Truck driver receives few summonses for killing Borough Park cyclist as MTA workers continue to park dangerously – Streetsblog New York City
The morning after a Borough Park architect was killed on Thursday night, the roadway he was run over by a sanitation truck driver was still filled with illegally parked cars belonging to employees of an MTA rail facility – a dangerous practice which may have led to the death of the cyclist.
The NYPD said it issued “multiple summonses” to the still-unidentified 62-year-old driver of the private Volvo garage truck that struck architect Eric Salitsky, 35, around 6:20 p.m. Thursday night on Ninth Avenue at the MTA. 38th Street Court. The driver initially fled but was “located shortly after the collision”, police said. The NYPD also appeared to excuse the driver’s illegal flight from the scene, saying, “It is believed the operator was unaware he was involved in a collision.”
The NYPD declined to say what the summons were for, but the driver does not appear to have been arrested.
Meanwhile, on Friday, a reporter discovered six cars — five with MTA vests on the dashboard and one with an NYPD Transit Police sign — illegally parked in the “No Parking” zone on the south side of Ninth Avenue where Salitsky was killed.
As well as having a needle warning drivers to respect and yield to cyclists, the narrow two-way road is also a bus route. At one point, two buses were unable to pass due to the presence of this illegally parked cop’s car – a car that was slapped with five camera-issued speeding tickets in less than two years:
Other cars on the block displayed MTA vests, like these:
At Salitsky’s apartment on 42nd Street near the crash site, window blinds were drawn and a recorded note on the buzzer asked for privacy.
The Borough Park neighborhood is one of the least safe for cyclists, thanks to the lack of even a single protected bike path and a political establishment that opposes safety improvements, like the DOT’s plan to bike lanes on Seventh and Eighth Avenues to the west. edge of the borough park. Neighborhood lawmakers include State Senator Simcha Felder and Assemblyman Peter Abbate, as well as Councilman Kalman Yeger — all of whom have opposed security measures on the streets.
“It’s a fucking joke,” said a city insider who requested anonymity because he is not authorized to speak in public. “The DOT is bringing plans to Community Board 12, like Seventh and Eighth Avenues and they’re cutting off the bus lanes. And the DOT goes hand in hand. This neighborhood doesn’t want to do anything.
Felder did not call back Friday. Yeger never responded to a Streetsblog request for information.
But Abbate, who has served in the Assembly since the Reagan administration, called back to say he Is concerned about road safety in the neighborhood, citing his authorship of four bills… that would reduce cycling.
“I have bills to regulate motorized bicycles and scooters and everything we see today,” he said. “Cyclists must wear a helmet and be registered.”
He didn’t seem to know the difference between pedal-assist e-bikes (legalized by the state legislature in 2019) and illegal mopeds.
“They’re all the same,” he said. “It is a scandal.”
When reminded that car and truck drivers cause more than 98% of injuries and virtually all deaths on our streets – including Thursday’s fatalities of cyclists – Abbate was not deterred from objecting. to cycling.
“I understand [the numbers]but i get a lot more [complaints] about bikes,” he said.
Abbate opposed a city plan to redesign Seventh and Eighth Avenues near Sunset Park because of its bike path and because he felt it would cause traffic congestion as drivers would again double parking on the commercial band. But the double parking isn’t what bothered him, per se, because it’s not motorists who double park that kill pedestrians and cyclists.
“The DOT has no idea,” he said. “I don’t think they’ve ever been in a car!” They come to the community council with statistics, like, “There have been 22 accidents” – but 20 of them were a small scrape from one car to another. You have to have the drivers who kill people at high speed! More ticketing. More app. Tougher penalty for speeding. And take away their license. And that is why cyclists must also be registered.
He also said he was focused on “fixing traffic.”
“Give me two trucks for three months and we’ll solve the problem of double-parked cars,” said Abbate, who was once a taxi driver. “The DOT can set up all the loading zones and bike lanes they want, but if there’s no enforcement, people will park there!” Thus, the single channel becomes no channel. But DOT says, ‘That’s not our job.’ Go to 250 Broadway [the State office building]! There are always people parked in the spaces reserved for members of the Assembly. [DOT did not respond to a request for comment on the Salisky case, citing the ongoing investigation.]
Abbate is nothing if not confident in his opinion. “If I sat on my front porch for five minutes, I could tell you which people should have their licenses revoked and which shouldn’t,” he said. “I am not against security. But I want intelligent security.”
For his part, MTA spokesman Eugene Resnick released a statement, “New York City Transit’s consistent message to employees is clear that if they are driving, they should not park on a sidewalk, in a bus lane, in an illegal location, or at a metered spot without paying Placing an MTA vest on the dashboard does not exempt an employee from parking regulations or confer any special privileges.