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BrooklynBus

Can We Trust DOT About Buses and Bicycles?

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Another endless whine. Please stick to buses, where the rhetoric is only tired, as opposed to bikes, where the rhetoric is dangerous:

"Last week, the Queens Chronicle reported a traffic fatality at 91st Avenue and a bike rider injured at 1 a.m., both on Woodhaven Boulevard, when motorists do not expect to see cyclists on the road"

What the hell sort of lazy excuse-making is that? Drivers only have to pay attention at certain hours, and if a cyclist is out at night, they shouldn't have surprised the driver? 

"so why should we believe the DOT that more protected lanes and further encouragement of cycling will make cycling safer?"

It is widely understood by every transit planning official in the world that cycling safety increases as a critical mass of cyclists develops, and that separating cyclist traffic from car traffic is part of that safety. Consider nearly any northern European city where this experiment has been taken seriously, or even places like London which have improved their infrastructure in similar ways. It is a good thing you're not making planning decisions when you demonstrate this kind of resistance to statistical reality or accepted evidence. I have my many qualms with the DOT too, but this is not something they've made up themselves.

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9 minutes ago, MHV9218 said:

It is widely understood by every transit planning official in the world that cycling safety increases as a critical mass of cyclists develops, and that separating cyclist traffic from car traffic is part of that safety. Consider nearly any northern European city where this experiment has been taken seriously, or even places like London which have improved their infrastructure in similar ways. It is a good thing you're not making planning decisions when you demonstrate this kind of resistance to statistical reality or accepted evidence. I have my many qualms with the DOT too, but this is not something they've made up themselves.

THANK YOU! It's about damn time someone said that...

The willful ignorance to be completely unaware of what methods other cities have tried (and have proved to be effective) is ridiculous and in this context downright dangerous.

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12 minutes ago, MHV9218 said:

Another endless whine. Please stick to buses, where the rhetoric is only tired, as opposed to bikes, where the rhetoric is dangerous:

"Last week, the Queens Chronicle reported a traffic fatality at 91st Avenue and a bike rider injured at 1 a.m., both on Woodhaven Boulevard, when motorists do not expect to see cyclists on the road"

What the hell sort of lazy excuse-making is that? Drivers only have to pay attention at certain hours, and if a cyclist is out at night, they shouldn't have surprised the driver? 

"so why should we believe the DOT that more protected lanes and further encouragement of cycling will make cycling safer?"

It is widely understood by every transit planning official in the world that cycling safety increases as a critical mass of cyclists develops, and that separating cyclist traffic from car traffic is part of that safety. Consider nearly any northern European city where this experiment has been taken seriously, or even places like London which have improved their infrastructure in similar ways. It is a good thing you're not making planning decisions when you demonstrate this kind of resistance to statistical reality or accepted evidence. I have my many qualms with the DOT too, but this is not something they've made up themselves.

If anything, the concern should be about competent implementation of the concepts...

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No, I don't trust the DOT & at the same time, I will never understand this fixation with Woodhaven blvd.... But whatever.

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3 hours ago, MHV9218 said:

Another endless whine. Please stick to buses, where the rhetoric is only tired, as opposed to bikes, where the rhetoric is dangerous:

"Last week, the Queens Chronicle reported a traffic fatality at 91st Avenue and a bike rider injured at 1 a.m., both on Woodhaven Boulevard, when motorists do not expect to see cyclists on the road"

What the hell sort of lazy excuse-making is that? Drivers only have to pay attention at certain hours, and if a cyclist is out at night, they shouldn't have surprised the driver? 

"so why should we believe the DOT that more protected lanes and further encouragement of cycling will make cycling safer?"

It is widely understood by every transit planning official in the world that cycling safety increases as a critical mass of cyclists develops, and that separating cyclist traffic from car traffic is part of that safety. Consider nearly any northern European city where this experiment has been taken seriously, or even places like London which have improved their infrastructure in similar ways. It is a good thing you're not making planning decisions when you demonstrate this kind of resistance to statistical reality or accepted evidence. I have my many qualms with the DOT too, but this is not something they've made up themselves.

