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.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on July 5, 2011