A cyclist was killed overnight on Christmas Day after striking a flatbed truck parked on Sunset Park's Third Avenue.
According to an NYPD release, 33 year-old Alejandro Santos was riding an e-bike on Third Avenue near 24th Street shortly after midnight on Christmas Day when he "collided with...a parked and unoccupied 2019 Ford Flat Bed truck," and was severely injured. Santos, who lived in Sunset Park, died several hours later.
An NYPD spokesperson could not say whether the truck was legally parked, and also could not confirm a report in the Post, citing police sources, that Santos was intoxicated when he died. The investigation is ongoing.
It is not uncommon for a more thorough investigation to contradict the police department's initial assertions in fatal crashes.
Santos is the sixth cyclist or pedestrian to die on Sunset Park's Third Avenue since 2019.
In October, Clara Kang, a 31-year-old critical care nurse practitioner was fatally struck by a motorcyclist, while biking home to Long Island City from her overnight shift at NYU-Langone.
Last year, the Department of Transportation lowered the speed limit on Third Avenue from 30 to 25 mph, and added speed cameras, but a more substantive safety overhaul of the dark, unsafe corridor under the Gowanus Expressway has been delayed for years.
As Streetsblog reported this fall, federal funding for work that would reroute cyclists and build out the Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway was allocated in 2005; the DOT told the outlet that it has been on hold because of “several funding and design issues, as well as delays related to COVID-19.”
So far this year, 25 cyclists have been killed on city streets; last year's count of 29 was a record high for the administration of Mayor Bill de Blasio. Traffic deaths overall are poised to be at their highest point since de Blasio took office, with 243 people killed as of Monday.
[UPDATE / 12:23 p.m.] After this story was published, DOT spokesperson Brian Zumhagen sent this statement:
We're devastated for the victim's loved ones. We are well aware of the history of crashes in this area - that's why we lowered speed limits on this corridor earlier this year, and completed an 8-mile protected bike lane just one block over on Fourth Avenue. Still, it's clear that we need to go farther. We'll do everything we can do expedite the construction that has already begun, which will bring dedicated cycling space to this part of Third Avenue, as part of a capital project with DDC to build another segment of the Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway. We're committed to keeping cyclists safe in this city, and we won't rest until we meet our Vision Zero goals.