The month of September is not even two weeks old; However, the NYPD says the death Thursday of a 29-year-old-bicyclist, who was hit by car as he was trying to cross Ocean Parkway by Avenue N, marks the four time this month alone that a bicyclist has been struck and killed in NYC.
Several people who live in and around Midwood where the incident took place tell NY1 that drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians need to do a better job of sharing the roads to avoid more tragedies.
“As soon as I pulled up, EMS was already here,” said bicyclist Eli Mishanie of Midwood. “The patient was lying down. Blood all over his face and it wasn’t a good scene.”
For Mashanie and other cyclists who are well aware of the dangers of riding a bike by Ocean Parkway and Avenue N, the death of the bicyclist, who police have not identified publicly, was disturbing but not surprising.
“I see close calls a lot!” said bicyclist Moshi Greenberg, “especially over here on Ocean Parkway. They are coming fast!”
“People just don’t respect bicycles out here,” said cyclist Tuvia Pearson. “I try to ride this as little as possible. Otherwise I’d take my car! The cars go around. They don’t respect us!”
Police say the bicyclist suffered head trauma and was pronounced dead after he was struck by a Camaro that appeared to have a green light.
To cross busy Ocean Parkway at Avenue N, there is no designated bike lane.
Danny Harris, the executor director of the advocacy group Transportation Alternatives, says the city needs to get the wheels in motion and build a connected network of protected bike lanes across the boroughs.
"We need to be prioritizing street safety and Vision Zero,” says Harris. “This was a marquee program of Mayor de Blasio and the responsibility falls squarely on him to ensure that not only do we have safe streets, but we can achieve Vision Zero, where there are no deaths on our streets."
The bicycle fatality Thursday came just three days after 35-year-old Sarah Pitts was struck and killed by a charter bus while riding her bike in Williamsburg.
Pitts had worked for the Brooklyn DA’s office as a senior assistant district attorney.
The NYPD says so far this year, at least 14 bicyclists have died, after their bikes were struck on the streets of New York City. Four of those incidents happened this month alone.
NY1 has reached out to the Mayor’s office seeking comment for this report. So far, we have not heard back.