Working cyclists have one of the maximum dangerous jobs in America united states, and they’re dying at speedy quotes on New York City streets. However, rather than stepping in to shield them, Mayor de Blasio is off strolling for president, and New York’s Finest is focused on sufferer-blaming and ticketing bikers.
Twenty-12 months-old Robyn Hightman, killed via a truck driving force Monday in Manhattan, is now at least the 5th delivery bicycle owner to die because of a motorist’s actions even as on the activity within the past six months. Even extra cyclists have been harmed or have experienced other traffic violence while cycling inside the metropolis, in keeping with the Biking Public Project’s advocacy group.
A whopping 62 percent of working cyclists interviewed in a 2017 survey through the Biking Public Project said they had been concerned in a motor-automobile collision at least once. A mean of 30 percent said that they had neglected paintings due to painting-related accidents in the last year.
For assessment, the New York State’s Department of Labor said that the simplest 1. Five of a hundred full-time people ignored work because of work-related accidents in New York in 2017; the countrywide Bureau of Labor and Statistics calculated that. According to hundred full-time people, N line had missed paintings for injuries in that yr.
Biking Public Project’s Do Lee attributed the high percentage of accidents to the various hours working cyclists have to bike on risky streets that aren’t constructed for them, in addition to the cyclists’ poor operating conditions, including low pay, overlong shifts, demands that they paintings faster, and absence of employee’s repayment.
“They’re running lengthy hours underneath poor exertions situations; it puts them at extra threat,” stated Lee. “I assume it’s consistent exposure at the streets, anywhere from 8 to 12 to 16 hours a day, a great opportunity to have something happen irrespective of how skilled you’re.”
Demand for quick deliveries is most effectively growing, making employees’ jobs more difficult and extra risky — but the metropolis can step up and redesign streets to make it tougher for reckless drivers to run over and kill operating cyclists, said Lee.
“I assume it speaks to the need for infrastructure that comprises the needs of running cyclists,” he stated. “No, depending on your precautions, you couldn’t guard yourself towards a -ton device.”
Hightman, whose favored pronouns had been they/then, stated their motorbike changed into a way of empowerment and even stored them from a troubled early life. They couldn’t have acknowledged, of direction, that risky streets might kill them.
“As homeless teenagers deeply entrenched within the trappings of poverty and parental abuse and overlook, my first bicycle offered a way to trying to find respite from the horrors of my environment and human revel in, if handiest for a few wonderful minutes,” Hightman wrote in a utility to enroll in an Ambassador Program for a professional cycling team. “My bicycle mounted a feeling of independence, bolstered my potential to be self-sufficient, and supplied me with the self-assurance to advocate for myself, my rights, and my desires in public space. My bicycle enabled me to depart our encampment daily to access training, seek out meals, and fulfill my fundamental needs. Eventually, my bicycle allowed me to provide for myself once I started working a complete-time activity at fourteen. My bicycle supplied me with the socioeconomic mobility necessary to escape. My bicycle saved my existence.”
Police say Hightman and the fifty-four-12 months-old truck driver, Antonio Garcia, had been touring northbound on Sixth Avenue when “they collided.” Garcia, who first left the scene before returning, instructed Streetsblog that this crash turned into his first “coincidence” in 14 years. He claimed he did now not sense the effect of hitting Hightman.
Cops slapped Garcia with five summonses for minor violations related to his truck — even though none for really killing the cyclists. He walked away without a lot as a ticket for failure to yield or to exercise due care. A Streetsblog video suggests a police officer patting Garcia on the shoulder before Garcia left the crash scene.
More than a hundred humans got here out to mourn Hightman’s dying simply hours after they were killed — and to demand that police officers put in force visitors laws towards reckless drivers, not cyclists, within the crash’s aftermath.