Showing posts with label cycling. Show all posts
Showing posts with label cycling. Show all posts

Friday, September 20, 2019

Report: Cops blame cyclist for being assaulted on his bike

A cyclist who says he was knocked off his bike while riding on First Avenue is infuriated over the NYPD's response to his assault.

Gothamist has the story of Wilfred Chan, 28, who was riding north on First Avenue Wednesday afternoon when a man, standing in the gray pedestrian median of the crosswalk at Fourth Street, forced him off his bike.

"As I was approaching, we made eye contact, and I noticed he was staring pretty intensely at me," Chan said. Chan initially had been cycling in the bike lane, but says he swerved out into the car lane to avoid pedestrians standing in the bike lane. "I was going 20 MPH so it didn't make sense to be in the bike lane," he added. "I was comfortably keeping pace with traffic, and I had the green light."

As he passed the intersection at Fourth Street, Chan says the man stepped out from the crosswalk and kicked him off his bike. He swerved left into the orange barrier between the car and bike lanes, crashed, flipped over and landed in the bike lane on his head. As a result of the fall, he was bleeding from a gash on his forehead; he injured his elbow; and his bike was mangled, with the front wheel and handle bars twisted.


By this point, a crowd of bystanders had gathered, several of whom had witnessed what happened to Chan. When the man tried to leave, Chan says some onlookers tried to keep him there, and a fight broke out, with several punches thrown. At this point, it attracted the attention of some nearby NYPD officers from the 9th Precinct.

Chan says he told them what had happened, but was met with immediate skepticism and aggressive questioning. According to Chan, the officers accused him of changing his story because he wasn't sure if the man kicked his bike or put his foot in front of the bike.

"They immediately started gaslighting me," Chan said. "They had an idea already of what happened, and anything I said did not matter. They approached with a demeanor of deep suspicion and skepticism at everything I said, I felt like I was the one being interrogated rather than the person who kicked me off my bike."

Parting thoughts...

"To me, the main point is just the utter and willful inadequacy of the police as a system for keeping the city safe for cyclists," he said. "We face terrifying threats every day just trying to get from point A to B and the city has repeatedly shown it does not give a fuck. The cops' attitude to me totally confirmed this — the fact that I was on a bike meant I had no rights. That if I got hurt, even if someone attacked me, it was my fault."

Read the full post here.

EVG photo of First Avenue and Fourth Street from earlier this summer.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Reader reports: The NYPD forcibly stops a Citi Biker on Avenue A for his own safety

Monday, August 12, 2019

Bike shop making the Trek to the Bowery

Trek Bicycle, an American bikemaker with multiple retail shops in the city, is opening an outpost on the Bowery.

The signage arrived late last week here at 303 Bowery in the retail base of Avalon Bowery Place between First Street and Houston.

This space has been vacant since Tatyana Boutique closed in January 2016.

Trek's arrival also reverses the (micro) trend of bike shops leaving the neighborhood, including Danny's on 14th Street and Landmark on Avenue A.

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

3rd Avenue and 14th Street cited as one of the city's most dangerous intersections for cyclists

[Google Street View]

According to an analysis of intersections citywide, Third Avenue and 14th Street is among the most dangerous in NYC for cyclists, new research shows.

Last week, Mayor de Blasio’s announced his "Green Wave Bicycle Plan" in reaction to a recent spate of cycling deaths. (Em Samolewicz was killed Monday morning in Sunset Park, marking the 18th cyclist to die on city streets this year — eight more than all of 2018.)

The mayor's $58.4 million initiative will ramp up enforcement at the 100 most crash-prone intersections and target enforcement on highest risk activities: speeding, failing to yield, blocking bike lanes, oversized trucks/trucks off route.

Over the next five years the city will also renovate 50 intersections with turn-calming treatments and re-design areas where fatalities occur. (The city has yet to disclose those locations.)

On Monday, the data and real-estate listings website released the results of an analysis — using public data from 2014 to 2018 — to identify which intersections have seen the most cycling injuries and fatalities during that four-year period.

Intersections in the East Village and Lower East Side represent three slots in the top 10:

1. 6th Ave & W. 23rd St., Chelsea

21 Injuries

2 (Tied). Jay St. & Tillary St., Downtown Brooklyn

20 injuries

2 (Tied). Atlantic Ave & Bedford Ave, Crown Heights

20 injuries

4. 3rd Ave & E. 14th St., East Village

18 injuries

Per New separated bike lanes along East 12th/East 13th streets should offer a safer route, at least for cycling crosstown.

5 (Tied). Chrystie St. & Delancey St., Lower East Side

17 injuries

“Chrystie Street has a two-way bike lane, and the lane closest to traffic rides against traffic flow, which is a huge design flaw,” says urban planner Sam Sklar of “It doesn’t help that Delancey Street is extremely wide, as it accommodates car and bus travel to and from the Williamsburg Bridge. Additionally there isn’t currently any bike lane on this stretch of Delancey Street.”

