Saturday: Vigil Ride for Cyclist Jasmine Herron

jasmine_herronEarlier this month, Jasmine Herron was killed while cycling on Atlantic Avenue, after a driver opened her car door and knocked Herron into the path of a bus. She was 23 years old.

There will be a vigil ride for Herron this Saturday, the 25th, starting at 8:00 p.m. at the corner of Atlantic and Washington. The vigil organizers — including the 77th Precinct Community Council, Brooklyn Community Board 8, the 77th Precinct Clergy Council, and Council Member Tish James — are asking cyclists to come and ride in tribute to the victim.

  • MRN
  • the woman should be charged with manslaughter, not driving with a suspended license.

    only after people start taking matters into their own hands will the nypd start paying attention and doing their jobs.

  • Scott

    I didn’t know Jasmine. But this hit me pretty hard. People get killed on bikes in NYC at an alarming rate. But maybe it was the fact that she lived in my neighborhood, maybe it was the fact that she was around my age, maybe it was the fact that I was doored once too, and could have been hurt (maybe should have been hurt) much worse than I was… but the “this could have been me or someone close to me” factor was palpable this time, in a way it never has been when I’ve heard about cyclists being killed by cars.

    This is an epidemic, and it’s not easing up any as more people start to ride and realize that bikes just make more sense as urban transportation than anything else. It’s a two-fold problem that a lot of people are working on solving, but that we haven’t figured out yet: awareness and infrastructure.

    Too few cyclists–even experienced ones, which Jasmine was, without question–really get that you’re much safer in traffic, where you can be seen, than up against parked cars where tragedies like this can be triggered in the blink of an eye. And obviously far too few drivers have ever even given any thought to looking behind them when they open their doors. But it’s also unforgivable that on broad streets like Atlantic or Flatbush, we don’t have protected lanes so no one has to ride in 40 mph car traffic. Lots of people and groups are working on it, but if things like this are to have any silver lining, that’s gonna have to be it.

    It’s also emphatically not the case that it’s “only a matter of time” before you get hurt riding your bike in a city. Cyclists, like all human beings, exercise agency in the decisions they make and can learn to adjust their behavior and habits to make themselves much, much safer. Knowing that you don’t have to ride near parked cars is one way of doing this. It’s true that doorings are an epidemic in NYC, and it’s true that our streets are still unacceptably dangerous if you’re on two wheels. But we shouldn’t give further impetus to the idea that getting injured or killed on your bike is “just a matter of time, period.” It’s a matter of many things, including the imperative of drivers to understand the potential hazards they can cause, the imperative of cyclists to understand those hazards and not create new ones, and of the larger way in which urban space is conceived and treated by those with the means to shape our cities. There are vast numbers of people in this city and in many others whose lives could be changed for the better and who could contribute to re-shaping their cities in a sustainable, sensible, healthy, efficiently-moving way by riding their bikes–but many of those people will look at something like Jasmine’s death and conclude that it’s just not worth it, unless they understand the potential for their own dynamic role in changing the situation where this keeps happening.

    I’ll see you all on Saturday.

  • Megan

    airAndMagic, involving the NYPD does not make us anymore safe than we are right now. Putting this woman behind bars will not make us safe either. We need to demand more education around and infrastructure for bicycles. Love and sympathy to family and friends of Jasmine.

  • Megan, I disagree. If putting this woman behind bars keeps her off the road (since clearly a suspended license didn’t) maybe it would make us safer than we are today, when she is free to get back in her car and door another cyclist. Moreover, why should one receive the same (lesser) punishment for driving with a suspended license vs. driving with a suspended license and dooring someone on a bicycle, causing their death? There’s no point in having laws against dooring or vehicular manslaughter if they’re never enforced.

  • RK

    This is a horrible tragedy. My condolences to the family and friends of Ms. Herron.

    This kind of accident should never happen.

    It’s imperative that, if urban planners provide bike lanes, they provide enough space between parked 4-wheel vehicles and bike lanes, protected or not. The bike lane on Avenue A, for instance, is a prime example of a narrow, car-door bike lane waiting for the same type of accident. Completely worthless.

    Cyclists need to be aware that they have every right to be in the lane, not on the side to “share the road” and to take the lane more. In urban areas, the concept of “sharing the road” leads to accidents such as this. The MTA must acknowledge this and educate their bus drivers accordingly so cyclists are not intimidated by buses at least.

    As of now, cycles are considered vehicles by NYPD and NYC law and are subject to the same fine structure as 4-wheel vehicles for traffic infractions. These laws are completely unfair because cyclists generate their own movement by their own physical exertion. Such fines need to be adjusted.

  • there was an article in a san francisco newspaper i had seen recently where the police had significantly stepped up enforcement on a certain street where speeding and running lights was rampant and resulting in a significant number of idiots running into pedestrians. after the new enforcement came into place, the number of accidents was reduced by at least half. i’ve seen several similar articles from all over the country. so, yes enforcement does work.

    all these fancy new laws, bike lanes and everything else mean nothing if people are allowed to operate vehicles however they feel like and not within the confines of the law. and yes, that means for bicyclists too.

    the job of any police department is to enforce existing laws. that is why we pay them. if they don’t do their job, there is a problem. in new york, leaving the scene of a crime where you are involved in someone’s death is a felony, potentially resulting in this idiot’s being put away for a long time to think about all the lives she’s ruined. instead, she gets arrested for driving on a suspended license. in new york, this results in a $200-$500 fine, 0-3 months jail time and 3 years probation. she could be behind the wheel again in no time at all.

    begging the nypd to enforce the law does not work. maybe a class action lawsuit would.

  • liz

    Had that @#%*@&# woman not been behind the wheel of that car, Jasmine would still be with us. Driving with suspended license is ILLEGAL, she BROKE THE LAW. She had no business being in the drivers side of that vehicle. And she says it’s NOT her fault.. OMG…
    I know Jasmine’s mom. Jasmine was her only child, they had a wonderful relationship. She lost her daughter and her best friend.
    I hope Krystal Francis pays for her lack of remorse & judgment.

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