Monday, June 26, 2006

Three cyclists have died in June.

I was going to write something trivial this morning, like about how the mermaid parade went or comment on this picture I took for something I was going to start about the worst bike abuse of the month. A pole in the middle of the city with a stripped down bicycle seems rather silly today, when another cyclists was killed on his commute. This makes three in one month. I thought maybe getting those tickets at critical mass or possibly doored by the police, seemed so crazy. That we are wasting our time standing up and fighting for your right to the road in a world gone mad with oil lust and all catering to the whims of rich people and their short sighted goals of luxury condos and sports stadiums. Now more than ever we need to defend our rights to the road and protection of our bicycle liberties.

Here is the article from the daily news about the death of Derek Lake, killed on Houston Street, this morning.

Cyclist dies after being run over by truck
By Justin Rocket Silverman
amNewYork Staff Writer

June 27, 2006

For the third time in 13 months, a bike rider was killed yesterday on Houston Street, leading one advocate to label it Manhattan's "boulevard of death."

Derek Lake, 23, a filmmaker who had recently bought the bike, was turning onto Houston from LaGuardia Place at 9:20 a.m. Monday when he lost control of his bike in a construction area and was run over by a passing truck. Houston is undergoing a multi-year, $30 million reconstruction, which advocates blamed for Lake's death.
"It's likely that a metal plate on the street caused him to loose control," said Noah Budnick of Transportation Alternatives. "The plate was in violation of the city's highway rules and the rain made it even more dangerous. The cyclist can only do so much, and in this case the street conditions were the likely contributing factor in the crash."

The driver of the truck that hit Lake was cited for six equipment violations, but was not charged with a crime. The city agency overseeing construction along Houston said its records show that the metal plate at that intersection had been removed.

A check of the intersection Monday night showed seven mismatched plates on the opposite side of the intersection from where Lake went down.

Times Up!, a bike advocacy group, issued a warning for all city cyclists to avoid riding on Houston for the duration of the construction.

Lake was a recent graduate of the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan, and had recently begun showing a film he wrote and directed in festivals around the city.

"He knew being in the film business was a hard thing to do, but he didn't let anyone discourage him," Lake's younger sister Alexis said yesterday. "He was going to make it big."

Alexis, 22, said her brother just purchased the bike a few weeks ago to shorten his commute from Brooklyn and to improve his physical fitness.

"He was the scrawniest kid in the whole world," she recalled, "but joked around about getting pudgy and told me he was getting a bike."

In May of last year, Brandie Bailey, 21, was killed while riding a bike on Houston Street when she was struck by a garbage truck.

One month later, Andrew Morgan, 25, was also killed on his bike when a truck make an illegal turn on Houston.

A police spokesman said Monday that only officers who witness a crash personally can issue a violation to the driver.

In none of the recent deaths on Houston was a driver charged with any crime.

Another recent cycling fatality was Dr. Carl Nacht, 56, who was struck by an NYPD tow truck while he cycled with his wife in the West Side Highway's bike lane. Nacht died in the hospital Monday.

Then I received this email from the wife of a film maker Derek was working for...

Hi Michael,

A good friend of mine (who happened to be working for my husband) was killed today on Houston and LaGuardia while he was riding his bicycle to work. He was not an avid cyclist, and apparently tried to maneuver between a truck and a van and was thrown from his bike and run over by a truck and pronounced dead at the scene.

As I am sure you can imagine, we are absolutely devastated. Derek was only 24 and graduated from SVA film school last year. He completed his first short film Sans Pertinence, which is absolutely amazing and had recently befriended Kevin Spacey (just friends; Derek was straight and had a very serious girlfriend) and his film was recently accepted into a film festival (I don’t know which one).

Derek was, as I mentioned above, also working for my husband full time and very happy to have a job where he could use his talents and work with a small and tight knit team of people. He told me he was thrilled to be in such a great position right out of college. He was a really inspirational director and a talented artist. He was also a very sweet and kind person. This is a horrible tragedy and we are completely emotionally destroyed. It is incredible that someone who was so endlessly talented and brilliant could be gone in an instant. He was very driven and always intensely professional.

I just found this little bio on IMDB:

“Derek Lake was born in Cincinnati, Ohio on December 7th, 1982. The son of an industrial salesman, Derek spent much of his youth moving through the suburbs of the northeast until finally settling down in the rural surroundings of upstate New York. It was here that his unlikely encounters with a few friends and a video camera would ultimately begin to define his path as a filmmaker. Derek started making short films as young as 13 and continued throughout high school. Eventually the hobby worked itself into a passion that would lead him to New York City where he graduated from film school at the School of Visual Arts. He currently lives in New York and continues to write, direct, produce, edit, and do audio post for his own movies.”

Trailer for Derek's Film another short film by Derek.

We’d like to spread the word about his films if at all possible. This is such a great loss and he will be missed.

