Yesterday the NYC DOT commissioner met with the wife of a man killed last year in a collision with a cyclist riding the wrong way on a Midtown street. Not long after the tragic accident, Nancy Gruskin, widow of Stuart Gruskin, wrote the mayor about safety issues and asked for a meeting with someone at the DOT. Her response was a form letter from Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan, addressed to her dead husband.
Sadik-Khan attempted to make up for the faux-pas yesterday, meeting with Gruskin privately for an hour. CBS 2, whose "Bike Bedlam" series portrayed cyclists as reckless maniacs taking over the city with their ubiquitous lanes, reports that Sadik-Khan apologized to Gruskin. The commissioner also promised to improve the DOT's data collection when it comes to accidents between cyclists and pedestrians. "The hard data on incidents between bicyclists and pedestrians, it’s a real missing link," says Gruskin.
And Sadik-Khan reportedly promised to press the NYPD to do a better job enforcing laws that ban cyclists from sidewalks and require deliverymen to wear helmets. Through the first half of 2010, police issued 15,957 tickets to cyclists across the city, 13,632 of them for riding on the sidewalk, according to City Room. "They’ll run you over, they don’t wear helmets, they don’t care," one Upper West Side resident tells CBS 2. Indeed, residents on both the Upper West and Upper East sides have lately been up in arms about bike riding delivery men. As a result, the State Legislature is considering a bill that would make a restaurant liable for their violations.