Beep calls for safer roads around Barclays after cyclist killed in crash

Beep calls for safer roads around Barclays after cyclist killed in crash
Photo by Mark Mellone

The city must redesign the streets around Barclays Center to make them safer, Borough President Adams demanded on Tuesday after a driver fatally plowed into a cyclist on Fourth Avenue near Flatbush avenue the day before.

The Beep warned that if the city doesn’t make improvements soon, more tragedies will follow.

“This car part is replaceable — the life that we lost here is not replaceable,” Adams said at the scene of the crash, as he held aloft a chunk of a car’s bumper that he had plucked from the ground.

The lethal collision happened on Monday morning as part of a multi-car pileup that also put several others in hospital, police said.

The driver of a sports utility vehicle first struck a car that had stopped at a red light at Dean Street, before continuing down Fourth Avenue, jumping a cement median, and crashing into the cyclist, according to police. The motorist then went on in the direction of Barclays Center, broad-siding a second car, barrelling through the pedestrian plaza between Atlantic and Flatbush avenues, before finally careening to a stop on Flatbush Avenue, according to a report.

Emergency responders declared the cyclist dead at the scene, and transported six others drivers and passengers to New York Methodist Hospital, police said.

Local cyclists widely consider the area around the Rust Bowl — which includes several major intersections, heavy traffic, and no bike lanes — to be a hair-raising ride. Thirty-six vehicles have crashed at the intersection of Flatbush and Atlantic avenues so far this year, while 23 have collided at the intersection of Flatbush and Fourth avenues, according to police data.

Aftermath: Debris lies in the street on Monday morning following a multi-car crash that left a bicyclist dead and landed three people in the hospital.
Photo by Mark Mellone

The city is in the process of redesigning a long stretch of Fourth Avenue from Atlantic Avenue to 15th Street as part of a $250-million overhaul of treacherous thoroughfares across New York. But its plans for that particular project remain light on details or a timeline, and the Beep called on the city’s Department of Transportation to get its asphalt together in light of this week’s accident. The agency said only that it is “hard at work” on the fix-up.

“DOT is taking a close look at this challenging and complex area to provide safety enhancements for all users,” said spokeswoman Gloria Chin.

To illustrate the many dangers that bicyclists in the area face, Adams prefaced his Tuesday press conference by leading a procession of journalists in a ride from Borough Hall to the site of the crash. Thirty seconds into the journey, a pickup truck nearly collided with Adams, who wore a white polo shirt emblazoned with his job title on the back. He also pointed the finger at a pair of trucks parked in the Schermerhorn Street bike lane.

“That’s part of the problem,” he said.

Police have not made any arrests in Monday’s crash, but said they are still investigating.

Authorities have not yet released the name of the victim.

Reach reporter Noah Hurowitz at nhurowitz@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–4505. Follow him on Twitter @noahhurowitz
Bike the talk: Borough President Adams biked from Borough Hall to the site of Monday’s fatal crash that left a cyclist dead to call for increased road safety measures.
Photo by Stefano Giovannini