Statement: First NYC Cyclist Death of 2020

Statement of Transportation Alternatives Executive Director Danny Harris in response to the first cycling fatality of 2020:
Joseph Cutrufo -
(646) 873-6027

“Transportation Alternatives sends its condolences to the family of the 41-year-old man who was struck and killed by a turning truck driver while biking on Thursday in East Williamsburg. He is the first person killed while biking in New York City in 2020. 

People who walk and travel by bike are an afterthought on Vandervoort Avenue where this tragic crash took place. Like the streets where most fatal cycling crashes occur, Vandervoort Avenue prioritizes traffic over human life. Since Vision Zero was launched in 2014, 10 cyclists and 10 pedestrians have been injured on the short stretch of Vandervoort Avenue between Grand Street and Maspeth Avenue. Last year a pedestrian was killed, and in 2015 a motorist was killed, at the intersection of Maspeth and Vandervoort, just a block from where this cyclist was killed today. 

In 2019, the deadliest year for cycling in New York in two decades, the NYPD issued more tickets to people riding bikes than they did to truck drivers. It is incumbent upon Mayor de Blasio to ensure that we do not see a repeat of 2019’s death toll, or 2019's misguided enforcement efforts, in 2020. We demand bold and immediate action to save lives, and we stand ready to support the mayor toward that end. Every New Yorker should be able to walk and bike in this city without fear of death or serious injury.”