It’s been a bad week for bicyclists in New York. First came the news that Ray Deter, the owner of the popular d.b.a bars, was hospitalized Wednesday after a silver Jaguar hit his bicycle on Canal Street. Friday, Deter’s wife announced on the bar’s Facebook page that Deter would not survive his injuries.
Then Saturday afternoon Marilyn Dershowitz, a former Manhattan Supreme Court referee and the sister-in-law of Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz, was killed when her bicycle was struck by a postal truck on 29th Street near 9th Avenue.
Dershowitz, 68, was cycling with her husband towards the West Side bike path when she was caught between a car and the postal truck trying to make it through the traffic light. She was rushed to Bellevue Medical Center, but died shortly afterward.
The two deaths are a reminder that cycling in the city remains dangerous, even with all the appropriate precautions — Deter wasn’t wearing a helmet, Dershowitz was.
The week’s accidents notwithstanding, the Department of Transportation maintains that bicycling in New York is actually 75 percent safer than it was a decade ago: Cyclist fatalities and serious injuries have steadily dropped over the last decade even as the number of bicycle commuters has skyrocketed.