Bike Blog took a little break.
City's bike deaths on the rise
MANHATTAN Jen Shao, the immigrant owner of a Chinatown souvenir shop, wasn't trying to make a political statement as she pedaled her bicycle through downtown Manhattan two months ago. The 65-year-old woman biked, her family told reporters, because she found it easier than walking. But her September death beneath the wheels of a tour bus was one of an increased number of biking fatalities this year, adding a melancholy edge to long-running tensions over the presence of bicycles on the city's crowded streets.
With a month left in the year, police records show 21 cyclists have died in traffic accidents in New York, up from 15 in all of 2004. Between 2000 and 2004, traffic accidents killed 82 cyclists in the city, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration — an average of about 16 deaths per year. Transportation officials, at the request of cycling groups, recently pledged a study of all city bike fatalities from the past decade in an attempt to determine whether some or all could have been prevented.
Bike advocates have also asked the city to more aggressively cite motorists for aggressive driving and commit to quicker implementation of a years-old master plan for more bike lanes and recreational pathways.
DAVID B. CARUSO