Today’s Headlines

  • Senate Republicans Block Spending Bill That Includes Transit Stimulus (Bloomberg)
  • 6-Year-Old Killed by Car While Standing on Median With His Mother… (News)
  • …Residents Near Crash Site Demand Traffic Calming (News)
  • Brooklyn Woman Brain Dead After Collision With Cyclist (News)
  • NYT: "Drill Baby Drill" Is a Big Step Backwards for Congress
  • Atlanta Drivers Desperate for Gas Dial 911, Clog Up Emergency Phone System (WSBTV)
  • Paterson Comes Out Against Commuter Tax (NY1)
  • MTA Takes Double Decker Bus for a Spin (NYT)
  • Bloomberg: NYC Has Too Many Street Fairs (Post)
  • State Sen.’s Able-Bodied Husband Clings to Handicapped Parking Permit (Post)
  • Larry Littlefield

    Sheldon Silver raised the commuter tax to help the Republicans keep the State Senate, so they can be blamed when the city’s share of state school aid is cut and the transit system collapses.

  • Cyclist-Pedestrian Fatality: a particularly tragic incident as the victim was a young parent. The thing to remember is that such fatalities have occurred in New York City an average of once a year for the last ten years. A horrible, life-changing and life-ruining event for the familiy? Yes. A preventable form of death? Most certainly yes, and every cyclist needs to take the utmost care to avoid striking pedestrians. A significant public health issue? Not by a long shot.

    A memorial ride in which bicyclists can demonstrate their respect and sympathy for this family should be organized.

  • Larry Littlefield

    Unless it was a freak accident — the pedestrian hitting her head on the curb — my expectation is the cyclist was probably going too fast. How else can you kill someone on a bicycle?

    You have to expect people walking off the curb and not looking, when driving or biking, and be prepared for it.

  • Jay D

    No disrespect to the woman who lost her life – she left behind a family that loves her and it is a tragic event. However, I ran into a jaywalking pedestrian as well while riding down 9th street in the slope. While I agree that bikers as a whole need to make more of a habit of stopping at lights, in my instance, the woman was crossing against the light, was listening to an iPod AND didn’t even bother to look in my direction as she was crossing the street. I verbally announced that I was coming near, she stopped for a moment in the street, and then proceeded to walk into my path whereupon I crashed into her because I didn’t have opportunity to fully change my path. I tore a ligament in my knee from the incident and my bike got bent out of shape. The jaywalking woman fell over, but no serious harm done, but she proceeded to yell a storm at me, telling me I shouldn’t be riding in the street without a bike lane, that I’m supposed to yield to pedestrians, even if I have the green light, etc etc etc.

    Pedestrians are just as much at fault throughout the city in many situations. Notice how many flaunt red lights to cross because they are simply following the person in front of them.

  • Dave

    Bicycles are lethal weapons like cars but bikers are not registered in any way so the rider who essentially killed the woman could have ridden off with no way to identify her. We need to register bikers just like we do cars.

    We give them scarce street space and we know how reckless and lawless bikers can be. Let’s figure out a way to make them identifiable in the city so they can be held accountable for their actions.

  • Marty Barfowitz

    And, yet, Dave, these so-called “lethal weapons” have killed somewhere around 15 New York City pedestrians in the last 20 years. By this standard of lethality, bath tubs, space heaters and toaster ovens are veritable mass murderers. Shall we crack down and license them too?

    And what, really, would licensing accomplish given the way that traffic laws are enforced in this town? We’ve got pedestrians being killed by motor vehicles on average four times a week (and that’s pretty good. It used to be a daily occurrence). In many cases the motorist drives off and is never found. If, however, the motorist stops his car and is found to be sober then regardless of how recklessly he was driving or how legally the pedestrian was crossing the street, the fatality is called an “accident” and the motorist walks away with nothing worse than a “Failure to Yield” summons. The cops don’t even bother to investigate if the guy was talking on the phone, twiddling his stereo knob… nothing. This kind of street killing happens multiple times each week in New York City.

    So, to suggest that some sort of crackdown or regulation of cyclists is a major priority is just absurd, even repulsive.

  • Dave, judging by the weekly headlines, it seems like licenses and registration quite frequently do not stop motorists from running away after hitting peds.

    It’s truly tragic that this cyclist hit and killed this pedestrian, but at least he stayed at the scene and waited for the police to arrive. I don’t see how registration would have compelled him to stay at the scene if he was the type to run away.

    On another note, a lot of people take dangerous risks or simply do not take responsibility for their own safety. Anyone operating a motor vehicle or a fast-moving bicycle needs to be MORE responsible than usual to compensate for the greater potential for damage they can cause. It never ceases to amaze me to watch the reckless behavior of pedestrians blindly step out into traffic against the light, wrong way cyclists flying through reds, and motorists slamming on their brakes at the last minute in the crosswalk. Obviously a lot of people don’t car about your safety or their own, so you have to be extra diligent with how you choose to propel your body through space.

  • “Unless it was a freak accident — the pedestrian hitting her head on the curb — my expectation is the cyclist was probably going too fast.”

    Aren’t fatal crashes between people and bicycles freak accidents? They’re extremely rare, and so newsworthy and emotionally charged in a way that common fatal accidents between motor vehicles and pedestrians are not. But Daily News has thrown out any effort at editorial fairness with their “no justice” headline and the slant of the article, as compared to any article about a person on foot or bicycle being run over by a car or truck (whose driver was sober, and stayed at the scene). Those are always “just a tragic accident” regardless of minor details like who had right of way. The bias is callous beyond belief. As is Dave’s comment, using this crash as a hypothetical springboard to rail against something that didn’t happen there.

    I do think the bicycle was probably moving imprudently fast, faster than I ride or like to see people ride. But at least the rider was in compliance with the law, which is more than can be said for all motor vehicle turning conflict deaths where “didn’t see him” is codified on the spot as a meaningful excuse for killing someone who actually has right of way. But fine. Let’s have some skeptical, both-sides coverage of this crash—if we’ll have the same the next hundred-damn-times someone is run down by a multiton vehicle.

  • “A memorial ride in which bicyclists can demonstrate their respect and sympathy for this family should be organized.”

    Agreed.

    Personally, I couldn’t care less whose fault it was. Someone’s dead.

  • so the rider who essentially killed the woman could have ridden off with no way to identify her.

    Can anybody cite an instance — ever — of a bicyclist hitting a pedestrian, causing death or serious injury, and riding off without identifying him/herself?

    Bikers and pedestrians are hit almost every day by motorists who drive away as though nothing happened, but I’ve never heard of a hit-and-run bicyclist. Perhaps Dave can supply us with a list.

  • Streetsman

    There are no details on how the bike vs. ped crash occurred. Sounds like the woman was killed by the fall, not the collision, so it could just as easily have been a gentle bump as a violent impact, unlike 90% of the vehicle vs. ped crashes that the Daily News never terms an ‘injustice’, even when the pedestrian is not crossing against the light.

    We can’t get the victims back, but we can have safer streets and maybe even balanced reporting. Add me to the list of people Streetsblog has inspired to write a letter to the Daily News because there is ‘no justice’ in their reporting.