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Yesterday at about 5:30 p.m. a 52-year-old cyclist riding on Chrystie Street was turning onto Delancey when he apparently collided with the back of a tractor-trailer, was pulled under its wheels, and was killed. He was pronounced dead at the scene. According to DNA Info, the man has been identified as Jeffrey Axelrod of Hicks Street in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn. There’s no criminality suspected — sources say Axelrod, who was wearing a helmet, appeared to have a problem with his chain and lost control of his bike, which hit the truck and then got pulled underneath it.
Still, early reports of the incident set off a flood of responses, as exampled by EV Grieve’s post, “What Is the City Going to Do About Delancey?” referring to the fact that, as reported by the Daily News on August 1, “there have been 523 motor vehicle accidents at the intersection of Essex and Delancey Streets — 134 involving pedestrians and bicyclists,” and three deaths, which puts it in the running as one of the deadliest intersections in New York City. Yesterday Scott Stringer tweeted, “Reports of another cyclist struck dead on Delancey St by cement truck. No more waiting: DOT must fix this dangerous mess and save lives now.”
The Department of Transportation points out, however, that this most recent incident happened near Chrystie Street, several blocks away from the Essex/Delancey intersection, and that there have been no fatalities there in the last five years, and one minor bike injury last year. (We asked about the death of Rasha Shamoon, who is memorialized by a ghost bike some 50 yards away at Delancey and Bowery, where she was hit by an SUV in 2008. We’ll update when we hear back.)
DOT is reviewing yesterday’s accident report.
Update: Jamin Mendelsohn, who knew Jeffrey, writes,
Jeff was a fixture at the Kane St. Church every Tuesday for Cobble Hill’s CSA Vegetable Pickup, often wearing his cycling clothes and toting his bike. Every week, I would look forward to seeing Jeff’s name in my inbox with an email announcing the vegetables for the week, signing off simply: “peace, jeff.”
I’ve been a member for 2 years and he has been the steady face of the CSA — truly defining “community” in our enclave in Brooklyn. It is a very sad moment for this community and for everyone who knew Jeff — his presence in Cobble Hill has been important and this tragedy will leave a void…