A cyclist was in critical condition Wednesday after being hit by a vehicle in Queens, adding to mounting concern over bike safety in a city that saw two cyclist deaths just hours prior.
The bicyclist, who was not identified, was hit on Woodhaven Boulevard near the intersection of Jamaica Avenue just after 1 a.m. Wednesday, according to reports. He was taken to Jamaica Hospital, where as of deadline he was in critical condition. The driver remained at the scene and was not arrested, ABC reported.
This latest accident was the third serious crash involving a bike and a motor vehicle in a 24-hour period. In the previous instances, both cyclists were killed. Around noon on Tuesday, a 17-year-old was killed when he was hit by a tow truck in Port Richmond, Staten Island. Then later, around 4 p.m., a 58-year-old man was fatally struck by a box truck on McGuiness Avenue in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.
Advocates are calling for more stringent protections for cyclists after a particularly deadly year for bikers. So far this year, 17 people have been killed while riding bikes in New York City. Last year, there were only 10 cyclist deaths.
On Tuesday, city council approved a new bill that will let cyclists follow pedestrian walk signs at several city intersections. The head start is meant to give cyclists more time to get out of harm’s way, and will allow motorists a better chance of seeing cyclists.
The bill, which is set to take effect in November, will require bicylists to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks.
“The culprit in this transportation conversation is the culture that continues to privilege cars and treats cyclists like motor vehicles rather than what they are more like, which are pedestrians,” Brooklyn councilmember Carlos Menchaca, who sponsored the bill, said during the council’s vote. “We blame cyclists. We blame pedestrians. This has to stop.”