Let me ask you one question. Have you ever driven a car at night and encountered cyclists? Well, I have, and they are very easy to hit when they show up unexpectedly like at night without headlights or reflectors and cycling between the double yellow line or traveling in the wrong direction. What about cyclists who have a protected bike lanes and instead choose to use a traffic lane instead because they consider the bike lane too slow for them? I have seen that too. I have also seen cyclists at night who were only visible because of reflective strips on their sneakers. So quit blaming drivers for every crash with a cyclist, giving them free reign to do whatever they like, like 90 percent if them going through red lights. 

The more we encourage cycling, the more traffic fatalities there will be regardless if the rate of fatalities decline. It is not the solution to improving travel for the single reason that it is not an all-weather solution. The answer is improved mass transit with better service levels, not continuing to reduce the frequency of service as we are doing. 

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On 8/9/2019 at 11:32 AM, BrooklynBus said:

Let me ask you one question. Have you ever driven a car at night and encountered cyclists? Well, I have, and they are very easy to hit when they show up unexpectedly like at night without headlights or reflectors.

Yes, because every pedestrian and cyclist should wear high-vis vests and helmet flashlights so that the poor drivers can focus their tunnel vision elsewhere. 

On 8/9/2019 at 11:32 AM, BrooklynBus said:

What about cyclists who have a protected bike lanes and instead choose to use a traffic lane instead because they consider the bike lane too slow for them? I have seen that too.

This is 100% legal. There are many reasons why one might not use the bike lane; perhaps there's a pothole or debris, a car is parked in it, the bicyclist wants to make a left turn, etc. People change lanes.

Perhaps if one were to drive at a reasonable speed, then they could slow down in time once actually seeing a driver. If you're on a poorly lit road at night you shouldn't be driving very quickly anyways.

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4 hours ago, bobtehpanda said:

Yes, because every pedestrian and cyclist should wear high-vis vests and helmet flashlights so that the poor drivers can focus their tunnel vision elsewhere. 

This is 100% legal. There are many reasons why one might not use the bike lane; perhaps there's a pothole or debris, a car is parked in it, the bicyclist wants to make a left turn, etc. People change lanes.

Perhaps if one were to drive at a reasonable speed, then they could slow down in time once actually seeing a driver. If you're on a poorly lit road at night you shouldn't be driving very quickly anyways.

You obviously hate all drivers because I notice how you carefully edited out my comments about cyclists going the wrong way, cycling between the double yellow lines and going through red lights. And the time I noticed a cyclist in the regular lanes, there were other cyclists in the bicycle lane. So yes, if there is debris or the lane is in poor condition, the cyclist doesn’t have to use it, but not because he wants to travel faster than other cyclists, because it is too slow for them. I see that you can never admit that cyclists can do anything wrong. As far as drivers going faster than they should, yes of course some do that, but by far most drivers drive safely and conscientiously. 

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On 8/9/2019 at 2:32 PM, BrooklynBus said:

Let me ask you one question. Have you ever driven a car at night and encountered cyclists? Well, I have, and they are very easy to hit when they show up unexpectedly like at night without headlights or reflectors and cycling between the double yellow line or traveling in the wrong direction. What about cyclists who have a protected bike lanes and instead choose to use a traffic lane instead because they consider the bike lane too slow for them? I have seen that too. I have also seen cyclists at night who were only visible because of reflective strips on their sneakers. So quit blaming drivers for every crash with a cyclist, giving them free reign to do whatever they like, like 90 percent if them going through red lights. 

The more we encourage cycling, the more traffic fatalities there will be regardless if the rate of fatalities decline. It is not the solution to improving travel for the single reason that it is not an all-weather solution. The answer is improved mass transit with better service levels, not continuing to reduce the frequency of service as we are doing. 

All automobiles on the road are required headlights and in NYC we have street lamps. It's not easy to hit a bicyclist here due to limited visibility.

 

All road users violate the rules with regularity but the reality is that most crashes are the fault of the driver. Most crashes that result in injury or death are the result of driver inattention or reckless behavior (like speeding). Drivers have greater responsibility because they are operating vehicles which are likely to cause great harm to others in a collision.

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12 hours ago, Guest0821 said:

All automobiles on the road are required headlights and in NYC we have street lamps. It's not easy to hit a bicyclist here due to limited visibility.

