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NYPD: MTA Bus Driver Kills Cyclist in Queens

10:59 AM EDT on September 3, 2020

File photo: Dave Colon|

Photo: Dave Colon

A cyclist was struck and killed by the driver of an MTA bus Wednesday night in Woodside, according to police, who are already blaming the victim.

Cops say the 50-year-old cyclist, whose name police have not yet released, was traveling west on 31st Avenue when he blew through a "steady red light" near 51st Street, and was "dragged by the bus" for several blocks at about 11:30 pm. Paramedics rushed the victim to Mount Sinai Hospital-Queens, where he died.

Police, who are already absolving the bus driver by saying he "did not realize that he hit someone," could not say whether he was speeding or distracted when he fatally hit the cyclist at what Queens bikers and advocates say is a dangerous intersection with no protected bike lane.

The cyclist was the 11th killed on city roads this year and the first in Queens, according to city data and Crash Mapper. And injuries to cyclists are up almost five percent for the week of Aug. 24 through Aug. 30, and 10 percent this month compared to the same time period last year, according to NYPD data.

Bike injuries per NYPD data. Source: NYPD
Bike injuries per NYPD data. Source: NYPD
Bike injuries per NYPD data. Source: NYPD

Queens safe-street advocates and elected officials say the de Blasio administration must immediately expand the borough's network of protected bike lanes to keep the most vulnerable road users safe, especially as more New Yorkers are choosing to bike amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

"We know that protected bike lanes can prevent tragedies like what happened last night in Queens. Yet the Mayor has halted his own 'Green Wave' plan meant to protect cyclists, and has largely ignored the recommendations of his own Surface Transportation Advisory Council for how to rapidly build a network of connected and protected bike lanes at a low cost," said Transportation Alternatives Deputy Director Marco Conner DiAquoi. "In a city where more and more New Yorkers are biking for transportation, Mayor de Blasio has a choice. He can continue to do very little, hobbling New York City’s recovery and letting people die, or he can make space on the road for people on bikes, and end this cycle of predictable, preventable tragedy."

Police say no arrests have been made and an investigation is ongoing. A spokeswoman for the MTA said the agency is working with the NYPD.

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