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Hit-and-Run Driver Sends Bronx Cyclist to Hospital Amid Injury Surge

3:09 PM EDT on September 4, 2020

Cops on the scene after a cyclist was struck in a hit-and-run in the Bronx early Friday. Video: Citizen

Cops are looking for the hit-and-run driver who struck a cyclist in the Bronx on Friday morning, sending the unconscious biker to the hospital with serious injuries.

The crash comes just days after city officials said they were cracking down on reckless drivers in the borough, but refused to commit to creating safer bike infrastructure.

Police had limited information on the crash but say the driver of a white sedan hit the reportedly 25-year-old cyclist near the intersection of Rosedale Avenue and Bruckner Boulevard at about 10 a.m. and then fled the scene. A police spokesman said paramedics rushed the victim to a local hospital with a “possible broken leg and arm.”

Video taken at the scene by Freedom News TV shows the cyclist’s mangled bike lying on the road next to the curb on Bruckner Boulevard, where there is no bike lane.

Just three days earlier and about a mile away, Department of Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg and NYPD Chief of Transportation Nilda Hofmann announced that the city was lowering the speed limit to 25 miles per hour from 30 miles per hour on nine high-crash city corridors, including Bruckner Boulevard.

The NYPD conducted a four-week educational operation and ticket sting from June 29 through July in order crack down on speeding and reckless drivers in the Bronx, which has seen a steady rise in cyclist injuries.

Hofmann said the enforcement operation, during which cops handed out 2,000 moving violations and 7,500 parking summonses, helped reduce the number of pedestrians getting hurt, but did nothing to curb cyclist injuries.

“We’ve seen a decrease in pedestrian injuries along targeted corridors, like Bruckner. Bike injuries remain the same,” Hofmann said Tuesday.

Injuries to cyclists have fallen about two percent citywide so far this year, compared to the same time period last year, according to NYPD statistics, but injuries have jumped about 35 percent in the Bronx. They’ve risen consistently during the COVID-19 pandemic, even with less traffic, as Streetsblog has reported.

Bike injuries in the Bronx week, month, and year-to-date. Source: NYPD
Bike injuries in the Bronx week, month, and year-to-date. Source: NYPD

Trottenberg earlier this week defended her agency's partnership with the NYPD, offering no commitment to build out a robust network of protected bike lanes in the borough, where three cyclists were killed in in the last three months.

On June 5, 24-year-old Ivan Morales, a delivery cyclist, was struck on Willis Avenue and E. 138th Street. He died from his injuries on June 11. The same day, Jose Luis Estudillo Garcia, 38, was fatally struck by the driver of a box truck on Park Avenue near E. 138th Street; on June 20, Edward Marrow, 43, was struck while riding an e-bike in Pelham Bay Park. Last week, a fourth cyclist, who was struck near East 175th Street on Aug. 5, died from his injuries, making him the 10th cyclist killed in the city this year.

Advocates say more police enforcement won't stop cyclists from getting hurt or dying — only protected bike lanes will.

“What cyclists from all over the city, but especially in the Bronx, need from this administration is more protected bike-lane infrastructure. The Bronx needs redesigned streets that are self-enforcing, not streets that are reliant on NYPD enforcement to ensure safeness,” said Erwin Figueroa, director of organizing at Transportation Alternatives.

Police say there are no arrests and the investigation is ongoing.

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