Readers: What’s being done to keep cyclists from dying?

for Brooklyn Paper
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A truck driver struck and killed a 30-year-old cyclist in Sunset Park on Monday.

The victim, identified as Em Samolewicz, was traveling north along Third Avenue near 36th Street when she swerved into the path of a massive 18-wheel Freightliner truck traveling behind her to avoid a door of a parked van at 9 a.m., cops said.

Emergency responders rushed the victim to NYU Langone Hospital-Brooklyn where she was pronounced dead, according to police.

The 37-year-old driver remained on the scene, and the investigation remains ongoing, authorities say.

Police set up a crime scene surrounding the fallen bike, which lay on Third Avenue near a pool of vomit. The white van that forced the cyclist into the trucker’s path remained barricaded behind police caution tape, according to witnesses..

Readers shared their thoughts online:

We can’t get rid of on-street parking soon enough.Mike from Williamsburg

Before opening a car door a driver is supposed to by law check if anyone is coming towards them. The car driver should at least be ticketed and charged.Susan Rosenfeld from Sheepshead Bay

NYC.GOV has failed its people by encouraging them to play-bike in traffic. So many more will die at the hands of this mayor - it is an obvious crisis and he should be banning bikes in unprotected lanes. Cyclists and bikes must licensed to develop some sense of accountability and limit bikers that are unwilling to take cycling seriously.Proof Possitive

What does the mayor expect? He’s encouraged bike riders to jump into NYC traffic willy nilly. They don’t have to pass a road test, don’t have to have licenses or carry insurance. Who’s surprised when these bikers flout traffic rules, ride any way they like, blowing red lights, riding the wrong way and on sidewalks, squeezing between cars and trucks, cutting across traffic. When will the city require these cyclists to learn and obey the rules of the road?

Daryl from Park Slope

It’s time to get rid of the bikers, they are just a pain for cars and pedestrians etcBen from Brooklyn

This is a tragedy. I think the answer may be to ban all vehicles, trucks included, from entering the borough of Brooklyn. Who needs these fossil fuel spewing vessels from our distant past. I wouldn’t mind picking up my packages from a central point in Manhattan. And with email, who needs snail mail anymore?

Penelope from Brooklyn

I don’t think it’s a good idea to have bicycle lanes on 3rd ave. Already a lot of these people don’t watch where they going they run the lights they have NO helmets on. I think if a car driver should stop on red they should as well and also be ticketed for passing the light. Ijs keeping it real. My Community can do without bicycle lanes, it’s too much of a headache.if they do it they should also follow rules and get ticket if helmet is not on.Nae from Sunset Park

It’s time to get rid of Ben from Brooklyn. Proof Possitive drivers are licensed and some have no sense of accountability. Susan is correct regarding the law, however this applies to both the passenger side AND the driver’s side. I have been a driver (and biker) for over 50 years, always checked for oncoming traffic, there are no blind spots when checking for oncoming traffic from either side of the vehicle. It’s about time that drivers and bikers have respect for one another and learn to share the road.

Jeff from Brooklyn

Lane blame

The mayor needs to stay in his lane!

Southern Brooklyn community boards slammed Mayor Bill de Blasio for asserting his right to overrule their recommendations in the name of street safety when it comes to his recently-announced, sweeping bike lane expansion

De Blasio said that, while he would take community boards’s input into consideration, he would “just give the order” to install new bike lanes if he feels that the civic panels were obstructing city efforts to save lives — but one Manhattan Beach community board honcho said the city has ignored the boards plenty of times in the past, leaving locals with an already severe shortage of parking spaces as a result.

“In the past, they have unilaterally decided to remove parking in southern Brooklyn,” said Theresa Scavo, chairwoman of Community Board 15, which includes Sheepshead Bay, Gravesend, and Brighton Beach.

Readers were divided online:

The number of cars on the streets is astronomically higher than the number of bikes — you cannot compare pedestrian fatalities one to one. Basic statistics. Furthermore, why do only immediate deaths count? Knock an older person down, break their hip, pelvis, collarbone, basically kill them, just not right away.

Mathemaician from Brooklyn

Those dang NIMBYs and their precious parking spots again. The City needs to start issuing costly permits to park on the streets. Bikes come first!Taksa from Carroll Gardens

Too many lanes already. Not enough parking. Drivers are careless just as cyclists are. Everybody texting looking down not paying attention. Enough with the bike lanes & bike stations. Im against it bottom line.Richie from Bklyn hgts

Richie, You are right that both drivers and cyclists are careless, but you do not seem to be aware that thousands of your fellow Brooklynites use bicycles to get to and from their jobs and for daily errands and necessities. These people are tired of getting hurt by drivers not paying attention and some not caring.Susan Rosenfeld from Sheepshead bay

The DOT is not maintaining the existing roads and bike lanes in southern Brooklyn. Garbage, puddles, glass, screws, etc. accumulate on the “protected” bike paths. Most roads in southern Brooklyn are already designed wide enough for bicycles and automobiles to safely share the road. The real problem is you have reckless cyclists and motorists, and that will not change because Kaiser Wilhelm orders more bike lanes.

