One of the most dangerous summers in history for NYC cyclists continues to get worse. On July 29, another cyclist was killed while riding in Brooklyn — the 18th such fatality of the year.
The incident occurred in Greenwood Heights when a cyclist swerved to avoid an opened car door and was struck by a tractor trailer.
Opened car doors are one of the most common causes of deadly cycling collisions.
The crash took place just a few blocks away from where another cyclist was killed earlier in 2019. That cyclist, too, was killed after swerving to avoid an opened car door.
The area where both crashes occurred, on Third Avenue, was also the site of a pedestrian death this year.
City officials have said that the area will be targeted for safety improvements as part of a new bicycling safety initiative being pushed by Mayor Bill de Blasio.
The Mayor Vows Action
In order to help make NYC streets safer for cyclists, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced “Green Wave,” a comprehensive plan to address the city’s inadequate cycling infrastructure.
The $58 million plan would expand bike lanes (80 miles by 2021), increase rider safety education and awareness, increase enforcement of speeding and other dangerous behaviors and support policies and laws supporting safe cycling.
At a news conference, de Blasio addressed the rising NYC cyclist death toll and promoted Green Wave and the city’s “Vision Zero” traffic safety program as an effective combined response.
“These last weeks have been something that should never be repeated in this city,” he said. “And today, we take another step to try once and for all to prevent it…the fact that this all happened in such a small amount of time, it’s a crisis, it’s an emergency.”
The Green Wave program will also include an analytical component. All fatal cycling incidents since 2014 will be studied to help researchers and city officials draw informed conclusions.
The NYC Department of Transportation has previously found that 90% of fatal cycling incidents occur on streets without bike lanes, while 60% of fatal collisions occur at intersections.
Efforts to expand NYC cycling infrastructure haven’t moved forward without opposition. A judge recently denied a request to halt installation of a Central Park West bike lane.
An Upper West Side Community group asked Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Lynn Kotler to stop the installation, claiming that a proper environmental review had not been undertaken.
During the court proceeding, the petitioner’s attorney acknowledged that “some” cycling accidents had occurred this year. Judge Kotler replied “I would say more than some” and denied the request for a stay.
Finding the Right Bicycle Accident Attorney
The rising popularity of cycling and NYC’s traffic density have created dangerous conditions for bicycle enthusiasts.
If these conditions have affected you or someone you love, it’s imperative that you speak to an experienced bicycle accident attorney.
At The Frankel Law Firm, we have more than four decades of experience handling the most complex personal injury cases. Contact us today for a free consultation. There will be no fee unless there is a recovery. Contact us at (212) 888-5100 or at www.frankellawfirm.com.
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