There have been three bicycle fatalities at the intersection of Park Avenue and East 108th Street under the Metro-North viaduct in East Harlem in the past two years. After the most recent incident, which happened early this morning, a driver of a livery cab was taken into police custody. Reporters were told that he would probably be charged with driving with a suspended license. A news update reported that he was actually charged with aggravated unlicensed operation, careless driving and a right of way violation.
Park Avenue is divided by the viaduct from East 102nd Street northward. There is no bike lane, and there is parking on both sides of the street, making it difficult for cyclists and motor vehicle drivers to see each other. Crash data shows that there were six other crashes that caused injuries to bicyclists between April and September 2013 in the area between Park Avenue and East 106th Street to East 110th Street. The two previous fatalities at the intersection, one in 2012 and one in 2013, were both blamed on the cyclists by the NYPD.
In addition to these bicycle accidents and fatalities, motor vehicles injured 38 pedestrians on Park Avenue between East 96th Street to East 110th Street between 20007 and 2011, according to the Department of Transportation. A project to improve pedestrian safety along the viaduct will get underway soon after being approved in March of this year. However, there are no plans to improve cyclist safety at the deadly intersection.