 

All road users violate the rules with regularity but the reality is that most crashes are the fault of the driver. Most crashes that result in injury or death are the result of driver inattention or reckless behavior (like speeding). Drivers have greater responsibility because they are operating vehicles which are likely to cause great harm to others in a collision.

Thanks for not answering my questions. 

Yes, headlights on cars are required and most of the time they are on at night. But many cyclists do not have required headlights or reflectors and are dumb enough to wear dark clothing at night. Funny you mention street lamps. A friend of mine was cautiously crossing an intersection in his car at about ten mph about ten years ago after stopping at a stop sign. Two cyclists were traveling across the intersection without headlights and wearing dark clothing. The second cyclist was not looking ahead or for traffic. He had his head down concentrating on pedaling faster to catch up to his friend. My friend failed to see him coming partially due to a street lamp that was out of order. He pedaled right into my friends car. As a passenger I saw the bike at the last second but thought saying something to my friend might cause him to panic and make a decision that would make things worse. Luckily at the last second the cyclist noticed the car and served to grab onto the side of the car. He fell off the bike but wasn't hurt. But that didn't stop him from suing my friend. The case was dropped after three years when the cyclist couldn't produce any medical bills. 

Yes, drivers violate traffic rules, but by far cyclists violate more rules than drivers. You say drivers have greater responsibility implying little responsibility for cyclists. I say everyone needs to be responsible. Cyclists killed two pedestrians this year. Were those the fault of the pedestrian? Until you drive a car at night you won't understand how under certain conditions, how difficult it can be to see cyclists and  even pedestrians. Just the other day there was a cyclist in the middle of the street operating his bicycle as if it were a unicycle. Stunt driving has no place on the city streets just like driving a car at sixty or ninety mph on a city street that resulted in two recent tragedies. And everyone needs to be attentive.

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4 hours ago, BrooklynBus said:

Cyclists killed two pedestrians this year. Were those the fault of the pedestrian? 

And how many bicyclists have been killed by cars? I understand what you are trying to state, but this is a pretty bad piece of evidence- its like citing Di Fara in an argument to lower business taxes...

Edited by R68OnBroadway
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1 hour ago, R68OnBroadway said:

And how many bicyclists have been killed by cars? I understand what you are trying to state, but this is a pretty bad piece of evidence- its like citing Di Fara in an argument to lower business taxes...

And I like your automatic assumption that the driver was at fault in every collision between a car and a bike? How many of those cyclists who were killed were to blame for the crash because they took an unnecessary risk? Like speeding up to make a green light, or driving through a red light, or driving on the wrong side of the road, or driving between the two yellow lines, or doing stunts on their bikes, or not having headlights or reflectors at night, and not wearing contrasting clothing so they can be seen at night?

I am not saying that cyclists are responsible for most of the accidents. I understand that the biggest hazard is someone opening a car door without properly looking and those motorists would be wrong. But is the driver still wrong if he is checking his mirror and there are no cyclists coming, but he hits a cyclist anyway when opening his door because the cyclist is going the wrong way? 

Just don't assume that the driver is automatically at fault. 

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21 minutes ago, BrooklynBus said:

And I like your automatic assumption that the driver was at fault in every collision between a car and a bike? How many of those cyclists who were killed were to blame for the crash because they took an unnecessary risk? Like speeding up to make a green light, or driving through a red light, or driving on the wrong side of the road, or driving between the two yellow lines, or doing stunts on their bikes, or not having headlights or reflectors at night, and not wearing contrasting clothing so they can be seen at night?

I am not saying that cyclists are responsible for most of the accidents. I understand that the biggest hazard is someone opening a car door without properly looking and those motorists would be wrong. But is the driver still wrong if he is checking his mirror and there are no cyclists coming, but he hits a cyclist anyway when opening his door because the cyclist is going the wrong way? 

Just don't assume that the driver is automatically at fault. 

I am in no way saying drivers are at fault for every collision - the reason for me saying that was the matter of the statistics. So far about 19 people have been killed this year, and even if we assume only a fraction (say 25%) are the fault of the driver, that's still more than twice the number of cyclists-pedestrian deaths. 

