New York’s Citibike Records Its First Fatality

Yesterday, a tragic accident in Manhattan claimed the life of a cyclist. Dan Hanegby, a 36 year old from Brooklyn, is the Citibike’s first fatality in its four years of operation.

The New York Times provides a summary of the accident below:

A 36-year-old investment banker was killed in Manhattan on Monday morning when the Citi Bike he was riding collided with a charter bus, the first fatality involving New York City’s four-year-old bike-share program, the authorities said.

The bicyclist, Dan Hanegby of Brooklyn, was riding on 26th Street between Seventh and Eighth Avenues in the Chelsea neighborhood around 8:15 a.m. when he swerved to go around a parked van, struck a bus next to him that was traveling in the same direction, tumbled off the bicycle and fell under the bus’s rear tires, the police said. Mr. Hanegby sustained severe trauma, the police said, and was pronounced dead at Bellevue Hospital Center.

The collision appeared to be an accident, the authorities said, and the 52-year-old bus driver remained at the scene. The Citi Bike program has had more than 43 million trips in the city since it began, a spokeswoman for the service said.

In recent years, bicyclists in New York have said city leaders have not done enough to protect riders. They demanded more safeguards in 2016 after the number of bicycle fatalities surpassed the previous year’s total. Through April, four people had been killed on bicycles in New York this year, according to the city.

Mr. Hanegby, a director of investment banking at Credit Suisse, lived in Brooklyn Heights with his wife, Sasha, and his children, a boy and a girl. Neighbors said that he was stoic and always focused and that he devoted his weekends to his children. They played at a nearby playground and spent time outside together.

Steve Adams, who lives next door, said he saw Mr. Hanegby on weekends wearing cycling clothes and riding a racing bicycle. “That’s why it’s so weird, what happened with him falling,” Mr. Adams said. “Life is so strange.”

It’s hard to read about this accident and not conclude that New York City needs to do more to make its streets safer for cyclists. Hanegby was riding on a slow moving bicycle on a narrow side street, he was forced to swerve into traffic due to double parked van, a risk that could have been mitigated by better designed streets with accommodations for cyclists.

Somewhere between 15 and 20 cyclists die on New York’s Street’s each year. While that number is far less than many would imagine, especially given the explosive growth in cycling on the city’s streets, these deaths are entirely preventable.

New York’s cyclists shouldn’t be one mistake away from being hit by a bus.

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