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City To Propose Crosstown Bike Lanes After Driver Hits Citi Bike Rider

By Maya Rajamani | September 15, 2017 5:12pm | Updated on September 18, 2017 8:11am
 The truck driver was turning right when he hit the cyclist and ran over her leg, a witness said.
The truck driver was turning right when he hit the cyclist and ran over her leg, a witness said.
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DNAinfo/Kristen Templeton

MIDTOWN — The city plans to unveil a proposal for a series of crosstown bike lanes amid a renewed push for the long-awaited measure by transit advocates after a dump truck driver struck and seriously injured a Citi Bike rider in Midtown.

The woman was riding a Citi Bike at the intersection of West 30th and Seventh Avenue on Sept. 11 when the driver of a dump truck made a right turn and struck her.

Following the crash, Councilman Corey Johnson, whose district includes Chelsea and Hell’s Kitchen, said the city Department of Transportation’s proposal for crosstown protected bike lanes was expected soon, adding that the city “need[s] to do more” to ensure safer streets.

Advocates responding to the politician maintained the lanes need to be a “priority.”

Chana Widawski, a Hell's Kitchen resident who's on the board of local pedestrian-safety advocacy group CHEKPEDS, said she was “not at all surprised” by the crash.

Transit advocates have been calling for crosstown bike lanes and protections for cyclists crossing at intersections for years, she said.

In June — following a pair of cyclist fatalities in the neighborhood — members of Community Board 4’s Transportation Planning Committee said the board had requested the protected crosstown lanes on several occasions.

“Right now there really are not enough safe passages for cyclists on any of our Midtown streets getting crosstown," Widawski said. "We’re always kind of jockeying and trying to find our way." 

A DOT spokeswoman on Wednesday said the department is “actively developing a series of crosstown bike route proposals and will be coming to the community with more details in the near future,” without providing an exact date.

Widawski warned that without an imminent plan, the city would continue to see cyclist-involved crashes.

“This is what we’ve been clamoring about forever now,” she said. “And it comes as no surprise, and there are going to be more and more [crashes].”