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13 hours ago, R68OnBroadway said:

I am in no way saying drivers are at fault for every collision - the reason for me saying that was the matter of the statistics. So far about 19 people have been killed this year, and even if we assume only a fraction (say 25%) are the fault of the driver, that's still more than twice the number of cyclists-pedestrian deaths. 

Okay. I see your point and agree with you. So we get back to the original question I brought up in the article. Given the fact that the more we encourage cycling as a form of transportation, the more cyclists will die, should we continue to encourage cycling? Even if protected lanes are safer and the fatality rates decline, the absolute number of fatalities will continue to increase. It is also inefficient because in good weather when cycling increases, you can't reduce mass transit service to reflect that. You must provide the service in all types of weather. 

And protected lanes are not foolproof either. My sister died after being in a coma  for seven years when she made a short stop on an off road protected bike lane to avoid hitting a nine year old girl also on a bicycle. 

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1 hour ago, BrooklynBus said:

Okay. I see your point and agree with you. So we get back to the original question I brought up in the article. Given the fact that the more we encourage cycling as a form of transportation, the more cyclists will die, should we continue to encourage cycling? Even if protected lanes are safer and the fatality rates decline, the absolute number of fatalities will continue to increase. It is also inefficient because in good weather when cycling increases, you can't reduce mass transit service to reflect that. You must provide the service in all types of weather. 

And protected lanes are not foolproof either. My sister died after being in a coma  for seven years when she made a short stop on an off road protected bike lane to avoid hitting a nine year old girl also on a bicycle. 

I do think we should build more lanes, it just depends on where and how we enforce them. In Manhattan given the low car usage it makes sense to remove some parking for bike lanes. As for Brooklyn, it depends. For major thoroughfares where there is mass transit (like buses nearby), sure, but not so much private streets that are mainly residential. I'd also say that we should allow more bikes on sidewalks provided people aren't being reckless. The biggest issue however is enforcement- I'd say put cameras on the traffic lights at corners and ticket anyone who blocks the bike lane. 

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On 8/23/2019 at 11:36 AM, BrooklynBus said:

Thanks for not answering my questions. 

Yes, headlights on cars are required and most of the time they are on at night. But many cyclists do not have required headlights or reflectors and are dumb enough to wear dark clothing at night. Funny you mention street lamps. A friend of mine was cautiously crossing an intersection in his car at about ten mph about ten years ago after stopping at a stop sign. Two cyclists were traveling across the intersection without headlights and wearing dark clothing. The second cyclist was not looking ahead or for traffic. He had his head down concentrating on pedaling faster to catch up to his friend. My friend failed to see him coming partially due to a street lamp that was out of order. He pedaled right into my friends car. As a passenger I saw the bike at the last second but thought saying something to my friend might cause him to panic and make a decision that would make things worse. Luckily at the last second the cyclist noticed the car and served to grab onto the side of the car. He fell off the bike but wasn't hurt. But that didn't stop him from suing my friend. The case was dropped after three years when the cyclist couldn't produce any medical bills. 

Yes, drivers violate traffic rules, but by far cyclists violate more rules than drivers. You say drivers have greater responsibility implying little responsibility for cyclists. I say everyone needs to be responsible. Cyclists killed two pedestrians this year. Were those the fault of the pedestrian? Until you drive a car at night you won't understand how under certain conditions, how difficult it can be to see cyclists and  even pedestrians. Just the other day there was a cyclist in the middle of the street operating his bicycle as if it were a unicycle. Stunt driving has no place on the city streets just like driving a car at sixty or ninety mph on a city street that resulted in two recent tragedies. And everyone needs to be attentive.

You're right that bicyclists should have the required lighting at night to increase visibility but in all honesty it is not difficult to see a bicyclists on NYC streets, nor is it difficult to see a pedestrian if you are attentive and not speeding. There is plenty of lighting in NYC, on the vast majority of streets. We recently had almost every street in NYC converted to LED lighting as well.

The story about the bicyclist crashing into the side of your friend's car has to do with the bicyclist being inattentive, not a lack of light.

"Yes, drivers violate traffic rules, but by far cyclists violate more rules than drivers."

