Bruise cruise for cyclists
Saw this piece and two things came to mind: Stop blaming the cyclists when there are no bike paths and drivers don't give a $^#%. Then I thought, all those newly converted "hipsters" in Brooklyn riding brakeless FG bikes may have reached their own critical mass.
Bruise cruise for cyclists
Injuries mount as bike riders' accidents rise in 2 nabes
BY DENISE ROMANO
DAILY NEWS WRITER
Monday, August 20th 2007, 4:00 AM
These days, bike riders in Brooklyn's "hipster" neighborhoods ought to be ever-mindful of the old adage: "Look both ways before crossing the street."
The number of accidents involving bicycles in Williamsburg and Greenpoint has skyrocketed since the beginning of the spring.
"One fatality was a bike rider going through a red light," said Teresa Toro, transportation chairwoman of Brooklyn Community Board 1. "Apparently he didn't look both ways."
According to stats given to the Daily News by the 94th Precinct, the number of bicycle injuries in May, June and July increased 188% when compared with the same period last year, with eight bike injuries in 2006, compared with 23 in 2007.
"It's really scary," Toro said, adding that this is a widespread phenomenon and not just contained to a few neighborhood intersections. "I just wish people would be more careful."
In the 90th Precinct, there was a 38% increase in bike injuries, with only 32 occurring from January to July of 2006 and 44 occurring during the same period this year. Also in the 90th Precinct, the number of injuries that happened during all accidents decreased, but the number of injuries in bike accidents remained steady.
In both precincts, most of the crashes involved victims ages 19 to 40.
Wiley Norvell, communications director for Transportation Alternatives, said the steady increase in tragedies is inevitable, and the lack of bicycle paths is to blame.
"The Williamsburg Bridge is the busiest bridge with bike traffic in the city," Norvell said.
The Bedford Ave. L-train stop is busy, too, he said, noting that the subway stop is a bike-and-ride destination, where people park their bikes at a bike rack and then hop on the train.
"With all of this biking, it's hard to understand why there are so few bike lanes," Norvell said. "There is very little space dedicated to them on the streets."
But the numbers don't lie. Stats show that in most incidents, bicycles are to blame.
Out of 29 bicycle accidents in the 94th Precinct during May, June and July this year, the cyclist was found at fault in 17.
Toro said that something needs to be done before more lives are lost.
"Please, people, look around and be more careful," she said, "This worries me a lot."