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Hit and Run, again

In civilized cities, who recognize the true culprits of danger, (motorists) as seen here in Copenhagen:

(photo by copenhagenize.com)
The bike cops ticket the cars.

In car culture, “Drill Baby, Drill” cities like NYC…

“You Betchya…” The automobile is sacred and can do no wrong.

Therefore the city has turned it’s sights on law breaking cyclists in the name of “safety.”
(photo by @run_rabbit_run)
Here the cops are ticketing cyclists for such heinous infractions like “not riding in the bike lane.”

Meanwhile the motorists are continuing to mow us down and commit felonies like fleeing the scene of the crime (hit and run)
Like we witnessed in Time’s Square last week.

and now in Williamsburg, Brooklyn:

From Jessversus.tumblr.com

February 4th, 2011
attn: #bikenyc, @bikeblognyc

My friend Serena was riding her bike in Williamsburg and was struck at the intersection of South4th and Wythe around 2:26 pm (Friday February 4th, 2011). She was struck by a motorist who, instead of stopping to see if she was okay, fled the scene and left her for dead. We were informed at around 8PM of her condition.

She currently has a punctured lung, broken pelvis, among several other severe injuries and is in the ICU at Bellevue Hospital. She is currently unconscious under heavy sedation.

Please, please reblog/RT if you can. We are looking for witnesses, passers-by, who have any information about the car or the driver, who may have seen the accident. If you have any information, please contact agblakemore@gmail.com—your anonymity will be protected if that is your preference.

Here’s what Serena looks like/what her bike looks like:



16 comments to Hit and Run, again

  • intotheNIGHT

    This is going to be an unpopular view I know but:

    southbound traffic that was on kent is now re-routed to wythe, wythe is the new kent and kent is just a clusterfuck.

    I wish they would just bring the two way traffic back to kent. this wouldn’t have happened .

  • anon

    i’d like to find the driver and leave them for dead.

  • Skamp

    ^I make sure they were

  • Interesting. Hit and run… :S

  • Liz

    No offense, and not to be mean, but it doesn’t look like she’s wearing a helmet in any of these bike photos, so she seems pretty irresponsible on that fact alone. It doesn’t sound like her head was injured, which is great, but I have no sympathy for bikers in accidents who are not wearing helmets, especially in NYC. Biker culture here needs to be a much more self aware, and begin to worry more about, “YES, drivers here are assholes and I need to be on guard every second that I’m biking” rather than “look at my cool fixie and how I squeeze through traffic really fast” Again, not saying that she was thinking any of this, but there are too many stories about bikers being hurt here, and I’m sorry, but fault does not always lie with the driver. Hit and run is completely different, but it doesn’t look like she was taking the smallest amount of the precautions that a biker in NYC should.

  • Anne

    I understand the helmet comment, but that’s not the point here. She’s a person, who was seriously hurt by someone that gave no regard for life. Helmet or not, send her good vibes and a fast recovery. If we need to start commenting on the helmet/no helmet debate, I think it should be saved for a different post. As someone in the bike community, I think we should come together in situations like this and wish this rad girl a fast recovery.

  • eliot

    Liz, when you read about serial rapists attacking women, do you wonder how the women were dressed?

  • Maris

    You’re right, Liz, she was asking for it.

    /sarcasm off

  • chris mcnally

    Poor girl. How awful to be left that way. I hope she recovers.

    I also have no sympathy for cyclists who don’t protect their lungs by wearing kevlar. Why want’s she wearing pelvis armor?

    Folks, if everyone drove 20 mph then you wouldn’t even need seat belts. all this supposed protection, ie helmets, are just to make you feel better when you drive 30 mph on a residential st.

  • dave

    Liz, you have no sympathy for bikers in accidents who don’t wear helmets?!? She has a punctured lung and a broken pelvis, what exactly would a bike helmet do to prevent that? Further more what does a bike helmet do to prevent any accident? You are blaming the victim. One accident I was in was because I was wearing a helmet. I am a messenger and was carrying around a big roll that stuck out of my bag. It pushed the helmet down over my eyes for a moment. That was long enough for someone to throw a car door open in front of me. I’ll never wear another helmet because I care about my safety. I realize that this accident was not typical, but all it takes is a second. My thoughts and prayers go out to Serena, regardless of whether she was wearing a piece of styrofoam on her head.

