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Cyclist Killed After Being Doored Into Traffic on Unsafe Brooklyn Street in Already Violent Year

Broadway's danger is well known to DOT, which named it a Vision Zero Priority Corridor — yet the agency did nothing.

Photo: Liam Quigley|

The driver of a car that’s not in this picture opened his door into the roadway, hitting a cyclist, who was then thrown into the roadway to be hit by the driver of the blue car.

A cyclist on Broadway in Brooklyn, a known danger area for drivers, cyclists and pedestrians, was killed by a driver on Tuesday morning after he was thrown into traffic when another driver doored him.

According to the NYPD, just before 8 a.m., the 64-year-old victim was riding a Citi Bike eastbound on Broadway near the intersection of Lorimer when the driver of a black Honda Accord opened his door into the cyclist's path, sending him tumbling to the pavement, where he was fatally struck by the driver of a 2020 Hyundai Elantra.

The moment of the dooring can be seen in a video obtained by Williamsburg News and provided to Streetsblog.

This video shows the driver of the black car opening his door into traffic, striking the cyclist, who was then hit by the driver of another car. (Note: May not display in Chrome)

First responders rushed the man, whose identity is being withheld pending family notification, to Bellevue Hospital, where he died.

A broken pedal-assist Citi Bike remained in the street hours after the crash. A spokesperson for the NYPD say the drivers of both the Elantra and the Accord remained on scene, and no summonses have been issued, but that the investigation into the crash remains ongoing.

It's against the law to open a vehicle door into traffic if it's not "reasonably safe" to do so, or if it interferes with the movement of traffic, but drivers who strike cyclists with their door rarely get tickets. A City Council bill set to be reintroduced this week would require taxi owners to place stickers warning passengers to look for cyclists in the road before opening their door.

In one 2019 instance when a driver was actually ticketed for dooring Em Samolewicz and throwing her into the path of a truck while she was riding her bike on Third Avenue, then-Borough President Eric Adams said the incident showed the need for more protected bike lanes.

As mayor, Adams has fallen short of installing legally mandated protected bike lane miles for two consecutive years, and his Department of Transportation has presented just one new bike lane project since last September (in the Bronx). Last year, when cycling deaths climbed towards its eventual total of 29, the Adams administration defended its record on cyclist safety by suggesting that e-bikes alone were responsible for the high number of deaths, as opposed to the street conditions or unpunished dooring law violators that leave vulnerable road users on their own.

Council Member Jen Gutiérrez, who represents the north side of Broadway and Lorimer, tweeted that it was well past time for the city to take responsibility for creating a safer Broadway.

"Devastating to hear about the fatal cyclist accident this AM on Broadway & Lorimer," she tweeted on Tuesday morning. "Broadway is notoriously difficult & dangerous for cyclists, pedestrians, and motorists alike. The corridor has been a Vision Zero priority for 10+, where is the accountability for this death?"

Gutierrez is right that Broadway, which runs underneath an elevated train and is often treated as a lawless wasteland by drivers, has been on New York City's radar for years. In 2019, Aurilla Lawrence was killed while riding her bike on Broadway just a few blocks west of Tuesday's crash when she was hit by the driver of a tanker truck.

Broadway's dangers are well known to DOT. In the agency's first Pedestrian Safety Action Plans in 2015, the entire stretch of Broadway between Kent Avenue and East New York Avenue was deemed a Vision Zero Priority Corridor because it had a high rate of pedestrian and cyclist deaths and severe injuries compared to the rest of the city.

In the 2023 Pedestrian Safety Action Plan, the same unimproved corridor was still on the DOT's list.

The DOT defended its work on Broadway, noting that the agency had redesigned nine of the many intersections on the street, and is working on a project that will be installed at the Lorimer Street intersection later this year.

"One traffic death is too many, and our thoughts are with the friends and family of the victim," said DOT spokesperson Mona Bruno. "A Vision Zero priority corridor, NYC DOT has completed several safety projects along Broadway in recent years, including the redesign of nine intersections and a plaza extension at Hooper Street—and is actively working on a project to implement at this location this year."

In a statement on the crash, Transportation Alternatives pointed out that Broadway does not have a bike lane, and that the intersection where the crash occurred lacks daylighting measures. There have been 15 crashes just at the intersection of Broadway and Lorimer Street between January 2021 and December 2023, that injured four cyclists, one pedestrian and four motorists.

Broadway and Lorimer Street is unwelcoming to everyone by the hardiest pedestrians and cyclists.Transportation Alternatives

"We know which streets and intersections in our city are dangerous – it’s time to truly fix them before more New Yorkers are injured or killed on the mayor’s streets," said Transportation Alternatives Executive Director Danny Harris. "This street has been a Vision Zero Priority corridor for over a decade, and let this be another tragic call for the City to fix it and keep cyclists safe."

Adding to the chaos in the area, a passenger in a speeding car was killed a few blocks away on Lorimer Street and Harrison Street when a driver ran a red light and hit a MTA bus on Monday night, sending the passenger flying through the windshield, The Brooklyn Paper reported.

According to the DOT, this has already been an exceptionally bloody year, with 36 traffic fatalities through Feb. 26, up from 32 during the same period last year.

Chart: DOT

Correction: An earlier version of this story failed to include a new bike lane project that DOT presented on Feb. 15 in the Bronx.

Clarification: After initial publication of this story, the Department of Transportation sent over more information about its efforts on Broadway.

First, here is a map of the area:

Next, the agency said it had made changes at five of the 17 intersections between Hooper Street and Flushing Avenue, work that dates back to 2018.

And in 2021, the agency closed a slip lane at the intersection of Broadway, Patchen and Lafayette avenues. The agency also closed a slip lane at Flushing and Graham avenues in 2022 and closed the squibb end of South Ninth Street at Broadway.

The agency also daylighted one part of the intersection of Broadway and Lewis Avenue.

And, finally, the agency said it would review the design at the location of the crash as it does for all fatal crashes.

The stretch of Broadway between Kent Avenue and East New York Avenue comprises roughly 80 intersections, many featuring multiple streets coming together. According to city stats, in 2013, before Vision Zero took effect, 203 were injured in motor vehicle crashes on that stretch. Last year, 240 were injured. Those injuries include 45 cyclists and 44 pedestrians and the fatalities of one cyclist and one pedestrian.

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