The driver of a box truck killed 48-year-old cyclist Yan Jindee in Tribeca Thursday evening. Though available information suggests Jindee was the victim of a right hook and the driver violated her right of way, police filed no charges.
NYPD said the driver was turning right from eastbound Walker Street onto southbound Broadway -- both streets are one-way where the collision occurred -- when he hit Jindee, at approximately 5:45 p.m.
Local resident and Streetsblog contributor Charles Komanoff came upon the scene about an hour after the crash. “Her crumpled bicycle with a helmet alongside lay in the center of Broadway just south of the south crosswalk of Walker Street," wrote Komanoff on the Right of Way Twitter feed. "The truck, a large vehicle with PA plates ... was standing in the middle of Broadway, 50-75 feet south of the bicycle.”
“I heard the sound, it was a loud sound,” a witness told the Daily News. “The truck was stopped and the lady was on the floor.”
A police spokesperson told Streetsblog the NYPD public information office did not know which direction the victim was traveling. If she was riding alongside the truck on Walker Street when the driver turned, which seems likely based on where her bike came to rest, Jindee would have had the right of way.
Unnamed NYPD sources told the Post the driver “had the green light” and that “No criminality is suspected.”
Jindee, who reports said lived on the Lower East Side, was pronounced dead at Lower Manhattan Hospital.
The driver was identified only as a 38-year-old man. It is NYPD protocol to shield the names of motorists who kill people unless charges are filed.
Jindee was one of four cyclists killed or severely injured by New York City drivers in five days. Today Transportation Alternatives Deputy Director Caroline Samponaro issued a statement calling on Mayor de Blasio to build more protected bike lanes:
In just five days, four cyclists in New York City, three of whom are women, have been struck by reckless drivers in serious incidents. Three New Yorkers were severely injured and remain in critical condition; one woman has been killed.
Mayor Bill de Blasio has said that he plans to double bike ridership by 2020. He clearly understands, and Transportation Alternatives agrees, that bicycling is a salve for congestion, pollution, public safety, and overcrowding in a rapidly growing city.
However the promotion of cycling is a false promise without the expansion of the protected bike lane network keeping up with cycling’s growth. All four New Yorkers who were struck were forced to ride on streets without protected bike lanes.
Despite this boom, the de Blasio administration only plans to build 10 miles of protected bike lanes in the next year. Annually fixing 0.16% of New York City’s streets to be safe for cycling is woefully not enough.
That same report found that the vast majority of cyclist fatalities occur on streets without bicycle facilities. Without a dramatic increase in the buildout of bicycle lanes, New Yorkers will continue to be killed.
It is unignorable that three of the New Yorkers who were struck in the past five days are women, especially since women make up only 35% of New York City’s cycling population. The D.O.T.’s August report found that, looking at bike share riders in particular, women ride more often where there is a complete and connected network of bike lanes. In response to this finding, they pledged to consider “strategies to increase the number of women who cycle and narrow the gender gap in cycling.”
This week’s incidents underscore the necessity of that pledge. The data is clear: Cyclists are safe in bike lanes; More women ride when there are bike lanes. Mayor Bill de Blasio, build a city where all cyclists are safe to ride.
Brad Aaron began writing for Streetsblog in 2007, after years as a reporter, editor, and publisher in the alternative weekly business. Brad adopted New York's dysfunctional traffic justice system as his primary beat for Streetsblog. He lives in Manhattan.