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2016: Open Season on NYC Cyclists

New York City continues to talk tough about making our streets safer when it comes to crashes. But an alarming study reveals that NYC cyclists have never been in greater danger. So far this year there have been 17 cyclists killed in New York City. 17 people! The figure is staggering, and all too sad.

An article in the New York Daily News paints a frightening picture for cyclists in the 5 boroughs. They use a fatal crash involving Giovanni Nin to illustrate the point. Mr. Nin was riding his bicycle in the Bronx earlier this summer between shifts at his job with FedEx. He was riding to visit his girlfriend in the Throgs Neck section of the Bronx on a block that was identified by the Department of Transportation as an area that needed to be redesigned to make it safer. The area had been designated as one of the most dangerous roadways in the city. While there was a plan in place to make the road safer for pedestrians and cyclists, it did little to help Mr. Nin, the 11thperson who was killed on a bicycle so far this year.

Tragically, a driver of an SUV raced through a red light and crashed into Mr. Nin, who was 26 years old at the time. The accident caused the senseless and unexpected death of this innocent cyclist. While Mr. Nin was 'Victim #11' on the year, there have been additional tragedies, making this summer among the deadliest the City has ever experienced.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends who continue to mourn the loss of their loved one. This crash should never have happened.

Loved one's of Mr. Nin have every right to question why the city neglected to make this road safer. The city originally appears to have succumbed to the whims of a local community board that did not want the remedial measures taken. People are asking whether the community board preferred the status quo at the expense of public safety. Wasn't 'Vision Zero', the Mayor's optimistic plan to eliminate all traffic fatalities in New York City, designed specifically to prevent a crash like this? Ironically, 2016, despite the ambitious 'Vision Zero' goals, is one of the deadliest years for bike riders in a long time.

The Department of Transportation takes the opposite position, claiming that the risks for bicyclists have never been lower. But the article tells a different story, illuminating another deadly crash involving another victim, 34 year-old Lauren Davis, who was killed in a cycling crash just in April.

Bicycle riding is a popular pastime in our city. It is an activity that is embraced by all, participants ranging in ages from 5 years old to 75 years old. Something needs to change so that cyclists feel comfortable enjoying this beloved recreational activity. What can be done to make the streets safer for cyclists?

Are you a cyclist in NYC? Do you have an experience you can share with us?

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