Historian from Marine Park

Ahhhh, South Brooklyn... also known as North Staten Island.

Leftover Larry from Sheepshead Bay

In Brooklyn - from Jan. 1 to May 29 of this year: 1181 crashes Reported to NYPD: 10 incidents where a pedestrian was injured by a bicyclist (none killed) 1055 where a pedestrian was killed or injured by a driver. 1082 persons injured 12 killed

Peter Kaufman from Brooklyn Heights

Preserving cheap parking spots should be formally excluded from the business of community boards. Cheap parking spots are incompatible with the notion of community anyway.ddartley from Stuyvesant Town

Don’t slash bus service!

I’m living in the NYCHA building since January 2016 with my family. Occasionally, I took this bus from my residence to downtown Brooklyn for my medical appointments and back. In the majority of the time, I had to wait for at least fifteen minutes with several other people in the bus stop that it’s in front of my residence. This was occurring during bad weather. When these buses do arrive, they are arriving in bunches, three at a time. There is overcrowding in the majority of the 40 foot standard buses. There is slower speeds along DeKalb because of double parking and heavy construction. Therefore, although I welcomed the 62 foot articulated buses on the B38 bus route to decrease overcrowding, I’m not supporting the overall weekend service cuts because of the rapidly decreasing bus ridership. Then again, until both the implementation of the new fare payment system and all door boarding for the B38 bus route in a couple of years, as well as all other bus routes, some people are going to the back of the bus, not paying their own fare, because they are either fed up with the MTA service, are crying poverty, it’s overcrowded, or realized they are not to get caught. Then again, that’s money down the drain for the cash-strapped MTA everyday. Therefore, the bus service cuts was one of the main results of this so called fare evasion. Increasing fares is another effect for this.

Disclaimer: I expressed my opinion based upon my years of experience as a B38 bus rider. Pedro Valdez-RiveraBedford-Stuyvesant

Posted 12:00 am, August 4, 2019
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Reasonable discourse

TexRitter from BlastsInYourShitter says:
In the past 10 years bikers have become pure AH... Protected lanes made it worse since they now go at much higher speeds, blow lights and plow into walkers and now that they are using battery powered bikes for deliveries which are heavier expect broken pedestrian bones and dead elderly
Aug. 4, 2019, 1:48 am
Williams from Bushwick says:
I think they need healthier diets. Many of them are vegans, and weakened by nutritional deficiencies as a result. I think this makes their reflexes slow, and they’re more prone to spontaneously dying in the street.
Aug. 4, 2019, 4:46 am
Lynne Thomas says:
How many cyclists have to die before mayor De Lazy-o gets up off his plump, soft, hanging azz and does something?!? He has to be the worst/coldest ever!
Aug. 4, 2019, 6:38 am
Lillian De La Rose says:
Maybe free safety jackets?
Aug. 4, 2019, 5:37 pm
Kevin Brighton says:
As a vegan, I find the implication that vegans are just dying on the street due to our nutritionl deficiency to be just laughable! Ha ha ha! I'm laughing at it, like it was a silly joke! Ha ha ha!
Aug. 5, 2019, 2:03 am
TexRitter from BlastsInYourShitter says:
?Hoverround takes me where I wanna go...?
Aug. 5, 2019, 9:30 am
Jim from Brooklyn says:
simple: stop using bikes
Aug. 6, 2019, 1:41 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Perhaps, this is a wake up call to start having cyclists follow the traffic laws rather than flout them. A lot of times when they flout the laws, they are placing themselves into harm's way. Redesigning streets isn't the solution especially as long as they continue to act in a such way, understanding the traffic laws is. Then again, that's probably how Transportation Alternatives needs to promote their anti-car agenda by continuing to have cyclists disobey the traffic laws.
Aug. 6, 2019, 1:44 pm
Jim from Brooklyn says:
Simple: stop driving like fuktards.
Aug. 7, 2019, 10:05 am
No Hope from Park Slope says:
There are bad drivers and cyclists alike. I bike almost everyday and see both sides all the time. In this case, van driver admits he doesn't look and almost doors the woman. Truck that hit her was illegally on the road. A woman is dead because of the illegal actions of these two people and the consequences are summonses??? Is that justice? Is that what a life is worth? Both should have their licenses taken away and/or charged to make them think about what their actions have caused. As for cyclists, yes there are plenty of idiot cyclists too. There should be a licensing program for bikes and rules enforced. Break them enough times and you aren't allowed to ride, keep breaking them and get hit with large fines or get locked up. Drivers looking at their phones all the time, speeding. blowing lights. Nothing is enforced, people do whatever the f they want. Also, there are too many cars. I estimate 90% of them in my hood stay put M-F, taking up space. The city is too crowded for this crap.
Aug. 22, 2019, 9:52 am

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