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Cops Stand by as Buses Block Bike Lane at Deadly Brooklyn Intersection – Streetsblog New York City

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Cops Stand by as Buses Block Bike Lane at Lethal Brooklyn Intersection – Streetsblog New York Metropolis

Someday after the motive force of a personal constitution bus killed 35-year-old Sarah Pitts at a notoriously harmful Williamsburg nook, cops sat idling of their squad automotive as motorists parked within the bike lane and sped as much as make the sunshine via the identical intersection — enraging associates of the sufferer who have been throughout the road lighting candles and hanging flowers at a makeshift memorial.

Pitts is at the very least the twelfth bike owner killed to this point this 12 months on the streets of New York Metropolis, and the eleventh case during which secure bike infrastructure might have saved the bike owner’s life.

“Simply as each bike owner dying is a tragedy, each bike owner dying can be a coverage failure,” mentioned Transportation Alternate options Govt Director Danny Harris. “All however one of many deadly crashes which claimed the lives of bicyclists this 12 months happened on streets with out protected bike lanes. These crashes might have been prevented, however security has for too lengthy been secondary to the comfort of drivers in New York Metropolis.”

On Sept. 7, about half-hour after midnight, police say that Pitts — a prosecutor within the Brooklyn District Legal professional’s workplace who colleagues say devoted her life to in search of justice — was fatally struck by the motive force from Glorious Bus Service.

Cops say Pitts was touring east on Wythe Avenue, the place there are two lanes of site visitors and a painted bike lane that’s routinely blocked by faculty buses within the largely Hasidic space, when she was hit by the huge constitution bus, which was heading north on Williamsburg Road, seemingly onto the on-ramp of the Brooklyn Queens Expressway.

Simply hours after Pitts’s bike lay mangled on the facet of the street — together with her water bottle and Black Lives Matter signal nonetheless fixed to its body — police stationed on the nook on Tuesday afternoon refused to ticket the college buses blocking the Wythe Avenue bike lane. Pals say Pitts was heading house to Clinton Hill from a gathering with Riders For Rights, a bunch of cyclists combating to guard protesters’ first-amendment rights, on the evening she was killed.

Cops on the scene on Tuesday instructed Streetsblog they have been there for a “Imaginative and prescient Zero factor,” however they have been extra targeted on enforcement within the intersection and transferring violations than on ticketing idling vans and buses blocking the unprotected bike lane; they mentioned that the college buses would go away quickly, anyway, as soon as the personal yeshivas close by set free for the day.

The NYPD’s Collision Investigation Squad is investigating Pitts’s dying, however a law-enforcement supply instructed Streetsblog that no criminality is suspected, citing video from the bus’s sprint cam that captured the deadly crash. Williamsburg Information, which tweeted video and images from the scene of the deadly crash, reported that Pitts had gone via a purple gentle.

However a evaluation of seven of the upstate New York-based firm’s plates discovered that its drivers have racked up a complete of 28 violations since 2014, together with 5 for going via purple lights and 4 for dashing in class zones, in keeping with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and How’s My Driving. 

In circumstances the place a sufferer, defendant, or witness works for the DA’s workplace, like Pitts did, the District Legal professional will refer the case to a particular prosecutor, seemingly one other district lawyer in one other borough. In Pitts’s case, the Brooklyn District Legal professional Workplace’s new Street Safety Bureau, which was created two months in the past with a view to help the NYPD, is supporting the investigation, in keeping with Brooklyn District lawyer spokesman Oren Yaniv.

Additionally on the scene on Tuesday have been site visitors re-constructionists from the agency SKE Forensic Guide, who have been accumulating knowledge and pictures of the realm for use within the case.

The world is thought by cyclists as being horribly harmful, as a result of drivers velocity onto the Brooklyn Queens Expressway and park within the bike lane with impunity.

Since August 2018, there have been a complete of 126 crashes alongside Wythe Avenue between Keap and Heyward streets, inflicting 37 accidents, together with to 3 cyclists and eight pedestrians, in keeping with Crash Mapper.

An lawyer for Glorious Bus Service instructed Streetsblog late Tuesday that the corporate is cooperating with the NYPD’s investigation.

“The matter is pending underneath thorough investigation, and my shoppers are absolutely cooperating with NYPD and different transportation companies,” mentioned Robert Margulies.

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