Daily Bike Forecast — by Bike Snob NYC

June 13th, 2017: Emerging Narratives

Today will be hot again, though the fever could break with the possible arrival of thunderstorms this afternoon and evening:

tues forecast

Tuesday A chance of thunderstorms, mainly after 3pm. Some of the storms could be severe. Increasing clouds, with a high near 92. West wind 7 to 10 mph. Chance of precipitation is 30%.

Tuesday Night A 50 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Some of the storms could be severe. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 70. Northwest wind 6 to 8 mph.

Sunrise: 5:24am

Sunset: 8:28pm

After today it looks like temperatures will go from "sweltering" to "delightful."

tues forecast

Meanwhile, a cyclist was killed by the driver of a bus on W. 26th Street in Manhattan yesterday.  This was the first Citi Bike death in over 43 million trips, and a victim-blaming narrative emerged almost immediately:

citi

Dan Hanegby, 36, of Brooklyn Heights was riding between a bus and a parked car outside 250 W. 26th St., near Eighth Avenue, when he lost control of his bike and fell to the street about 8:17 a.m., an NYPD spokesman said.

Though the story was subsequently updated thusly:

Dan Hanegby, 36, of Brooklyn Heights was riding alongside a charter bus on 26th Street near Eighth Avenue when the two collided, police said.

The operator of the bus and Hanegby both swerved at the same time to avoid hitting something, causing them to strike each other, according to a police source.

Here's how The New York Times reports it:

nyt

The bicyclist, Dan Hanegby of Brooklyn, was riding on 26th Street in the Chelsea neighborhood around 8:15 a.m. when he swerved to go around a parked van, struck a bus next to him that was traveling in the same direction, tumbled off the bicycle and fell under the bus’s rear tires, the police said. Mr. Hanegby sustained severe trauma, the police said, and was pronounced dead at Bellevue Hospital Center.

Inasmuch as the victim was a trained athlete, experienced cyclist, and IDF sergeant, all of the above accounts imply a sort of haplessness on his part that seems spurious, and at the risk of jumping to conclusions this sounds a lot more like being sideswiped by a speeding bus.

I suspect most of us have had harrowing encounters with these types of vehicles.

Regardless, here's where the crash took place:

26th

​And while the Times story does address the issue of rider safety:

In recent years, bicyclists in New York have said city leaders have not done enough to protect riders. They demanded more safeguards in 2016 after the number of bicycle fatalities surpassed the previous year’s total. Through April, four people had been killed on bicycles in New York this year, according to the city.

No media account I've seen thus far addresses whether the bus (variously described as a "coach bus" or a "charter bus") was operating according to New York City traffic rules [PDF]:

(1) Operators of empty buses and buses with "charter," "special," "contract carriage" or similar non-route specific authority given by the City of New York, the Department of Transportation, the Interstate Commerce Commission, or other legally authorized body, must adhere to the truck routes as described in §4-13 of these rules, or other additional bus routes, except that an operator may operate on a street not designated as a truck route or bus route for the purpose of arriving at his/her destination. This shall be accomplished by leaving a designated truck route or bus route at the intersection that is nearest to his/her destination, proceeding by the most direct route, and then returning to the nearest designated truck route or bus route by the most direct route. If the operator has additional destinations in the same general area and there is no designated truck route or bus route that can be taken to the next destination, the operator may proceed to his/her next destination without returning to a designated truck route or bus route. The operator shall have in his/her possession throughout each trip a route slip, or similar document, showing the points of origin and destination of the trip. Upon the request of a law enforcement officer, or other authorized person, the bus operator shall present for inspection the above stated document or documents.

Because certainly this was not a truck route:

truck route

Yet despite this, as well as there being no indication the victim did anything wrong, the NYPD responded to the tragedy by ticketing people on Citi Bikes:

And reminding people to wear helmets:

helmet

Even though in the event a rider is run over by a bus a helmet will offer no protection whatsoever.