This morning, 57 year-old Megan Charlop was killed bicycling in East Tremont in the Bronx. According to media reports, she was avoiding a car door opened in her path when she was struck and killed by a bus. It is illegal to open a car door in the path of a cyclist under the Rules of the City of New York § 4-12(c).
Megan spent her entire life improving her community at every scale from individuals she mentored, to home improvements on abandoned houses, to advocating for better infrastructure. Currently, as the Director of the Community Health Division at the Montefiore School Health Program, Megan worked tirelessly to encourage more active, healthy living in neighborhoods with few open spaces or amenities. She was a respected colleague of Transportation Alternatives for many years and a wonderful, caring woman. She will be deeply missed.
“We cannot begin to express our sadness to Megan’s husband Richard, and to her children and her colleagues,” says Paul Steely White, Executive Director of Transportation Alternatives. “It is an infuriating irony that one of the most respected and forward-thinking leaders of healthy, active transportation should die riding her bicycle—something she encouraged her neighbors to do with such passion. To lose someone like that in this way—what sort of message does that send about the safety of our streets?”
The City of New York has long promulgated bike lanes for both Crotona and East Tremont Avenues, as evinced in the City’s own 13-year-old Bicycle Master Plan and published in its annual Cycling Map. The time to build these lanes, and ensure they are of a design that protects increasing numbers of cyclists from heavy bus and truck traffic, is long overdue.