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Cyclist Killed By School Bus Driver on Central Park Transverse

File photo: Dave Colon

The 29th cyclist of the year has been killed this morning on the 96th Street transverse in Central Park, NYPD said early Wednesday.

The 50-year-old cyclist, Daniel Cammerman, was within the park on the transverse, heading eastbound, when he was struck by the yellow school bus driver, who was also traveling eastbound with 14 kids onboard at the time of the crash, about 8:30 on Wednesday morning, police said.

just the non injury crashes
These are just this year's non-injury crashes on Fifth Avenue. Photo: Crashmapper
These are just this year's non-injury crashes on Fifth Avenue. Photo: Crashmapper

A police spokesman could not initially provide information about whether the driver was speeding or failing to yield, but added that "no criminality is suspected at this time." The investigation is ongoing. (After initial publication of this story, a police spokesman said that Cammerman had hit a patch of ice on the roadway and swerved or skidded into the path of the bus — but the spokesman provided no information about the origin of that detail, which was likely provided by the school bus driver.)

The cyclist, a Manhattan pediatrician known by legions of parents, was taken to Mt. Sinai Hospital, where he died. He leaves behind a wife and two children.

Cars are more or less banned inside Central Park, but are still legal on the crosstown transverses that criss-cross the park at major streets.

Biking on the East Side of Manhattan is extremely dangerous, as there are no north- or southbound protected bike lanes west of Second Avenue. As a result, many cyclists take Fifth Avenue, where drivers frequently hit and injure them.

So far this year, there have been 302 reported crashes just on Fifth Avenue from 110th to 59th streets, roughly one per day, causing injuries to 15 cyclists, 17 pedestrians and 25 drivers.

Transportation Alternatives' Executive Director Danny Harris pointed out that 2019 has been the deadliest year for cycling since 1999. And pedestrian deaths are also up.

Daniel Cammerman
Daniel Cammerman
Daniel Cammerman was killed on his bike on Dec. 18, 2019 in Central Park.

"We do not need thoughts, hopes, prayers or distant plans from our leaders. We need immediate action to give all New Yorkers safe, equitable and dignified transportation alternatives," Harris said. "As a city, we have scores of examples where street improvements, including protected bike lanes, save lives and build a better city for everyone. Despite our successes, New York City has still failed to build a protected and connected bike network that could have prevented this tragedy and countless others."

He called on Mayor de Blasio to "build a city that celebrates human life, not traffic.”

Updated on Thursday, Dec. 19 at 11:15 a.m.

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