WILLIAMSBURG, Brooklyn, N.Y. — Professional bicycle messengers and transportation advocates rallied Monday, March 4, 2019, to memorialize one of their own who died in a hit-and-collision on February 28, 2019. The group held a vigil for the 25-year-old bike messenger who was run down by a tanker truck. The truck driver left the accident scene. According to the New York Daily News, cyclists argue that Mayor de Blasio does not emphasize cycling safety in the City as evidenced by the alarming rate at which bike riders have been killed this year. To date, five bicyclists have died in collisions with motor vehicles.
Many of the deceased cyclists’ friends and members of an advocacy group called Transportation Alternatives and another group called Families for Safe Streets called for sweeping changes to protect bicycle riders’ lives. They argue Mayor de Blasio should meet with them and learn about their concerns. The groups claim that the area in which the rider died, which is the intersection of Broadway and Marcy Ave, is a dangerous area. One local politician called Mayor de Blasio tone deaf about the plight of cyclists in the City. Advocates say the New York needs a mayor who spends time outside in the city and not merely going from car door to the next building.
This section of Broadway was part of Mayor de Blasio’s initial Vision Zero plan first publicized in 2015. The City listed this intersection in need of priority attention. However, no changes have been made. Without changes, many more bike riders could become victims. The whole of NYC is on a pace to surpass last year’s death total of ten cyclists by June. The City is on pace to experience around 30 fatal bicycle crashes.
Advocates want Mayor de Blasio to understand the urgency of the situation. The impending L train construction closures will increase the bicycle traffic in the area, especially on the Williamsburg Bridge.
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