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Brewer wants safer streets after son’s death

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Brooklyn Brewery co-founder Steve Hindy, whose son Sam died in a horrific bike crash on the Manhattan Bridge last week, is using the tragedy to demand more bicycle safety.

His plans are not specific yet, but he says: “I’m focused on doing more to improve safety for bicyclists in New York City.”

Sam Hindy, 27, was killed on Nov. 16 after he and a friend mistakenly biked onto the upper level of the bridge, which is reserved for cars and trucks. When Hindy turned around, he hit a concrete barrier and fell to the lower level, where he was hit by an oncoming car.

His father, who rides a bike from his Park Slope home to the brewery on North 11th Street, thinks cyclists need more than just bike lanes

“It’s not just the bike lanes or the lack of bike lanes, it’s the culture of cars,” said Hindy. “People don’t pay attention to bicyclists. They think roads are built for cars and not for bicyclists.”

The Hindy family held a memorial Tuesday night at the Picnic House in Prospect Park that was attended by 500 people, where they asked that donations be made in their son’s name to Transportation Alternatives, an advocacy group that supports bicycle lanes and mass transit.

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Reader Feedback

Upper5 West Side from Mary Beth Kelly says:
The work that I have done with Transportation Alternatives since the tragic cycling death of my husband, Dr. Carl Henry Nacht,in june of last year has contributed in a most meaningful way to my own healing from this terrible loss and trauma (I was riding with my husband at the time of his being hit by a truck.)
My heart goes out to the Hindy family, and to Sam's cycling friend. this will be a long hard journey for everyone who knew and loved Sam. Knowing that you are making a contribution to changing the cities mindset and infrastructure for cycling by supporting the work of TA has truly helped me and my children. I applaud your clear sightedness at this time of great pain.
Nov. 22, 2007, 11:13 am
Jake from Park Slope says:
This was terrible, awful, and I'm so sorry for the family and friends of Sam Hindy. But when the situation is preceded by a bicyclist's error, it's an accident. The car that hit Hindy was not at fault. That driver wasn't out there thinking "the road is not meant for bikes". That driver has to now live with the trauma of running over somebody. Have some pity for that. Lots more can be done to reduce danger to bicyclists and pedestrians, like discouraging so many people from constantly needlessly driving their cars everywhere, and like NYC police actually making an effort to ticket speeding cars, which they never ever do. But at the same time, it's very off-putting how the bike riding advocates are so totally in denial that bicyclists commonly do things like run red lights and ride on sidewalks, etc. Which of course endangers them, and others. Active participation in one's own safety is what really truly keeps any of us safe. I just hope the bicylists advocates are being responsible enough to remind their membership of this. Instead of only focusing on blaming cars for everything. If I were to get hit by a bicycle when I'm on foot, a bicycle advocate would tell me I should watch out for bicycles. Yes, I have heard that exact response on more than one occasion. There's an elitism and a double-standard going on, and when you do that your message is weakened.
Nov. 23, 2007, 8:15 pm
Rich from Toronto says:
Hey there. I'm a brewer here in Toronto (not been brewing since 96). I also ride my bike. I couldn't agree more with your comments. The car society is the ruin of cities.
Nov. 29, 2007, 11:21 pm
Johanna Garrison from Saratoga Springs says:
I am profoundly sorry for Sam Hindy's family and friends.
An avid cyclist myself, I steadfastly agree that it is the unfortunate, and often dangerous, mentality of drivers which largely contributes to bike conflicts. Motor vehicles presume they rule the roads and it's bloody frustrating; however, in keeping with Jake's comments, I too agree that all cyclists, from commuters to Critical Massers to tourers to errand-runners, must adhere to safe riding measures as well as practice good etiquette. It only galvanizes a driver's disdain when bikers cavalierly ignore the laws. Patience and respect may turn a responsible driver into a cyclist some day, or at least a respectful driver; pissing one off won't. Cars aren't going away; hopefully, with time and dedication to safer, enforced regulation for cyclists, NYC will finally add itself to the list of bike-friendly cities. It's shameful that the Northeast lags so far behind other areas of the country in regard to its treatment and respect for the cyclist.
Again, my deepest sympathies to the Hindy family.
Dec. 11, 2007, 3:48 pm

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