Reckless Driver Plows Through Long Island City Bike Racks Before Ditching SUV
Cops didn't have any information on the crash or the driver.
A reckless driver caromed onto the sidewalk outside Hunters Point South Park in Long Island City on Thursday morning, crashed into a row of bike racks, and then abandoned the vehicle at the scene.
The aftermath of the crash was observed by Walking LIC, a group that documents “what pedestrians have to put up with in Long Island City,” and which took the photos accompanying this story. Walking LIC saw police interacting with a damaged vehicle a block away from the crash site, although there was no sign of the motorist. Apparently no one was injured in the crash, nor was anyone charged; the 108th Precinct traffic-safety officer couldn’t provide any more information, nor could an NYPD spokesperson; a neighborhood coordination officer did not return a request for comment.
Looks like someone was speeding, jumped the curb at Hunters Point South Park and hit the bike racks with enough speed to shatter 4 steel bike racks and bend a 5th, then proceeded a block on Center before either being stopped or abandoning the vehicle. pic.twitter.com/A784cGrQ9v
— Walking LIC (@LICwalkers) July 22, 2021
The unknown driver is plainly a danger to the community. Walking LIC ran the plates of the Chrysler SUV through the Howsmydriving Twitter bot, and discovered five violations, including three school-zone speeding tickets, all in the past two months.
The crash — besides being yet another instance of criminally reckless driving — diminished the stock of Gotham’s woefully inadequate bike parking. Even as cycling has boomed, the Department of Transportation maintains only a bit more than 28,000 sidewalk CityRacks (those were the kind destroyed) and a minimal number of curbside bike corrals and sidewalk bike-parking shelters.
Last year, owing to COVID, the city installed a paltry 642 new racks of the 1,500 it had planned. Then, playing catch-up, the DOT earlier this year promised to install 10,000 bike racks in two years, although many doubted it would happen. A DOT spokesman said the agency had installed 2,100 year to date, however — which could put it on track to accomplish the goal.
New York lags far behind even many smaller cities in the facilities it provides for its cyclists, and bike-rack installation has fallen precipitously under Mayor de Blasio, as the charts below show.