Statement: 14-year-old Mario Valenzuela Was Killed While Riding His Bike in Long Island City, the 22nd Cyclist Killed This Year

Statement of Transportation Alternatives Deputy Director Ellen McDermott in response to a fatal crash in Queens that killed a 14 year-old on Saturday:
Joseph Cutrufo -
(646) 873-6027

“A 14-year-old boy died today, killed by the driver of a private carting truck, while riding his bicycle. Mario Valenzuela was riding on Borden Avenue in Queens in the same direction as the truck driver, who turned into him at 11th street -- an apparent blatant criminal violation of the Right of Way law. Large trucks have caused more than half of the cyclist deaths this year. On behalf of the entire Transportation Alternatives and Families for Safe Streets community, I send our deepest condolences to Mario’s family.

Mario did not have to die. Like so many of the 21 other cyclists dead this year, Mario was killed on a street with no protected bike lane. Without a network of protected bike lanes New York cyclists will continue to suffer preventable deaths.

More than 10 weeks ago, the NYC Bike Family held a die-in in Washington Square Park to call attention to the emergency situation we are living in -- more than double the number of cyclists have been killed so far this year than were killed in all of 2018. We call upon Mayor de Blasio to accelerate implementation of his Green Wave Bicycle Safety Plan, and we urge every member of the City Council to co-sponsor and help pass Speaker Corey Johnson’s Streets Master Plan bill, which would implement a comprehensive network of bike and pedestrian safety measures.

Finally, once again we ask Mayor de Blasio: go to the scene of the crash, console Mario’s family and take the steps urgently needed to prevent others from suffering as they do right now. Treat the death and suffering like the unacceptable crisis it is.”