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Bronx Cyclist Dies in Solo Crash Inside Van Cortlandt Park

2:34 PM EDT on June 15, 2021

The NYC Greenway bike path, facing north, near the entrance at Van Cortland Park South and Dickinson Avenue. Photo: Eve Kessler

A Bronx cyclist is dead, apparently of blunt-force trauma, after falling off her bicycle in Van Cortlandt Park on Friday, police said.

Jian Hua Li, 56, of 3400 Paul Ave. in the borough's Bedford Park section, was cycling north on a two-way park path having entered the park at Dickinson Avenue Friday afternoon at around 12:30 when she apparently crashed and fell off her bike. She was found by passersby lying on the roadway unconscious and unresponsive, with head trauma, cops said. Police said she was not wearing a helmet. (Cyclists over the age of 13 are not required to do so in New York City.)

Emergency responders took Li to nearby Montefiore Hospital, where she died.

The corner of Dickenson Avenue and Van Cortland Park South, near where biker Jian Hua Li was found dead Friday.
The corner of Dickinson Avenue and Van Cortlandt Park South, near where biker Jian Hua Li was found severely injured on Friday.

At Li's building, Scott Tower, a tan-brick edifice across Paul Avenue from the famed Bronx High School of Science, her children answered the door but declined to speak to Streetsblog. People in the building said that Li, a regular cyclist, was riding her own bike when she apparently lost control.

The NYPD Highway District’s Collision Investigation Squad is still investigating, but police said that no other person or vehicle figured in the crash.

The Van Cortlandt Park mixed-use path on which Li was traveling — part of the NYC Greenway — is not especially rutted as New York City bike paths go, but it is steep. A sign at the entrance of the park near Dickinson Avenue and Van Cortlandt Park South says "CAUTION STEEP INCLINE" while an adjacent one admonishes cyclists to proceed slowly. The path, a well-traveled way into the park, descends toward the Van Cortlandt Park Golf Course and serves cyclists, walkers and park-maintenance vehicles.

There was no evidence of any collision visible on Tuesday morning.

Li is the fifth cyclist to die in the city this year; the others were killed by car drivers.

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