5 (Tied). St. Nicholas Ave & W. 141st St., Harlem

17 injuries

[Allen at Houston]

7 (Tied). Allen St. & E. Houston St., Lower East Side

14 injuries

“Cyclists and drivers approaching this intersection often have obstructed views because of the width of East Houston Street, plus the width of East First Street along with obstructed views from street trees and bus traffic that potentially blocks views for drivers and cyclists,” says Sklar.

7 (Tied). Graham Ave. & Grand St., Williamsburg

14 injuries

7 (Tied). Jay St. & Myrtle Ave., Downtown Brooklyn

14 injuries

7 (Tied). Roebling St. & South 4th St., Williamsburg

13 injuries, 1 death

Says Sklar: "If you’re thinking about taking up cycling you should know if the intersections and streets near your home are dangerous."

Friday, July 26, 2019

Report: Mayor unleashes the 'Green Wave Bicycle Plan' to address increase in cycling fatalities, make streets safer

To address the rising death toll of cyclists on city streets this year (17 so far vs. 10 all of last year), Mayor de Blasio yesterday released details on a five-year, $58.4 million plan that aims to combine design, enforcement, legislation, policy and education to make the city safer for all street users.

Here's Gothamist with the key details:

Dubbed the "Green Wave Bicycle Plan," the 24-page blueprint calls for the addition of 30 miles of new protected bike lanes each year, up from the current rate of about 20. The Department of Transportation will also begin implementing traffic calming treatments at 50 of the city's most dangerous intersections, while the NYPD's three-week campaign targeting dangerous drivers will be extended indefinitely.

The plan includes expanded NYPD enforcement:

• Under the plan, the NYPD will ramp up enforcement at the 100 most crash-prone intersections and target enforcement on highest risk activities: speeding, failing to yield, blocking bike lanes, oversized trucks/trucks off route.
• Maintain continuous citywide implementation of “Operation Bicycle Safe Passage” initiative – extending elevated enforcement of blocked bike lanes and hazardous driving violations. Since implementation of Operation Bicycle Safe Passage, NYPD has doubled enforcement of cars parked in bicycle lanes and issued more than 8,600 summons in the first three weeks of July.
• Specialized units and precincts will increase enforcement against oversized and off-route trucks.
• The NYPD also announced that supervisors would respond to collision sites to determine if the right-of-way laws should be applied — and that it would also discontinue its practice of ticketing cyclists at the site of fatal cyclist crashes.
• NYPD supports new and emerging technology for automated enforcement.

The plan doesn't mention if they'll be an educational component to curb the NYPD's tradition of blaming the victim for his or her own death on the streets, as we saw in the case of Kelly Hurley on First Avenue at Ninth Street in 2017. A detective came to the conclusion that she didn't stop in time and "slipped" under a truck — a truck failing to yield and making an illegal left turn across four lanes of traffic.

You can find plenty more reaction and analysis of "Green Wave" over at Streetsblog — here and here, for starters.

Monday, July 15, 2019

Local elected officials urge the DOT to explore bike lane options on Avenues A, B, C and D

[Avenue B, currently without bike lanes]

The proposal for a two-way protected bike lane on Avenue B has turned into a broader exploration for better and safer passage for cyclists on Avenues A, B, C and D.

Last Wednesday, local elected officials sent a letter to Ed Pincar, the Department of Transportation's Manhattan borough commissioner, to expedite and expand on the installation of protected bike lanes on Avenues A-D "as a result of the fast approaching East River Coastal Resiliency (ESCR) Project."

Here's more from the letter:

"We would encourage you to look at Avenues A through D spanning from East Houston to 14th Street to determine the best location for a one or two-way bike lane, understanding the multiple needs of the city and the impacts these options may have for cyclists and the community.

These new protected bike lanes would serve as a vital alternative to the East River greenway, which is projected to close starting in 2020 during the ESCR project. Recent reports of cyclist accidents in the area suggest the increased safety that protected bike lanes will provide is urgently needed."

The letter was signed by Assemblymember Harvey Epstein, Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, State Sen. Brad Hoylman, State Sen. Brian Kavanagh, and City Councilmember Carlina Rivera.

The parent-led campaign to secure two-way bike lanes on Avenue B, an increasingly congested 14-block corridor currently without any marked paths for cyclists, began in April. Bike-lane organizers say they now have the support of nearly 30 businesses along Avenue B.

In late June, Community Board 3 passed a resolution asking city officials to study safety issues and improve bike infrastructure on Avenue B, as Patch reported.

