Bushwick Cyclist Severely Injured by DSNY Driver and Deadly Evergreen Ave. Street Design

A hit-and-run Sanitation Department driver maimed a woman riding in the painted bike lane on Evergreen Avenue, near where a motorist killed cyclist Leah Sylvain in 2016. DOT has not improved conditions for biking on Evergreen since Sylvain was killed.

Evergreen Avenue has two lanes for parking but not enough space for cyclists and motorists to pass safely. Video stills: ABC
Evergreen Avenue has two lanes for parking but not enough space for cyclists and motorists to pass safely. Video stills: ABC

A Sanitation Department driver severely injured a cyclist in Bushwick last night and left the scene. The crash happened on Evergreen Avenue, the street where a truck driver killed cyclist Leah Sylvain two years ago.

The victim, a 25-year-old woman whose name was not released, was biking north on Evergreen near Menahan Street at around 8:40 p.m. when the sanitation worker, driving in the same direction, hit her with a garbage truck.

“Half her arm was hanging off,” a witness told the Post. “It was awful. She was just laying in the bike lane, not really moving.”

The Collision Investigation Squad, which only works the most serious crashes, was dispatched to the scene.

The victim was taken to the hospital in critical condition. Her condition was upgraded to critical but stable last night, an NYPD spokesperson told Streetsblog.

Police tracked down the truck at a sanitation garage on Varick Street and took the driver and a passenger into custody for questioning. No arrests had been made as of this afternoon, according to NYPD.

Sticking to the NYPD’s post-hit-and-run script, police offered the driver a pre-emptive defense, telling the Daily News he or she was “possibly oblivious” to the collision. Most hit-and-run drivers who strike people in NYC are not held accountable in any way.

A query to the Sanitation Department for details on the crash and the driver was unreturned as of this writing.

Evergreen near the site of yesterday’s crash.
Evergreen near the site of yesterday’s crash.

Evergreen Avenue is a narrow one-way street with a painted bike lane. Much of the street, including the site of yesterday’s crash, has two lanes for parking but not enough space for motorists and cyclists to pass each other safely.

Last night’s collision occurred nine blocks from the site where a fuel truck driver ran over and killed 27-year-old Leah Sylvain in June 2016. NYPD and the press publicly trashed Sylvain, claiming she caused the crash, before evidence showed the driver violated her right of way.

DOT has not improved conditions for biking on Evergreen Avenue since Sylvain was killed. In the past, DOT’s answer to bike lanes on narrower streets has been to replace the lane with sharrows while leaving parking untouched.

Update: DSNY sent us a statement:

The Department of Sanitation is fully cooperating with NYPD’s investigation. In addition, the Department of Sanitation’s Safety Division is conducting its own internal investigation.

Per DSNY standard protocol, the Sanitation Workers have been placed on modified duty and are not driving. Further disciplinary action could result pending the outcome of the investigations.

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