Working cyclists have one of the maximum dangerous jobs inside America’s 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 are focused on sufferer-blaming and ticketing bikers.
Twenty-12 months-old Robyn Hightman, who was 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 even as 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 that they had been concerned in a motor-automobile collision as a minimum once. A mean of 30 percent said that they had neglected paintings due to paintings-related accidents inside the last year.
For assessment, the New York State’s Department of Labor said that 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. N line, according to hundred full-time people, 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 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 effective 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 clearly speaks to the need of infrastructure that comprises the needs of running cyclists,” he stated. “No, depend on what precautions you’re taking, you couldn’t guard your self 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 are 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 feel of independence, bolstered my potential to be self-sufficient, and supplied me with the self-assurance important to advocate for myself, my rights, and my desires in public space. My bicycle enabled me to depart our encampment every day 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 the age of 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 both touring northbound on Sixth Avenue while “they collided.” Garcia, who first of all 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.