This is not even close to being an accurate statement. Speeding, double parking, illegal U-turns, unpredictable lane changes, failing to signal? The primary rules that bicyclists break in NYC are red running and riding in the wrong direction. Drivers do those things too with regularity. Besides the fact that drivers violate far more rules than bicyclist have the capability to, drivers are far more likely to cause serious injury or death.

As for the pedestrian deaths, starting with the most recent:

"According to the NYPD, Michael Collopy, 60, was hit by a cyclist at about 11:53 a.m. on July 31 <b>as he stood in the protected bike lane</b> at Sixth Avenue and 23rd Street, a busy corner."

https://nyc.streetsblog.org/2019/08/07/pedestrian-dies-after-cyclist-hit-and-run/

Pedestrian killed earlier this year:

"Donna Sturm was hit by a cyclist in the crosswalk at West 57th Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues during her lunch break on April 25th. The cyclist, 40-year-old Damian Deward, allegedly ran a red light when he hit Sturm."

https://gothamist.com/2019/05/06/pedestrian_cyclist_death.php

And BTW. I do drive and night and have never had an issue seeing a bicyclists or pedestrian in the city after dark.

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18 hours ago, BrooklynBus said:

And I like your automatic assumption that the driver was at fault in every collision between a car and a bike? How many of those cyclists who were killed were to blame for the crash because they took an unnecessary risk? Like speeding up to make a green light, or driving through a red light, or driving on the wrong side of the road, or driving between the two yellow lines, or doing stunts on their bikes, or not having headlights or reflectors at night, and not wearing contrasting clothing so they can be seen at night?

I am not saying that cyclists are responsible for most of the accidents. I understand that the biggest hazard is someone opening a car door without properly looking and those motorists would be wrong. But is the driver still wrong if he is checking his mirror and there are no cyclists coming, but he hits a cyclist anyway when opening his door because the cyclist is going the wrong way? 

Just don't assume that the driver is automatically at fault. 

Dangerous driving contributed to 70 percent of pedestrian fatalities in NYC from 2008 to 2012. Page 15.

http://www.nyc.gov/html/visionzero/pdf/nyc-vision-zero-action-plan.pdf

The results for serious injuries involving pedestrians and bicyclists (and bicyclists deaths) can be assumed to be similar.

And it makes sense considering the disregard, inattentiveness, and aggression displayed by too many drivers.

4 hours ago, BrooklynBus said:

Okay. I see your point and agree with you. So we get back to the original question I brought up in the article. Given the fact that the more we encourage cycling as a form of transportation, the more cyclists will die, should we continue to encourage cycling? Even if protected lanes are safer and the fatality rates decline, the absolute number of fatalities will continue to increase. It is also inefficient because in good weather when cycling increases, you can't reduce mass transit service to reflect that. You must provide the service in all types of weather. 

And protected lanes are not foolproof either. My sister died after being in a coma  for seven years when she made a short stop on an off road protected bike lane to avoid hitting a nine year old girl also on a bicycle. 

We should continue to support bicycling. Mass transportation is crowded in all seasons, and even if bicycling does reach a desirable say 10% of all trips (currently around 1%), mass transit will still be crowded. Pulling some people from other modes is beneficial because the alternatives are currently often at, close to, or over capacity at peak travel periods. And the city and metropolitan area will continue to grow into the near future at least.

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On 8/24/2019 at 8:40 AM, R68OnBroadway said:

I do think we should build more lanes, it just depends on where and how we enforce them. In Manhattan given the low car usage it makes sense to remove some parking for bike lanes. As for Brooklyn, it depends. For major thoroughfares where there is mass transit (like buses nearby), sure, but not so much private streets that are mainly residential. I'd also say that we should allow more bikes on sidewalks provided people aren't being reckless. The biggest issue however is enforcement- I'd say put cameras on the traffic lights at corners and ticket anyone who blocks the bike lane. 

Everything costs money and all transit is in competition for the same funds. I think it is far more efficient to spend those scarce funds on increasing bus service rather than on more bike lanes. There is a direct relationship between the amount of bus service and the amount of passengers using that service. Many cyclists are on,y cycling because of the poor state out bus system is in in terms of reliability and scarce service on certain lines. 

