Cyclist Killed After Hitting Door In Queens Leads to Questions about Bicycling Safety
It was an unfortunate day for an unsuspecting cyclist on Sunday when he hit a car door while riding his bike in Queens. The cyclist, 39, whose name is undisclosed, ended up dying at the scene. According to the New York Post, the cyclist's jugular was punctured by his bike's handlebars, and witnesses' efforts to stave off his blood were futile. Police are not viewing the situation as a crime. The accident does make one wonder, though, the risk posed to cyclists inNew York City. From environmentalists to food deliverymen, people bike all over the city, and perhaps without knowing the risks of it. Fortunately, politicians and the NYPD are aware of the increase in bicycle traffic, and are releasing statistics and proposing laws in effort to increase safety and awareness and reduce accidents. In 2010, 256,000 New Yorkers rode their bicycles daily, 51,000 more than the previous year, said Transportation Alternatives that year. The article also said that New York has more cyclists than any other US city. In addition to the diligence of Transportation Alternatives, Gothamist reported that the NYPD will also begin tracking cycling accidents. According to The Brooklyn Paper, NYC Councilman Steve Levin recently proposed a bill requiring the NYPD to investigate all cycling accidents that result in serious physical injury to someone involved. Currently, the police are only required to investigate a situation where death seems likely. Also, police have begun writing more tickets for illegal cycling. Just this past February, officers wrote at least 695 tickets to cyclists for various offenses. The February prior, police wrote over 200 fewer, [The Brooklyn Paper reports](http://brooklynpaper.com/stories/34/14/all_bikecrackdown_2011_4_8_bk.html). However, this increase in ticketing hasn't been welcomed warmly, and ticketed bicyclists are complaining that the sudden explosion of summonses is just a way for the city to make money. Perhaps we should stick to the smelly backseats of cabs, but if you don't plan it, check out the NYPD's [guide to safe cycling](http://www.nyc.gov/html/nypd/downloads/pdf/analysis_and_planning/BikeSafetyPamphlet.pdf). --Nick Gallinelli
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