Kerri Savage

Something has to be done about Houston Street. I feel like Critical Mass should go there on Friday and stop at each one of these sites and have the whole city stop and think about their priorities. I feel like we need to erect a sign when you turn right onto Houston and 6th ave for all to see that says something like: "Entering the Danger Zone, please drive with caution. While our city continues to bend over backwards in its construction frenzy to build more unafforable housing, the people who live and work here are getting killed on this block while riding their bikes. So Chill OUT and pay attention...the streets belong to more than just the sacred automobile and its inefficient fuel source that is destroying this planet. On your way down Houston, please stop at the Sunshine Theatre and see Al Gore's movie, inconvenient might learn something. Thank you and drive responsibly...or not, cause if you kill won't be charged with anything. Have a nice day.

---------------------ok that would be hard to fit on a sign-----------

On June 5th a woman was killed in Rockaway Parkway in Brooklyn, apparently this was not reported on until recently when there have been two other tragic bike deaths...

Posted: Tuesday, 06 June 2006 7:06AM

Dump Truck Kills Cyclist in Brooklyn

NEW YORK (AP) -- A dump truck struck and killed a bicyclist on
Rockaway Parkway in Brooklyn last night.

New York City Police say 41-year-old Donna Goodson of Brooklyn was
pronounced dead at Kings County Hospital shortly after the accident at
ten p.m.

Police say both the truck and bike were southbound on Rockaway
Parkwayy when the truck made a right turn onto Avenue D. The driver
apparently didn't see the bike rider on the side of the truck.

Police say no charges were filed.

And the third was the doctor who was hit by a NYPD tow truck on the West side greenway of all places...where they want us to ride...

Dr. Carl Nacht, died this morning. Doctor of Internal medicine at Roosevelt's Hospital.

Apparently we are not all bike riding anarchists...


Oh yeah there was this too that happend in June...
1010 WINS: Bicyclist Pinned Under City Bus After Cab Accident

Monday, June 19th
NEW YORK (1010 WINS) -- A bicycle rider heading North on 10th Avenue in
Manhattan was struck by a city bus pinning both legs under one of the
bus' tire.

The incident happened around 6:30pm Monday near the intersection of 10th
Avenue and 44th street. The bicyclist was riding down 10th Avenue when
a cabbie stopped, opened up his front door striking the biker. The
bicyclist fell straight into the path of the city bus, pinning both legs
under the front doorway tire .

Emergency Service Units and the FDNY were able to successfully free the
man from under the bus. He was transported to St. Luke's Hospital.

No word on his condition though his injuries are not considered life

At least there is some justice...

Queens: Man is Sentenced in Fatal Accident

Published: June 22, 2006
A Flushing man was sentenced yesterday in State Supreme Court to two and
a half to five years in prison for fatally striking a restaurant worker
with his car last October, prosecutors said. The driver, Joung Il Cho,
38, pleaded guilty on May 1 to vehicular manslaughter for killing the
worker, Angel Quizhpi, 24, who was riding his bicycle on Northern
Boulevard when he was struck on Oct. 29, said Richard A. Brown, the
Queens district attorney. Mr. Brown said that after the accident, the
driver was found to have a blood alcohol content of 0.195 percent, more
than twice the legal limit of .08 percent.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Mike- Thanks for putting this up so quickly. I'm going home (to MA) in a couple of days and plan on taking many pictures of our "share the road" signs w/ a stick-figure bicyclist. It seems like some conciousness on the part of drivers would go far. Little things can make big differences. My heart goes out to the family and friends tonight. NYC is grieving with you.

12:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

as always... good reporting.


1:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks again Mike for such strong and sound words. After an appeal for a Critical Mass ride to stop at all the Houston crash sites, I wonder if anyone wants to argue about "blocked traffic".
I wonder how many more tix have been written to cyclists waiting for green lights, than have been for drivers that end up killing someone with their vehicle.

5:03 AM  
Blogger Paul Tay said...

Sue. Sue. Sue.

8:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

this is totally fucked.

the complacency of the NYC courts is a crime in and of itself. very dispiriting news.

let's hope these tragedies will increase the number of riders at CM this week; better to risk harassment from the pigs and bullshit tickets than to sit silently by.

11:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

rally for an oil free congress:

2:43 PM  
Blogger Sucka Pants said...

I'm sorry but a couple years in jail for a drunk driver that killed someone (cyclist or otherwise) is hardly what I can consider justice. I can't wait till someone can hack a database to link license plates to home addresses. Then you'll see some justice.

2:58 PM  
Blogger DMo said...

I saw on Gothamist, via user Rockabike, that there's a Memorial Ride planned for Thursday evening:

Thursday, June 29, 6:30 p.m.
West Side Greenway at 42nd Street (in front of the Intrepid)

Carl Nacht, 56, was killed by an NYPD tow truck making a right turn across the West Side Greenway. Derek Lake, 23, was killed on Houston Street while trying to maneuver around a construction site. Come out and remember these two cyclists and help draw attention to unsafe conditions for New York cyclists.

3:34 PM  
Anonymous klonopin vs xanax comparison data said...

rip dear bikers... what's wrong with the world now......

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9:30 PM  

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