As far as low car usage in Manhattan, I don't think the question is the the percentage of trips made by auto which is admittedly low, but the amount of congestion which is the greatest in Manhattan. Every additional bike lane that reduces lane capacity only increases traffic congestion for buses as well as cars, and that can't be ignored. And that's for a very small percentage of trips. The percent of people cycling in Manhattan is evenness smaller than the numbers of those in autos. 

I agree that bikes should be allowed on sidewalks in certain instances, certainly if no pedestrians are present on the block. It would be much safer than them traveling on the street and the city would safe the cost of constructing and maintaining a bike lane. 

On 8/24/2019 at 12:30 PM, Guest0821 said:

Dangerous driving contributed to 70 percent of pedestrian fatalities in NYC from 2008 to 2012. Page 15.

http://www.nyc.gov/html/visionzero/pdf/nyc-vision-zero-action-plan.pdf

The results for serious injuries involving pedestrians and bicyclists (and bicyclists deaths) can be assumed to be similar.

And it makes sense considering the disregard, inattentiveness, and aggression displayed by too many drivers.

We should continue to support bicycling. Mass transportation is crowded in all seasons, and even if bicycling does reach a desirable say 10% of all trips (currently around 1%), mass transit will still be crowded. Pulling some people from other modes is beneficial because the alternatives are currently often at, close to, or over capacity at peak travel periods. And the city and metropolitan area will continue to grow into the near future at least.

Agree that dangerous driving contributes to most pedestrian fatalities. But I disagree with the assumption regarding the percentage of drivers who drive unsafely on city streets. I would guess it may be something like two percent. I think the percentage who drive unsafely on highways is ten times that amount from my fifty years of driving experience. 

On 8/24/2019 at 12:18 PM, Guest0821 said:

You're right that bicyclists should have the required lighting at night to increase visibility but in all honesty it is not difficult to see a bicyclists on NYC streets, nor is it difficult to see a pedestrian if you are attentive and not speeding. There is plenty of lighting in NYC, on the vast majority of streets. We recently had almost every street in NYC converted to LED lighting as well.

The story about the bicyclist crashing into the side of your friend's car has to do with the bicyclist being inattentive, not a lack of light.

"Yes, drivers violate traffic rules, but by far cyclists violate more rules than drivers."

This is not even close to being an accurate statement. Speeding, double parking, illegal U-turns, unpredictable lane changes, failing to signal? The primary rules that bicyclists break in NYC are red running and riding in the wrong direction. Drivers do those things too with regularity. Besides the fact that drivers violate far more rules than bicyclist have the capability to, drivers are far more likely to cause serious injury or death.

As for the pedestrian deaths, starting with the most recent:

"According to the NYPD, Michael Collopy, 60, was hit by a cyclist at about 11:53 a.m. on July 31 <b>as he stood in the protected bike lane</b> at Sixth Avenue and 23rd Street, a busy corner."

https://nyc.streetsblog.org/2019/08/07/pedestrian-dies-after-cyclist-hit-and-run/

Pedestrian killed earlier this year:

"Donna Sturm was hit by a cyclist in the crosswalk at West 57th Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues during her lunch break on April 25th. The cyclist, 40-year-old Damian Deward, allegedly ran a red light when he hit Sturm."

https://gothamist.com/2019/05/06/pedestrian_cyclist_death.php

And BTW. I do drive and night and have never had an issue seeing a bicyclists or pedestrian in the city after dark.

I still remember a film I saw about 40 years ago in my defensive driving course that discussed what causes automobile accidents and the answer was that there are always at least three factors involved and if only one of the three were not present, the accident would have been avoided. That is why a believe that the lack of lighting contributed to my friend's accident with the cyclist. Even with the cyclist being inattentive, a functional street lamp would have allowed my friend and myself to see him when he was 150 from the intersection. 

And I know you said you never had an issue, but from my experience, I found  it can be very difficult to see cyclists and pedestrians even if you are very attentive, if the cyclist is somewhere you don't expect to see him like cycling at night between the double yellow line without reflectors or lights and wearing dark clothing even with adequate lighting. Also, sun glare can be so blinding that it is impossible to see a cyclist or a pedestrian if it suddenly occurs without warning which is why I always where sunglasses at dusk if driving facing west. 

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