Reckless Driver Plows Through Long Island City Bike Racks Before Ditching SUV

Cops didn't have any information on the crash or the driver.

Police tape surrounds five city bike racks destroyed by a motorist Thursday morning in Long Island City. One of the six racks at the location apparently remained unscathed. Photo: Walking LIC Via Twitter
Police tape surrounds five city bike racks destroyed by a motorist Thursday morning in Long Island City. One of the six racks at the location apparently remained unscathed. Photo: Walking LIC Via Twitter

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.

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 offending vehicle from the LIC crash, no driver in evidence. Photo: Walking LIC Via Twitter
The offending vehicle from the LIC crash, no driver in evidence. Photo: Walking LIC Via Twitter

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.

A chart looks at New York City's bike-rack installation figures compared to those of other cities. Image: Bike New York
A chart looks at New York City’s bike-rack installation figures compared to those of other cities. Image: Bike New York
Source: Transportation Alternatives
Source: Transportation Alternatives

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