Today’s news:

Enough already! Another cyclist killed by driver

The Brooklyn Paper

The driver of a flatbed truck callously struck and killed a 30-year-old cyclist on a narrow stretch of Morgan Avenue early Wednesday morning — the fourth fatality in Williamsburg in the past three months.

Both the truck and the cyclist were travelling southbound on Morgan Avenue just before midnight, when the truck swerved to take a right on Meserole Street, clipped the rider, and kept going.

Police responded to the scene at 12:01 am and identified a truck that matched the description of the one that struck the cyclist parked one block away at Scholes Street near Bogart Street.

The bike rider died from his injuries. Police have not released his identity, but said the investigation is ongoing and the driver is still at large.

Neighbors were saddened to hear about the accident.

“How awful,” said industrial business advocate Leah Archibald. “What a tragic loss. There’s no excuse for a hit and run.”

But these types of fatal traffic accidents are becoming commonplace in Williamsburg.

On Sept. 2, cyclist Nicholas Djandji was killed by a car passing through the intersection of Rodney Street and Borinquen Place.

One week earlier, a car ran over Erica Abbot who fell off her bicycle on Bushwick Avenue.

And in early August, a truck collided with a cyclist who was trying to turn onto Metropolitan Avenue from Gardner Avenue.

Morgan Avenue is one of Williamsburg’s busiest truck routes providing easy access to the Brooklyn–Queens Expressway to drivers from scores of industrial businesses including Boar’s Head, Wonton Foods, Frito Lay, and Meserole Lumber.

The road does not have a bike lane but is popular among cyclists riding between Greenpoint and East Williamsburg and visiting 3rd Ward, a multimedia arts and events space on Morgan Avenue that encourages safe cycling.

“Our hearts go out to this man’s friends and family,” said 3rd Ward’s Jessica Tom. “We did not hear about it until this morning.”

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Reader Feedback

k says:
sad
Oct. 19, 2011, 1:37 pm
Joanne says:
Other news outlets are reporting that the truck driver may not have realized he hit someone. You make it sound like he intentionally left the scene after knowingly injuring someone and you have no evidence to support that.
Oct. 19, 2011, 2:17 pm
S from PPW says:
Too bad this neighborhood has drummed up false controversy over bike lanes, making it harder to have rational discussions about where they should go. Witness your story on the pedestrian safety managers on the bridges and the "mayhem" they are preventing. Your picture shows a very pleasant scene, however.

And didn't you write one "Enough is Enough" editorial already, only to ignore it within weeks, if not days?

The Brooklyn Paper has zero credibility here. None. Nada. Zilch.

Nice try, Gersh.
Oct. 19, 2011, 2:23 pm
Paulie from Piso says:
Riding at night is dangerous period.
Oct. 19, 2011, 2:27 pm
Dave from Park Slope says:
Y'know, the Brooklyn Paper could help make the streets safer for all of us if you would not give ink to the kind of nonsense spouted by the likes of Jim Walden and Louise Hainline. Printing their hollow and knowingly false claims about the alleged "dangers" of the Prospect Park West redesign makes it harder for the city to install similar treatments around the city -- precisely the kind of protected bike path that could have saved this cyclist's life.

You have the power. Call them on their bulls--- and become part of the solution. No more needless deaths.
Oct. 19, 2011, 2:38 pm
gimme from around says:
time to protest trucks yo
Oct. 19, 2011, 2:38 pm
R from PS says:
Driving at night is dangerous period.
Oct. 19, 2011, 2:54 pm
Andre from Bushwick says:
When you are driving a car (or truck), you must absolutely be aware of your surroundings... ESPECIALLY if you are approaching an intersection where you are planning to make a turn... come on now.. the truck driver didnt notice the biker? The biker MUST have been in front of him at some point while approaching the intersection.
Oct. 19, 2011, 3:06 pm
Gersh from Editor says:
For the record, the "Enough is Enough" editorial cited above was a pro-bike lane editorial written by the Editorial Board of the Community Newspaper Group.

It speaks for itself: http://www.brooklynpaper.com/stories/34/34/34_34_editorial.html

GERSH KUNTZMAN
Editor
The Brooklyn Paper
Oct. 19, 2011, 3:06 pm
Boy Cott from Brooklyn says:
Hey look! Gersh printed one pro bike editorial almost three moths ago and only then after months and months of printing NBBL press releases nearly verbatim. He helped needlessly prolong Jim Walden's media campaign and allowed false claims by bike lane opponents to go unchallenged and the truth to go unreported. (Asking a newspaper to do any real reporting is too much to ask these days.)

Plus, since that editorial in August he allowed Natalie O'Neill to falsely link no standing zones and towed cars as "tow-tally" the fault of the PPW bike lane, spreading the very kind of misinformation he accused NBBL of spreading.

But it's all okay because this one time he wrote an editorial AFTER the PPW case was tossed. (Just a theory, but he didn't have the guts to take an editorial stand before the judge had his say because then he wouldn't get as many stories out of the bike lane.)

Enough is enough!
Oct. 19, 2011, 3:42 pm
Or from Yellow Hook says:
The bike rider had lights. . . yes?
Oct. 19, 2011, 6:34 pm
G from Greenpoint says:
After reading about fatality after fatality on the more industrial streets of Brooklyn, which I've been keeping track of since my friend Solange Raulston was killed, I propose that there should be some streets which are OFF-LIMITS to bikers, just as others are off limits to trucks.