  • Liz

    I feared my comments might have been misconstrued so let me rephrase. Anne is correct in saying that the helmet issue should probably be left to another post. I was speaking holistically of the attitude I see many young bikers here have that cars are always at fault. I should not have said “I have no sympathy..” that was unnecessary. I’ve lived in Brooklyn for the past 17 years, I bike all the time, and always wear a helmet. It may not prevent a broken pelvis or a punctured lung, but it doesn’t make it any less important. Wearing a seatbelt doesn’t prevent accidents, but it saves lives. Bikers in NYC should think the same of helmets. That said, I wish Serena nothing but the best care and the speediest recovery.

  • James

    Liz, cars may not ALWAYS be at fault, but they are OFTEN at fault. As someone who rides every single day for 6 to 12 hours at a time (for a living) I’d say I see more people driving irresponsibly on average than I even see bikers on the street. And there are a lot of bikers. If I run a red light or try to squeeze through a narrow opening in traffic on a bike, I put myself at risk. If I do that same thing in a car, I put EVERYONE AROUND ME at risk. The sad truth is that many drivers in New York are simply in too big a hurry to even bother to be aware of anything going on around them. And even when they do cause an accident, unless they are intoxicated or flee the scene of the crime, they are often held only minimally accountable despite the fact that they were obviously recklessly wielding a deadly weapon. The moral of the story here is that stricter traffic enforcement of motorists who break the law would go a LONG way towards making our streets safer. Far more so than a couple of semi-useful-at-best pieces of safety equipment.

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  • eliot

    Liz, I don’t mean to unduly pick on you or your comments, but this is an important point.

    Your comments weren’t “misconstrued” — they were correctly identified as a case of Blaming The Victim.

    Blaming The Victim harms the cause of justice by deflecting blame from the truly guilty. And it prevents us from focusing on real solutions to the problem.

    Study after study have shown that in the majority of car-bike and car-pedestrian crashes, the primary cause is driver inattention or carelessness. (Links below).

    That fact tells us that the most effective way to prevent crashes is by improving driver behavior through:

    - Driver education
    - Enforcement against dangerous driving
    - Better street design

    Yes, safe cycling education is important, and helmets, lights, and bells can keep cyclists safe. But that is not the root of the problem.

    Cyclists like Serena deserve a community and a City that are committed to safety. Instead, we have politicians who score cheap headlines by hating on bike lanes. And we have commenters who have “no sympathy” for victims and no interest in making our streets safer. We deserve better.

    Links:

    http://www.research.utoronto.ca/behind_the_headlines/smart-cycling/

    http://www.rightofway.org/research/kba.html

    http://www.nyc.gov/html/doh/downloads/pdf/episrv/episrv-bike-report.pdf

  • Hi, I just felt the need to say something.

    I a from The Netherlands Amsterdam. I know we are a lot smaller than NYC but it is very densely populated, I believe we almost 1 bicycle per person here, so it tends to get crowded during rush hour, so we have in fact a lot of situations where cars and bicycles have to use the street together.

    Together expresses the feeling that NYC seems to be missing. Here in the Netherlands due to our old bicycle loving culture (that was also promoted by the government), infrastructure has developed in such a way that all users of the public domain are treated equal, or, in the old center pedestrians and cyclists are even favored above cars.

    Nobody here wears a helmet (I do though when I use my race bicycle for sport, as do others), because it is not necessary because cars are always aware of the fact that they share the streets with cyclists. This fact makes us all feel so safe and use the bicycle for everything!

    What I want to say I think, that it is a mentality change that needs to happen, and that change has to come from the car-drivers the most, but also from the cyclists. Mutual respect and recognition of multiple user-groups of the public space is key. When this is common knowledge, the public readiness for the much-needed infrastructure changes that NYC seems to need will develop. Because, as mentioned before, a helmet does not help in preventing an accident. Mutual respect, recognition and a safe, logic and usable infrastructure do.

  • Angela

    I too was hit-and-run recently…except that I was on foot and the hit and runner was on a bike!!! He ran the light and hit me while I was in the middle of a cross-walk….while my injuries were no where close to your friend’s…it seems bikers too can be assholes on the streets.