Yet another cyclist was struck and killed in New York this morning, marking the city’s 18th traffic-related cycling fatality in 2019.
Nearly twice as many cyclists have been killed in New York this year than in all of 2018—an alarming statistic that prompted Mayor de Blasio to release a $58.4 million bike safety plan last week that will be implemented over the next five years. The Green Wave, as the plan is called, will see the expansion of the city’s bike safety network with new protected bike lanes, the retiming of traffic light patterns, and the redesign of 50 dangerous intersections all in service of protecting riders.
The city has yet to announce which intersections will be targeted for redesigns, but city data and real estate listings website Localize.city has the jump on some that may be. The website used public data from 2014 to 2018 to identify which intersections have seen the most cycling injuries and fatalities during that period:
Sixth Avenue and West 23rd Street, Chelsea: 21 injuries
Jay Street and Tillary Street, Downtown Brooklyn: 20 injuries (tied)
Atlantic Avenue and Bedford Avenue, Crown Heights: 20 injuries (tied)
Third Avenue and East 13th Street, East Village: 18 injuries
Chrystie Street and Delancey Street, Lower East Side: 17 injuries (tied)
St. Nicholas Avenue and West 141st Street, Harlem: 17 injuries (tied)
Allen Street and East Houston Street, Lower East Side: 14 injuries (tied)
Graham Avenue and Grand Street, Williamsburg: 14 injuries (tied)
Jay Street and Myrtle Avenue, Downtown Brooklyn: 14 injuries (tied)
“Experts and the city already know where the dangerous intersections are and what makes them so unsafe,” says Localize.city urban planner Sam Sklar. “If you’re thinking about taking up cycling you should know if the intersections and streets near your home are dangerous.”
The city’s latest cyclist fatality occurred at Third Avenue and 36th Street in Sunset Park, eight blocks from where Hugo Garcia died while riding a bike earlier this year. In both incidents, the bikers were forced to swerve into traffic when people opened car doors, according to Transportation Alternatives, which is calling on the Department of Transportation to redesign the Third Avenue corridor.
“Third Avenue, which has eight lanes for cars and zero for bikes, is a product of a bygone era when transportation decisions were made with the sole intention of moving as many vehicles as possible through our neighborhoods, without regard to the people living and working in those neighborhoods,” Transportation Alternatives Deputy Director Ellen McDermott said in a statement.
“To eliminate traffic deaths, these deadly corridors which are dedicated 100 percent to moving and storing vehicles must not be allowed to exist in their current form.”
Cycling advocates in city government also say that the Green Wave plan doesn’t go far enough. “We must break car culture to protect cyclists in NYC,” Brooklyn Councilmember Antonio Reynoso said on Twitter Thursday. “[The mayor’s] new bike plan—largely an expansion & acceleration of Vision Zero—falls short. Reckless drivers will continue to terrorize our streets until there’s a culture shift to prioritize pedestrians & cyclists.”