On Friday night some two dozen cyclists gathered in Queens for what has become a sadly familiar ritual in NYC: The installation of an all-white ghost bike commemorating the traffic death of a cyclist. The notoriously dangerous Queen Boulevard has claimed the lives of two cyclists in the past 19 months; the most recent victim, 38-year-old James Langergaard, was killed by a car as he crossed the boulevard at 69th Street on the evening of August 14th. (In February 2008, Asif Rahman, 22, was killed when he was hit by a truck at an intersection in Elmhurst.)
Langergaard, who volunteered for Transportation Alternatives, was in a rush and ran a red light, according to his brother. A friend tells the Daily News, "It's an injustice that there's no forgiveness on our streets," and another says he continues to commute by bike because "it's what James would have wanted."
Although the cause of this accident appears to be the tragic result of cyclist negligence, bike advocates still emphasize the need for a bike lane on Queens Boulevard. T.A. spokesman Wiley Norvell says, "The road is 14 lanes wide at certain points... the spine of central and western Queens. Eight to 10 feet for bikes isn't asking too much." The DOT is considering various improvements, but there's no indication that Queens Boulevard bike lanes are planned.