On these industrial thoroughfares (McGuinness Blvd, parts of Morgan Ave, Meeker Ave, for example) no matter how aware you are or how many lights you have, you cannot control for all of the exhausted and rushed truck drivers, livery cabs, delivery vans, and more.
Oct. 19, 2011, 11:08 pm
Chris from Bushwick says:
G from Greenpoint: That's a horrible idea. Morgan Ave. is a two-lane street that's the only north-south connection between Bushwick and eastern parts of Williamsburg, two neighborhoods with some of the highest rates of cycling in the borough.

Your solution ignores the root of the problem - poorly-designed streets and a lack of enforcement. Instead of banning cyclists, design streets that are safer for everyone. We shouldn't have a six-lane speedway like McGuinness running through a residential neighborhood... and drivers shouldn't be speeding on it in the first place.
Oct. 20, 2011, 10:02 am
LOLcat from Park Slope says:
Gotta agree with G here. As a cyclist, I sometimes see other cyclists riding on streets like atlantic avenue and Flatbush avenue and I think you myself, "man that person is STUPID, there are bike lanes that run parallel to these streets on streets without truck traffic. Why put themselves at necessary risk?" I would have no problem with bikes being "banned" on certain streets for cyclists own protection. Truck routes are not a cyclists friend and the first rule of cycling is limit risk to yourself.

If there is not a safer route parallel to these routes then I think we know the perfect places for the city to install bike lanes.
Oct. 20, 2011, 10:05 am
Media critic from Brooklyn says:
Gersh,

The Brooklyn Paper has no credibility when it comes to covering these issues. Feigning outrage over a tragic death by putting "Enough already!" in the headline does not erase the responsibility this "news" organization has to stoking anti-bike sentiment and inflammatory rhetoric that is slowing down needed safety improvements to Brooklyn Streets. DOT scrapped plans for a two-way, protected bike lane on Plaza Street to go with the new Grand Army Plaza design partly because of the heat it was getting on PPW. That heat was certainly flamed by this very paper. One "Enough is Enough" editorial does not undo the very real damage this paper did to any hopes of having real, informed discussions over true matters of life and death.

I think the Brooklyn Paper has two choices here:

1. Drastically change the tone of its coverage.
2. Stop covering these issues entirely.

The first option would involve research and reporting. When a NBBL member or other bike lane critic claims that a new street design is dangerous or will lead to an increase in accidents, don't just go to the "other side" for a statement. Do NYPD crash reports back this claim up? Have similar street designs in other cities resulted in significant safety changes? There's a way to remain objective in your quest for the truth even though the truth that you find may, in the end, be "biased." If someone claims to a reporter that a red light means "go," it would not be a breach of journalistic objectivity to report that this person is incorrect. By sticking to a "just the facts" style, you could do a real service to the community. If you're worried about page views, don't. Given the contested nature of some of these projects, there will always be small groups of commenters willing to bump up your traffic.

The second option may be harder to choose, since you've clearly smoked at the crack pipe of bike lane journalism for a while. But the longer you swing between "Enough already!" headlines and "Tow-tally unfair!" misrepresentations of the issues, the less you're going to matter to your community and even to the people inclined not to trust you in the first place. At this pace, I can't see how your current tone is good for your paper or your advertisers. I, for one, am now less inclined to support a business when I see it advertising on one of these stories.

I hope the Brooklyn Paper and its editor can make the choice that best serves the community it purports to serve.
Oct. 20, 2011, 10:14 am
adam from greenwwod says:
If you don't like how a newspaper cover a story, don't read it.
Oct. 20, 2011, 1:50 pm
Jacob from Clinton Hill says:
Gersh,

You had one reasonable editorial amid a cascade of highly slanted "news articles" disparaging bicycle improvements and stoking anti-bike sentiments. You have no credibility as an impartial news agency.

I'm all for "enough is enough", but you have to back it up with action this time. Stop printed deliberately slanted and misleading articles. Stop stereotyping cyclists. Stop the lazy journalism where you talk to one person on each side and then write the article as though both sides have equal weight. Stop neglecting the facts and history behind each story. Enough is enough, indeed.
Oct. 20, 2011, 2 pm
Matt from Boston says:
"I would have no problem with bikes being 'banned' on certain streets for cyclists own protection."

Really?

Let's ban motorists from the roads, for THEIR protection. About 90 people a day die in cars on US roads in single and multi car collisions. Motorists, and the cars they drive, is the root cause.

Safety first!
Oct. 20, 2011, 5:29 pm
Antonio Ricci from Roma says:
Seriously... i neccessary my bicycle back to me. I have posters to paste up Monday....please return??? Grazie. I am a good man.

[Translated @ http://translate.google.com/]
Oct. 21, 2011, 5:18 pm
Greenpointer from Greenpoint says:
Let me start by saying that I am a driver and I am also all for bike lanes. I grew up in greenpoint and have children and I see both sides of this issue. As a driver, when going over the Pulaski Bridge or riding along McGuinness Blvd., I encounter daily, other drivers who insist on riding my bumper when I drive the speed limit. There is too much speeding in the neighborhood! Also, as a driver, in support of bike lanes I see daily that the great majority of bikers do not follow the rules of the road. Slowing down at the red light only to keep on riding through is an accident waiting to happen. I think that both drivers and bikers need to follow the rules of the road! Stop at the stop sign, Stop at the red light, Use your sideview mirrors before you turn and bikers be aware of your surroundings, do not try to squeeze yourself in a tight spot. Be safe out there.
Nov. 17, 2011, 9:30 am
Maritza Rodriguez from Williamsburg says:
The road where cars ,trucks, buses was not made for bicycles,that is why people either dead or cripple
Sept. 7, 2013, 1:06 am

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