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Another Cyclist Killed in One of the Deadliest Years on Record

A rider of an electric bike was killed by a hit-and-run truck driver on Northern Boulevard early on Thursday morning.

9:33 PM EST on December 28, 2023

Photos: Google/WABC7|

The dangerous intersection of Northern and Parsons boulevards is complicated by two turning lanes that are frequently backed up.

A rider of an electric bike was killed by a hit-and-run truck driver on Northern Boulevard early on Thursday morning, cops said, raising to 29 the number of bike riders killed in an historically deadly year for cyclists.

Cops said that the bike rider was traveling eastbound on Northern Boulevard at around 6:10 a.m. At the intersection with Parsons Boulevard, the 82-year-old rider of the small powered bike used a turning bay to begin a left turn, but he never made it all the way across the wide intersection, instead being slammed into by the driver of a red tractor trailer with Maine license plates.

The truck driver didn't stop. His victim, whose name was not immediately released, died at the scene.

The rider of this bike was killed on Northern Boulevard on Thursday.Photo: WABC7

Video broadcast by ABC7 showed that the electric bike was a type similar to folding bikes. The network wrongly characterized it as a moped.

The death — the 29th so far this year — makes 2023 one of the deadliest years for cyclists. New York Magazine recently called it the deadliest year in at least 20 years, but the magazine included electric bikes in its total, which was not done during the recent worst year, 2019, when then-Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a spate of life-saving strategies that include a "Green Wave" plan that led to decreases in cyclist deaths. Thirty-five cyclists were killed in 1999, a year when there were far fewer cyclists.

This year, Mayor Adams missed his legal requirement under the Streets Plan to build 50 miles of protected bike lanes, hitting just about 30. Council Transportation Committee Chair Selvena Brooks-Powers criticized the overall Adams effort, saying in a statement, "There is still a long way to go on other aspects of safety legal obligations that must be met by the DOT. Thirty-plus miles of completed new bike lane is of course better than none, but falls far short of Streets Plan requirements."

She also noted the Adams administration's failure to meet its required 30 miles of enhanced bus lanes.

"[Missing the] bus lane targets ... is yet another reminder of the Department of Transportation’s consistent failure to be transparent about their progress toward adhering to the law over the course of the year," she said. "In the new year, I will continue to hold the DOT accountable and work to advance safe, equitable, and accessible transportation for all new Yorkers."

The city has made efforts to tame traffic on the western end of Northern Boulevard, but east of Flushing Bay, it's still an exceptionally dangerous, congested strip of two lanes of traffic in each direction. In just the one mile east of College Point Boulevard, there have been 114 reported crashes this year alone, injuring five cyclists, 19 pedestrians and 33 motorists. That's up from 98 reported crashes last year and 105 in 2021, according to city stats.

The cyclist death comes as the MTA reported on Thursday that more cars are entering the city than ever before. As a result, crashes are soaring. Through Dec. 23, the NYPD says there have been 93,850 reported crashes in the five boroughs, or roughly 262 per day. Those crashes have injured 50,360 people, or roughly 140 per day.

In all of 2022, 49,452 were injured, or roughly 135 per day.

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