. Firefighters had to cut one of the cars in half to free the driver. Both car drivers only suffered minor injuries. The reckless driver is now in police custody and he is facing criminal charges.

Picture source: courtesy of New York Rescue Response Team on Twitter

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A motorist was severely injured by a bicyclist who hit him in the head with his bike lock in a road rage incident in Brooklyn NYC.  Around 7:30 pm on Monday night, a 59 year old man had just left a Greenpoint gas station and was driving his car on McGuinness Boulevard between Meeker Avenue and Bayard Street when he got into a conflict with a bike rider. The bicyclist accused him of almost hitting him. He then took his bike lock and started to smash it on the car, He then opened the car’s door, pulled out the driver and repeatedly hit the man on the head.  Then he fled. The police are still looking for him. The driver was transported to the hospital and treated for head injuries and cuts to his hands. Incidents of road rage are reaching epidemic proportions. It is a sign of increasing stress especially in N.Y.C. The perpetrators should be subject to Felony charges and sentenced to jail time.

Read more in the NY Daily News

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NYPDWhen Lauren David died in a bike accident in Brooklyn (see previous blog), the NYPD initially reported that David was biking against traffic. In a recent article the Gothamist indicated that the police have amended their report and after investigation they found that David was indeed riding in the direction of the traffic. The police also told reporters that they are discussing possible charges against the driver with the Brooklyn DA.

In New York City the police have a habit of immediately blaming the victims before investigating the accident. Just a few days after David was killed, another biker died in a traffic accident in Brooklyn.  James Gregg was fatally struck by a truck which was driving in a non truck zone. Again the police found ridiculous excuses to blame the victim (see previous blog). Last Sunday the Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams who led a memorial bike ride for the two victims (see previous blog) asked the NYPD to stop speculating  on the causes of accidents until the investigation is finished.

Picture: courtesy of Wikipedia

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Bike Lane in BrooklynTwo people died in bike accidents in Brooklyn, NYC in April.  James Gregg was killed on April 20 by a tractor trailer truck who’s driver illegally drove in a non truck residential street (see our previous blog). Lauren Davis was fatally struck by a car making  a left turn on April 15th (see our previous blog).

On Sunday, Brooklyn Borough President, Eric Adams, led a memorial bike ride in honor of these two victims. He laid flowers in front of a ghost bike memorial installed by Transportation Alternatives at the intersection of 6th Ave and Sterling Place where Gregg died. The bicyclists then rode to the intersection of Clason and Lexington Avenues where Davis was killed.

Adams asked the DOT to continue its work to protect NYC Bicyclists. He also asked the NYPD to enforce the 25 mph speed limit and the law that prevents trucks from driving in residential areas.

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bicycle truck accidentA bicyclist died after being struck by a tractor-trailer truck in Brooklyn, NYC, on Wednesday morning around 9:00 am. The accident occurred at the intersection of Sterling Place and 6th Ave in Park Slope in an area where tractor-trailers are not authorized to drive except if they have a special permit. In NYC, tractor-trailers can only drive on designated truck roads but according to local residents it is common to see big rigs driving on 6th Avenue especially since the Atlantic Yards has been developed.(see video below). The NYPD doesn’t seem to really care about this issue as so far since the beginning of the year no tickets for truck route violations have been issued by the 78th precinct where the accident happened. Instead of admitting that the truck wasn’t supposed to be driving in a narrow residential avenue, the NYPD blamed the bicyclist for his own death.

In a first statement the police implied that the cyclist was at fault and hit the rear wheel as he was trying to grab the side of the truck to hitch a ride. In a second statement the NYPD changed its version and said that the bicyclist was pulled under the wheel of the truck by a wind force. For this to happen, the truck would have to have been driving at a speed that would likely be impossible to reach on this narrow Brooklyn Ave.  It seems pretty obvious to us hat the big rig wasn’t supposed to drive in the residential area and that he recklessly passed the bicyclist too close. Additionally, witnesses reported that he was driving with headphones on.

Read more in the Gothamist

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In New York  City’s heavy traffic, bicyclists who are commuting to work are facing the risk of being injured or dying in a bicycle accident. As part of the Vision Zero initiative, Mayor Bill de Blasio wants to make New York City a friendly city for bike commuters. Protected bike lanes have proven to be one of the best ways to protect bicyclist from injury or death by negligent car drivers. Unlike regular bike lanes, that are often blocked by cars, protected bike lanes physically separate car traffic and bicycles with concrete, trees or parking lanes.

In 2016 the DOT will implement 15 miles of these types of bike lanes in the City. Last year 12 miles were added. Among this year’s projects, the DOT has work planned and in progress in the following areas of the city’s five boroughs:

  • In the Bronx: using excess roadway space on the accident prone area of Bruckner Boulevard between Hunts Point and Longwood Ave to create a protected bike lane (read more on Streetblog and download DOT PDF here )Protected bike lane Bruckner Blvd
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Bicycle accidents injuries deaths NYC February 2016Bicycle accidents in New York have been on the rise in recent years and so have the number of people injured or killed in these accidents. Commuting by bike has become quite popular among New Yorkers but it remains quite dangerous mostly because car drivers are driving negligently.

Despite new Vision Zero safety measures such as street re-design and the addition of miles of protected bike lanes the biggest danger bicyclists are facing in the city are negligent car drivers. To raise awareness about the danger that commuters are  facing while using their bicycle to go to work, Jake Dobkin from the Gothamist has asked several colleagues who use their bikes for their daily commute to film their ride.

Jack Dobkin commutes daily between Park Slop and Dumbo in Brooklyn and he is using his bicycle to go to work as well. In Episode One of this series, Jack shows his own daily bicycle ride to the office. Jack says that he’d rather ride one more mile on each commute to avoid using Jay Street which is one of the most dangerous street for bikers in NYC (if you want to understand why check the video clip on our( NYC bicycle accident lawyer page).