Cyclist Injuries Still Soaring In The Bronx — Despite Falling Citywide

Candles mark the spot where Ivan Morales was killed. Photo: Steven Vago
Candles mark the spot where Ivan Morales was killed. Photo: Steven Vago

Injuries to Bronx cyclists soared last week compared to the same time period last year — even as total collisions are down, and as bike injuries in the other four boroughs are also down, according to NYPD statistics.

According to the NYPD’s traffic stat, there were 20 injuries to cyclists in the Bronx between June 8 and June 14 — nine (or 81.8 percent) more than during the same week last year.

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Citywide, bike injuries are down 30.7 percent. In Brooklyn North, injuries are down 45 percent; 50 percent in Brooklyn South; 29.4 percent in Manhattan North; 33.3 percent in Manhattan South; 59.1 percent in Queens North; 16.7 percent in Queens South; they remain unchanged in Staten Island, according to the data.

The Bronx is the only borough in the city where injuries are still spiking — which advocates blamed on the city’s failure to build out safe and protected bike lanes in neighborhoods that need it most, many of which are low-income communities of color with high populations of delivery cyclists.

“Compared to Manhattan and Brooklyn, the Bronx has seen comparatively little investment in safe cycling infrastructure,” said Transportation Alternatives’ Executive Director Danny Harris. “New York cannot continue to be a city where cycling infrastructure is installed slowly over years in a piecemeal fashion, and mostly in predominantly wealthy, white neighborhoods.”

The stats come on the heels of two Bronx cyclists killed just days apart. Ivan Morales, a 24-year-old delivery cyclist, died from his injuries on June 11 after being struck by the driver of a 2013 Lexus on Willis Avenue and E. 138th Street on June 5. And just days later on June 11, Jose Luis Estudillo Garcia, 38, was fatally struck by the driver of a box truck who had been attempting to  “navigate around” a double-parked vehicle on Park Avenue near E. 138th Street, Streetsblog reported at the time. Neither drivers has been charged.

And disturbing video posted to Twitter on Wednesday shows a driver plow through the intersection of East Fordham Road and Jerome Avenue, at what appears to be an incredibly high rate of speed, just as two cyclists and two pedestrians are crossing in the intersection, knocking at least two of them off their bikes and feet. The driver then rams into a building.

The NYPD did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but all four people in the video appear to get up and walk away.

(Content warning: graphic)

Last month, Mayor de Blasio announced more miles of open streets to allow for socially distant recreation during the COVID-19 pandemic along with a total of 9.2 miles of protected bike lanes — but none of the new bike lanes was announced for the Bronx, despite the rise in injuries and Citi Bike’s expansion to the borough.

That expansion is centered around the four Bronx precincts that comprise a majority of this year’s injuries: the 40th in the South Bronx (16 injuries), the 44th (around Yankee Stadium) and 52nd just to the northeast of that (13 each) and the 43rd in Soundview (12).

The Department of Transportation did not respond to a request for comment if any new protected bike lanes are slated for the Bronx, but local Council Member Vanessa Gibson said she is actively working to identify “additional routes for bike lanes and safer paths” for cyclists in her district for this summer.

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