Dershowitz Death Illuminates Dangers Faced By Greenway-Bound Cyclists


Green lines are major north-south bike routes; red lines represent obstacles to the West Side Greenway; purple lines are wide, dangerous crosstown streets; and orange lines are westbound connections to the greenway. View a larger map.

Streetsblog reader Mark Davis has put together a map showing how greenway-bound cyclists are funneled through the West 29th Street tunnel where Marilyn Dershowitz was killed on Saturday.

Dershowitz, 68, was riding with her husband Nathan at around noon when she was hit by the driver of a US Postal Service truck just west of Ninth Avenue, underneath a building overhang that straddles the street. She later died at Bellevue Hospital. The driver, who claimed he was unaware he hit someone, did not stop after the collision. He has not been charged.

As Davis’s map shows, there is no other continuous westbound greenway connection between 17th and 43rd that isn’t a wide and dangerous street.

“The project advisory committee of the DOT Hell’s Kitchen Study (which covers this area) has proposed a number of east-west connections,” says Christine Berthet, co-founder of the Clinton/Hell’s Kitchen Coalition for Pedestrian Safety. “Hopefully the DOT bicycle team will accelerate their implementation. Unless these bike paths are protected, nothing will prevent another tragedy like this one.”

Marilyn Dershowitz was one of three people known to have been killed by a driver last week in Manhattan. On Thursday, 78-year-old Yolanda Casal died when an unlicensed driver chasing a parking spot backed into her and her daughter on Amsterdam Avenue. Chinatown pedestrian Kok Hoe Tee was killed Friday when an NYPD Auxiliary officer drove a department van onto the sidewalk after reportedly confusing the accelerator with the brake. Streetsblog is awaiting word from the office of Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance regarding Edwin Carrasco, who hit Yolanda Casal, but as of this writing none of the drivers involved in these fatalities were reported charged.

“I am sickened by this death,” says Berthet, “and the fact that this driver is probably driving his truck again.”

Witnesses say the driver of a postal truck was jockeying for space with another vehicle when he fatally struck Marilyn Dershowitz. Photo: ##http://www.dnainfo.com/20110702/chelsea-hells-kitchen/marilyn-dershowitz-sisterinlaw-of-alan-dershowitz-killed-by-mail-truck-while-cycling##DNAinfo##

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