NINETEEN: Another Cyclist Killed, This Time on Brutal Coney Island Avenue [UPDATED]
Updated | Another cyclist — the 19th of this bloody, bloody year — is dead, killed in a collision after a driver ran a red light on deadly Coney Island Avenue in Brooklyn.
According to the NYPD, an 18-year-old driver of a 2019 Dodge Charger, traveling southbound on Coney Island Avenue at around 12:30 p.m., collided with a 2018 Honda mini-van that was being driven eastbound on Avenue L.
“The collision caused the SUV to diagonally slide onto the southeast corner of the intersection, where it struck the bicyclist,” cops said in a statement.
Except there’s one little thing the NYPD left out: the teenager ran a red light at blinding speed, as a horrific dashboard video clearly shows. Yet the driver was not initially charged. Meanwhile, cyclist Jose Alzorriz of Park Slope was rushed to Coney Island Hospital, where he died.
Alzorriz never had a chance, as the video shows.
Residents of Midwood have long complained about Coney Island Avenue, which suffers from a lack of enforcement because it is on the border of multiple police precincts. The intersection in question is split between the 66th and 70 precincts.
“Coney Island Avenue is a dangerous multi lane speedway, very much in need of traffic calming,” said Nina Sabghir. “Part of what make Coney Island Avenue so dangerous is the complete lack of enforcement for double parking. Vehicles have to zig zag in and out of lanes and make turns from the wrong lane. This makes it difficult to see pedestrians trying to cross. Some street redesign has been done. But there is much to do.”
The 2.7 miles of Coney Island Avenue from Caton Avenue to Avenue P is one of the most treacherous stretches of roadway in Brooklyn. From July, 2018 to July, 2019, there have been 578 crashes, injuring 19 cyclists, 43 pedestrians and 114 motorists. That’s a rate of almost 1.6 crashes per day — on just a short strip of roadway.
The one pedestrian fatality came last month at the intersection of Church Avenue. Maria Del Carmen Porras-Hernandez was run over and killed by a driver inside the marked crosswalk. The driver was later issued a traffic summons, further evidence of the ease with which drivers can kill with little punishment.
“Coney Island Avenue is a hostile environment, especially for those not in a vehicle,” Transportation Alternatives said in a statement. “Designed to move cars as quickly as possible, this street is incompatible with Vision Zero. That’s why we’re calling on the City Council … to unite behind Speaker Corey Johnson’s Streets Master Plan bill, which would accelerate the schedule of redesigning deadly corridors like Coney Island Avenue. All City Council members, but particularly those in Brooklyn given the devastating concentration of deadly crashes in the borough, should unite and push for passage as soon as possible.”
Update: The crash itself was in Council Member Kalman Yeger’s district. An earlier version of this story quoted Transportation Alternatives as calling out Council Member Mathieu Eugene for his repeated failures on street safety issues. Yeger’s record is equally spotty. Neither has returned repeated calls from Streetsblog to discuss their commitment to road safety.