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Articles Tagged with bicycle accident nyc

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New York City has one of the highest rates of traffic fatalities and serious injury in America and in the World. When looking at deaths only, NYC has a lower rate of traffic fatalities than its American peer cities. However when compared to other international cities such as Hong Kong, London or Stockholm, New York is still lagging behind.

traffic fatalities and injuries rates for selected cities
It is time for New York to improve these numbers! The NYC Department of Transportation just released its Strategic Plan 2016. A lot of focus is being directed to traffic safety and protection of bicyclists and pedestrians but is it enough?

Vision Zero continues to be the main program in terms of safety. The goals of the strategic plan 2016 is to integrate the program across all agencies and to improve data and analytics  related to Vision Zero objectives.  Street engineering is planned to continue in every boroughs, on high crash arterial roads and on roads to schools or near senior centers. The campaigns of awareness and education will continue. Among the new initiatives, the DOT will focus on evaluating left turn safety plans and implement recommendations from a previous study on bicycle fatalities and injuries. The DOT will also try to expand the speed camera enforcement which has proven to be very successful. The DOT will also push for mandatory seatbelt use, tougher regulation for drugs while driving, better data sharing with The NYPD in regards to crashes and work on new technologies to reduce crashes.

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accident sceneA 12 year old bicyclist is in critical condition after he was hit by a car in New York City. This morning around 7:00 am the young man was on his way to yeshiva. As he was riding his bike near Dahill and Courtelyou roads in Borough Park, Brooklyn he was struck by a car. He was transported to the hospital in critical condition. He immediately underwent surgery. The driver stayed at the scene of the accident. The cause of the accident is still being investigated by the police. Read more in DNA

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accident sceneA bicyclist died after being struck by a minivan in NYC early Monday morning. The man was riding his bike on the left shoulder of the eastbound Grand Central Parkway near 111th Street in Corona, Queens. At one point he swerved into the traffic. He was hit by a minivan. The cyclist died at the scene of the accident. The driver of the minivan stayed at the scene of the accident. He wasn’t charged.

In New York City, bicycles are prohibited on highways. It is unclear why the bicyclist decided to use the highway. The investigation is ongoing.

Read more in DNA

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Brooklyn Bridge Bike LaneWith a new victim last week, the number of fatal bicycle accidents in New York City in 2016 has now reached 15. In only 8 months the number of bicyclists killed this year in New York City has reached the same number as the number of bicyclist killed during the entire year of 2015. Among these 15 bicycle accidents, 8 of them occurred in Brooklyn, 3 in the Bronx, 2 in Manhattan, 1 in Staten Island and 1 in Queens. In a recent article in the New York Time, Eli Rosenberg provides an in depth analysis of this worrisome rise of fatal bicycle accidents in Brooklyn and what is being done and could be done by the city to prevent them.

The bicycling culture in Brooklyn is the strongest of all 5 boroughs. It has the highest number of bicycle commuters of in the city. However, despite this enthusiasm for this healthy mode of transportation, Brooklyn streets are still very hazardous to bicyclists.  Despite Vision Zero efforts to make streets safer, bike lanes, especially protected bike lanes are still lacking in many areas of Brooklyn. The recent death of 35 year old Matthew Von Ohlen is proof that unprotected bike lanes are not enough to make the streets safe.   Protected bike lanes have statistically proven to reduce the number of injuries related to accidents by 20%.

As the number of people using their bikes to commute around Brooklyn continues to grow, there is an obvious need for the city to act fast in continuing to create protective bike lanes for bicycle commuters in Brooklyn. While Manhattan already has 122 miles of protected bike lanes, Brooklyn is much larger than Manhattan and yet only has 84 miles of protected bike lanes. 15 more miles are planned to be installed in 2016.  15 miles is better than nothing but still seems like very little. Large areas of South Brooklyn where 3 cyclists died this year still have no bike lanes, protected or not.  In his article Eli Rosenberg concludes that there is still a lot to do including changing the old mentality that cars rule and to protect the 18,300 Brooklyn bicyclists who commute to work daily.

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schenkman-michaelA bicyclist was fatally struck by a car in NYC. Yesterday morning, 78 year old Michael Schenkman was riding his bike on Northern Boulevard in Bayside, Queens when he was struck by a car. Michael Schenkman was an avid biker and a member of Transportation Alternatives. He was riding his bike every morning for 20 miles. The accident occurred on Northern Boulevard near 223rd Street around 6:30 am. The 25 year old driver of the car stayed at the scene of the accident and so far hasn’t been charged. A picture in the NY Daily News shows that the impact was so strong that the windshield was completely destroyed. In an article in Street Blog, Brad Aaron  suspects that the driver was speeding.

Michael Schenkman is the 16th victim who died in a bicycle accident in New York City this year. The number of bicyclists fatalities is on the rise in the city. Last year during the entire year 14 people died in bicycle accidents.

