May 2011; the scene of a fatal accident involving 51-year old Patricia Cuevas and a garbage truck. Photo by Adrian Fussell.
More now on the renewed calls for improved safety on Delancey Street, in the aftermath of another death along the dangerous thoroughfare last week. A short time ago, we posted the full text of a letter from State Senator Daniel Squadron and City Councilmember Margaret Chin to NYC Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan. In that letter, they urged the DOT to “take immediate action” on Delancey Street. It turns out the Lower East Side’s most influential elected official, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, has also weighed in on the topic recently.
Anyone who crosses Delancey Street at Clinton on a regular basis knows it’s one of the most treacherous intersections in the neighborhood. Several factors combine to heighten the danger, including: an absurdly short “walk” signal, a heavy volume of cars and trucks racing on and off the bridge and a growing number of bikes accessing the bridge ramp.
In the months ahead, there are going to be a few changes here. It remains to be seen what impact they’ll have on pedestrian safety.
Mary Beth Kelly's husband was killed by a tow truck while bike riding.
Mary Beth Kelly and her husband were riding their bikes along the Hudson River greenway bike in 2006 when an NYPD tow truck turned into their path, striking her husband, Dr. Carl Henry Nacht, who died three days later of his injuries.
Five years later, Kelly remains appalled at how little progress New York City has made at preventing tragedies like hers. At a press conference at the corner of Essex and Delancey streets yesterday, Kelly joined leaders from Transportation Alternatives and The Drum Major Institute for Public Policy to demand the city’s government step up its efforts to prevent the deaths of cyclists and pedestrians, one of which occurs, on average, every 35 hours.
Photo by Adrian Fussell.
We unfortunately have some sad news this morning about the victim of Tuesday afternoon’s traffic accident on Delancey Street. 51-year old Patricia Cuevas was rushed to Bellevue Hospital after being struck by a garbage truck, but doctors could not save her. She had suffered severe injuries to her legs.
Also today, we have more details about the accident. According to witnesses, Cuevas was walking in the street, on the south side of Delancey, just east of Essex Street, heading towards the Williamsburg Bridge. The witnesses said she was outside the barrier (pictured above) and fell down. The privately owned garbage truck, also heading east, could not stop in time. Cuevas became trapped under the rear wheels of the truck. As we reported Wednesday, the NYPD did not ticket or charge the driver.
If you make it a habit of crossing Delancey, you’re all too aware it can be a death-defying sprint from one side to another. Once the walk signal turns green you’ve got something like 20 seconds before the cars and trucks start rolling off of the Williamsburg Bridge ramp.
Several months ago, the city announced a plan to add countdown clocks on Delancey and several other streets in the neighborhood. We were curious where the project stands, so we asked the Department of Transportation.
Anytime a bicyclist is hurt or killed on the streets of Lower Manhattan, Bill di Paolo makes a point of getting to the scene as quickly as he possibly can. The founder and executive director of the environmental and bicycling advocacy organization, “Time’s Up,” di Paolo knows the value of first-hand observations in the moments after an accident. Last week, he arrived at the corner of Delancey and Ludlow streets not long after a fatal incident involving a bicyclist and a school bus.
Yesterday, DNA Info reported the victim was an East Village resident, Fuen Bai. Di Paolo wonders why it took the NYPD a week to release the woman’s name and why they have declined to release details about exactly what happened in the moments before Bai was killed. Di Paolo says the facts known so far simply don’t add up. He believes learning what occurred is critical to saving the lives of other bicyclists in New York City.