The family of the Bronx community leader who was fatally run over by a city bus last year while swerving to avoid a car door is suing the city for not putting in a bike lane. You may recall, with enormous sadness, that Megan Charlop, 57, was run over by the city bus last March while biking to Bronx schools to finalize a community gardening project. She had tragically crossed paths with driver Min Kyung Kwan, who popped open the door of his parked car without looking. It's unclear whether the door clipped her or if she swerved to avoid it, but the result was the death of a devoted foster mom, wife, and community activist.

The Daily News reports that the lawsuit claims the city knew full well "Crotona Avenue was dangerous for bicyclists, but failed to establish an approved bike lane along Charlop's route." The MTA is also named as a defendant in the lawsuit. One woman whose son got help from of the community health program Charlop directed tells the News, "She would still be here if they had made good on their plan. No one has been made to account for this wonderful woman's death, and there is so much blame to go around."

Here [pdf] is what the DOT proposed for Crotona Avenue. The bike lane that would have been installed where Charlop died, near the intersection of East Tremont, would not have been one of the Class I bike lanes that are physically separated from motor vehicle and pedestrian traffic.

In other words, as devastating as this accident was, it's not at all certain that a Class II bike lane (painted on the street) would have saved Charlop's life. Driver awareness, or lack thereof, may have been a more important factor than a bike lane. Which makes the DOT's upcoming new "Don't Be A Jerk" public awareness campaign—which targets bad cyclist behavior while reinforcing the NYPD's narrative that cyclists are enemy number one—seem even more misguided. As Streetsblog's Doug Gordon notes, "Cyclists were responsible for zero pedestrian fatalities in 2010, but car crashes claimed the lives of 269 people. But the DOT has never done a safe driving campaign that asks motorists to stop driving like jerks."