After yesterday’s accident, Transportation Alternatives released a statement asking the mayor to implement the Vision Zero Initiative to make the streets of New York City safer faster.

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A NYC bicyclist struck by a car driven by a murderer says he is lucky to be alive. David Hunter, a Brooklyn Fashion designer, was injured in a scary bicycle accident a few blocs away from his house last Saturday afternoon. He was waiting at a light to cross Pitkin Avenue in Ozone Park. A man in a car was also waiting at the intersection and Hunter looked at him a brief second crossng the street in front of him.  As he was crossing the man in the car turned around and started to follow him. He looked very angry and kept saying “f—er, f—er, motherf—er”. He started to speed and intentionally struck the bicyclist who couldn’t pedal fast enough to escape. The bicyclist was thrown on a parked car. Thankfully he was wearing a helmet as his head hit the bumper of the car. Hunter lost consciousness as the crazed car driver continued to yell and curse by the window before taking off. Later on as witnesses took the plate number of the crazy driver, police discovered that the he was a cold blooded assassin. Oscar Morel, the driver, was indeed the man accused of killing Imam Maulana Alauddin Akonjee, 55, and his assistant Thara Uddin, 64. He was fleeing the murder scene when he struck David Hunter.

Read more in DNA Info

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57 pedestrians, 21 bicyclists and 289 motor vehicle occupants were injured in a car accident between 2010 and 2014 at the intersection of Atlantic Ave and Flatbush Ave in Brooklyn, New York City. 5 people also died in crashes at this same location between 2008 and 2016. This busy intersection is one of the most dangerous in New York City and the Department of Transportation wants to make it safer. Last week the DOT presented  a study of the actual traffic conditions at this intersection and proposals to make it safer. As of now, pedestrian crossings are extremely long, the traffic is heavy and often conflicting with pedestrians while turning. Bike lanes do no connect, taxi and buses block the traffic while dropping passengers and the sidewalk design is not appropriate. The intersection is very dangerous. The DOT proposes not only to redesign the intersection of of Flatbush Ave and Atlantic Ave but also the Flatbush Ave intersections near Hanson Place and Ashland place. Among the changes, the plan includes the addition of pedestrian islands and curb extensions to reduce the crossing distances as well some blocks being converted to pedestrian areas and new signalization. The complete study can be downloaded here

Dangerous Intersection NYC

Picture courtesy of Google Map

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left turn crashes study DOT NYCIn New York City, left turn accidents account for 19% of the crashes that kill or severely injure (KSI) pedestrians and bicyclists compared to 6% for right turns.

At most New York intersections drivers are permitted to tun left while pedestrians are in the crosswalk. While pedestrians have a false sense of security because they are in a crosswalk, left turn drivers often concentrate  on on coming traffic while turning and fail to look for pedestrians. Additionally because they can be taken at a wider angle, motorists tend to take left turns at a higher speed than right turns.

From 2010 to 2014, 108 pedestrians and bicyclists were killed by drivers turning left in New York City, that’s more than 20 people every year and almost two people every month.

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car obstructing bike laneBicyclists riding in New York City have an increased risk of being injured or dying in a bike accident when a car or a truck is blocking their bike lane. The cyclists have to merge into traffic to pass the vehicle blocking the bike lane therefore  increasing their risk of being struck by another vehicle.  People who are commuting by bike in New York City are facing this problem on a daily basis. Bicyclist advocates have been voicing their complaints about this dangerous matter on regular basis and the NYPD listened to them.  This spring the “Bicycle Safe Passage” enforcement initiative was launched. The idea of the initiative is that over several periods of one week during the year the NYPD would focus on ticketing all vehicles blocking the bike lanes or not yielding to bicyclists. This week marks the third week of the operation for this year. During the previous operation last month, the police ticketed 1,757 motorists blocking the bike lane and 810 who didn’t yield to bicyclists. However according to Streetblog, police were also ticketing bicyclists rather than focusing their effort on protecting them.

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A pedestrian died, a bicyclist was  critically injured and two drivers suffered personal injury in a car accident in New York City. The accident  occurred last Thursday in Queens.  56 year old Irene Lee was driving her Porsche on Horace Harding Expressway service road near the Intersection of Junction Boulevard. She lost control of her car and jumped the curb, hitting a pedestrian and a bicyclist.  She then fled the scene of the accident and hit two other cars waiting at a nearby red light. She then fled away one more time and drove North on Junction. She later had second thoughts and returned to the scene of the accident. The pedestrian, the bicyclist and one of the car drivers were transported to the hospital. The other  car driver  suffered minor injuries and was treated at the scene of the crash. The pedestrian, a 21-year-old woman, suffered severe head trauma  and died from her injuries. The bicyclist, a 26 year old woman, was in critical condition.  The driver was in stable condition. Irene Lee was arrested and charged with running a red light and leaving the scene of the accident resulting in death which is a class D felony.

Read in the Gothamist