Per that resolution:

CB3 asks DOT to conduct a safety analysis and report back to CB3 about whether it is feasible to install a two-way protected bike lane or other bicycle safety improvements along Ave B from Houston to 14th St. CB3 also asks DOT to determine where truck loading/unloading zones should be installed along Avenue B, and report back to CB3 with a proposal.

The report to CB3 should also discuss any impacts of such installations to street-side parking, teacher parking, loading zones, and overall street congestion, especially during the weekend nightlife hours.

There aren't any marked bike lanes now on Avenue B. Meanwhile, Avenues A and C have white-painted bike lanes without any separation barriers such as on First and Second avenues.

[Avenue A]

[Avenue C]

Avenue D does not currently have any markings for cyclists...

Bike advocates and elected officials have been urging the city to do more across NYC to ensure safer streets for pedestrians and cyclists — 15 of whom have been killed by drivers this year, five more than all of 2018.

Overall, there have been 110 road fatalities this year — an 18.3-percent increase over 2018, according to the DOT and as reported by Streetsblog. As of July 9, 56 pedestrians have been killed so far this year on NYC streets.

Mayor de Blasio recently ordered the NYPD and DOT to create emergency plans to protect cyclists. The DOT's plan is roughly due this coming week.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Councilmember Rivera introducing new bill to protect bike lanes in construction zones

[EVG photo from June at 75 1st Ave.]

In other bike-related news... District 2 City Councilmember Carlina Rivera, along with advocates and neighborhood residents, is announcing the introduction of a new bill this morning that will require holders of DOT permits that authorize construction or equipment on the street to preserve any impacted bike lanes with a safe and sufficient detour.

Per Rivera's office:

This includes any specifically marked bicycle lane, whether it has painted, separated and protected, or a bike path. Any detour bike lane would have to feature protective barriers and be three-quarters the size of the original lane, unless that would make the detour lane less than 4 feet wide. The bill would also require DOT to notify community boards as well as post on their website when any permitted construction impacts a bike lane.

Councilwoman Rivera is pursuing this legislation after hearing about construction projects in her district and elsewhere where bicyclists were being forced out of protected bike lanes and directly into car traffic with little notice right for riders or drivers.

Rivera recently spoke with Streetsblog about this proposed legislation:

You said a specific location in your district spurred you to introduce this bill.

It’s on First Avenue between Fourth and Fifth streets, right on the west side where the bike lane is. There was construction there, and there was no detour. As someone who cycles up First Avenue all the time, I can tell you that as soon as you got to that street, it just said, “Bike lane closed.” So you have to go and venture into the traffic, and you know that First avenue is incredibly busy, not just with [cars], but with the SBS, the M15.

There was no sign. There were no protective barriers. This was something people contacted our office about repeatedly, so we know that we really had to legislate this in order to protect cyclists everywhere.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Report: No charges for driver who struck and killed East Village cyclist

The NYPD has declined to charge the garbage truck driver who struck and killed Neftaly Ramirez (pictured), an East Village resident biking home from his job at Paulie Gee's in Brooklyn early on July 22.

Per DNAinfo:

While the Brooklyn District Attorney's office said they are still investigating the deadly July 22 crash, no criminality is suspected, an NYPD spokesman said.

Detectives based their conclusion on the unidentified driver's behavior after the crash.

"He continued to pick up the garbage from his route," NYPD spokesman Ahmed Nasser said. The person, based on the speed of the vehicle, where the vehicle was the whole time, indicated that this person probably didn't realize he had hit the victim."

The driver worked for Action Carting. According to published reports, the private trash hauling company has been responsible for five (three pedestrians, two cyclists) deaths since 2008.

Per Streetsblog:

In the last 24 months, Action Carting drivers were involved in seven crashes involving pedestrians, resulting in eight injuries, according to Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration records. In that same period, the FMCSA says 44 percent of Action vehicles were taken out of service due to safety violations — more than twice the national average.

The company has five standing contracts with city agencies — three with DOT adding up to about $2 million and two with the Department of Environmental Protection worth about $35 million apiece. All but one of those — an $800,000 contract with DOT — were signed during the de Blasio administration.

Paulie Gee's proprietor Paul Giannone told Gothamist yesterday: "I'm very upset right now ... Because nothing is going to happen to this guy [the driver]. The guy said he didn't know, I think he's full of it ... I think he's a liar, and I hope he rots in hell."

Monday, April 10, 2017

[Updated] More on the 1st Avenue bike collision

Last Wednesday morning, a box truck struck a 31-year-old woman riding in the northbound bike lane on First Avenue at Ninth Street.

She was listed in critical condition at Bellevue.


Updated 4/12

A friend of the victim told us on Sunday that doctors were optimistic about her chances for recovery.

Unfortunately, there were complications. DNAinfo now reports that Kelly Hurley was taken off life support yesterday.

