NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A woman on a bicycle was killed after colliding with a cement truck in Brooklyn on Monday. Now, other cyclists and drivers are calling for changes.
A Williamsburg resident returned to the makeshift memorial Tuesday at the intersection of Boreum Street and Bushwick Avenue to pay his respects to cyclist Devra Freelander.
“Everybody just got to have their eyes open, the bikers and the drivers,” a man named “Chuck” told CBS2’s Aundrea Cline-Thomas. “Other than that, what can you really do to avoid a situation like that?”
Surveillance video Shows Freelander, 28, on her bike coming off the sidewalk just as a blue cement truck is trying to enter the intersection. Police said the truck had the right of way when it collided with the bike. Freelander was pronounced dead. The driver remained at the scene.
“You can’t safely bike on this block. This goes on for at least an entire block, with like this rough, rough cement on the road. That’s why she was on the sidewalk,” bike messenger Mike Pach said.
That’s what Pach suspects was the case.
What can’t be disputed is that 14 cyclists have died in accidents across the city so far this year. That’s twice as many as all of last year.
“For five years we thought things were moving in the right direction. This crisis proves we’ve got to do more quickly,” de Blasio said.
The mayor addressed the accident on WPIX 11 on Tuesday morning. He is calling for changes under his “Vision Zero” initiative.
“I’ve directed the NYPD to aggressively clear out bike lanes. We’ve got to do more on that front and we will. We’ve done a lot on enforcement of speeding vehicles and failure to yield,” de Blasio said.
But drivers say cyclists also share the responsibility and have to be more vigilant.
“You make a left, a right, sometimes the bike come so fast,” Juan Alvarado said.
“Bikers are in the twilight zone. Ever watch a biker go by? He doesn’t see you. He’s listening to his music,” Tony Schatzie added. “The bikers, they’re just as bad as the people who drive the cars.”
Cline-Thomas called the Department of Transportation to ask about the changes being considered for cyclists and drivers, but did not immediately hear back.
The driver in Monday’s incident has not been arrested, but police said the investigation is ongoing.
The DOT is creating a new cycling safety plan that is expected to be complete later this month.