“A 72-year-old cyclist was killed on 14th Street in Manhattan on Tuesday. She is the third cyclist to die on New York City streets in 2020. On behalf of Transportation Alternatives and Families for Safe Streets, we send our deepest condolences to the cyclist’s family.
Large vehicles, like the Cadillac SUV involved in Tuesday’s crash, are disproportionately responsible for the deaths and serious injuries on our streets. Of the cyclists who died in 2019, 45 percent were killed by drivers operating trucks and SUVs. In 2020, all three of the cyclists killed to date were struck by drivers operating trucks or SUVs. There is an enormous responsibility that comes with operating a vehicle weighing two to three tons, especially in a city filled with people, especially older adults, children and those with limited abilities.
Despite the fact that traffic volumes have fallen by 80 to 90 percent in New York City, speed camera violations are up 83 percent since the “pause” went into effect and traffic deaths have fallen by only 13 percent compared to the previous five-year average. Last month, Families for Safe Streets called on Mayor de Blasio to ban non-essential driving in order to lower the baseline and expedite emergency response vehicles. Such a ban has yet to take effect, and New Yorkers are paying for it in deaths and injuries.
As New York fights and emerges from the pandemic, it will be up to the mayor to ensure that we do not return to a transportation system that puts vulnerable cyclists and pedestrians at the mercy of people driving multi-ton vehicles. We’re seeing the beginning of a transformation taking shape with the ambitious plan to create 100 miles of open streets for physical distancing-compliant movement. It’s a promising step, but in order to emerge stronger than before, we must demand a new paradigm in which streets across the five boroughs prioritize human life above motorized machines.”