Per DNAinfo: "Investigators were still reviewing video, the spokesman added, and the driver could still be charged."


As for this intersection, Streetsblog noted:

The block of the First Avenue bike lane approaching 9th Street has a “mixing zone,” in which cyclists and drivers turning left negotiate the same space during the same signal phase.

Intersections that separate cyclists and turning in time with “split-phase” signals have a safer track record than mixing zones, but DOT prefers to limit them to intersections with high pedestrian volumes.

On Friday, the guerrilla street engineers at the Transformation Department "staged an intervention" at the intersection ...

An EVG reader noted other obstacles for cyclists in the bike lane that have nothing to do with traffic... namely the trash that piles up on the weekends...

Previously on EV Grieve:
[Updating] Reader report: Bike-truck collision on 1st Avenue at 9th Street

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

[Updating] Reader report: Bike-truck collision on 1st Avenue at 9th Street

[Reader-submitted photo]

Several readers passed along reports of a collision between the truck in the above photo and a cyclist at the west side of First Avenue at Ninth Street earlier this morning.

In an email sent at 7:50 a.m., a reader said: "I was told rider was under truck .. and taken to hospital."

There isn't any other information available at the moment about the condition of the cyclist and who may have been at fault in the collision.

As of 8:30., the intersection remained taped off while investigators were on their way to the scene, according to witnesses.

[Photo via OlympiasEpiriot]

We'll update if/when more information becomes available.

Updated 11:30 a.m.

According to DNAinfo, the cyclist, whose name has not been released, is a 31-year-old woman. She was riding in the northbound bike lane when the truck reportedly struck her.

She suffered severe head trauma and was treated at Bellevue Hospital, where she was listed in critical condition, police said.

The truck driver remained at the scene and wasn't immediately arrested, police said.

Updated noon:

Per Streetsblog, "the available information suggests the truck driver failed to yield to the cyclist."

First Avenue has a parking-protected bike lane, but at most intersections, cyclists and turning motorists proceed during the same signal phase through “mixing zones.”

Turning drivers are supposed to yield to cyclists at the mixing zone, but the treatment is not as safe as intersections where cyclists and turning drivers have separate signal phases. These “split-phase” signals have a demonstrably better safety record than mixing zones.

Updated 4/12

A friend of the victim told us on Sunday that doctors were optimistic about her chances for recovery.

Unfortunately, there were complications. DNAinfo now reports that Kelly Hurley was taken off life support yesterday.

Per DNAinfo: "Investigators were still reviewing video, the spokesman added, and the driver could still be charged."

Last evening around 6, a group of 12-15 cyclists left flowers at the scene of the collision.

[Photo by Lola Sáenz]

I reached out to a family member... and will update when more information is available.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Post discovers that cyclists often run the light at 1st Avenue and St. Mark's Place

From the Post today:

For New York cyclists, red lights means go almost 80 percent of the time — despite an NYPD crackdown and the recent deaths of two pedestrians hit by bikes, The Post has found.

From 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday, reporters at three busy intersections observed 1,006 cyclists encounter a red signal — often with pedestrians in the crosswalks — and a staggering 796 of them passed through before it turned green.

As your can see from the graphic, First Avenue and St. Mark's Place was one of the intersections where a Post reporter hung out for 8 hours watching.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Survey finds that NYC cyclists are becoming better at abiding by the rules of the road

[Random bike photo by Derek Berg]

NYC cyclists are becoming more considerate and law-abiding, according to research conducted by Peter Tuckel and William Milczarski of Hunter College at the City University of New York.

The study, "Bike Lanes + Bike Share = Bike Safety," looked at the behavior of 4,316 bicyclists at 98 different locations in central and lower Manhattan. (The researchers also compared this survey to a similar one from 2009.)

The new survey results showed that 34 percent of riders were observed going through red lights without pausing or stopping, down about 10 percentage points from 2009. In addition, 4.2 percent of cyclists were seen by the research team riding against traffic … while 3.2 percent were riding against traffic in the bike lane. This combined total of 7.4 percent is down nearly 6 percentage points from 2009. The survey also found that more women are riding bikes than in 2009.

Other survey results include:

• Helmet use rose from 29.9 percent in 2009 to 49.8 percent in 2013.
• Citi Bike riders in general are more compliant with traffic laws and ride in bike lanes at a higher rate than other riders.

As for Citi Bike, the study concludes: "Predictions that the launch of the bike-share program would lead to a spike in the number of cycling-related injuries have not materialized. Citi Bike riders appear to be more cautious and even more compliant with traffic rules than other cyclists."

You can find the whole academic jargony survey below...

Cycling Study January 2014

Other media outlets covered this survey, including Atlantic Cities, Gothamist and Streetsblog.