EAST NEW YORK – The first week of January closed with the death of another bicyclist in Brooklyn. On Friday, January 4 at 3:55 am 41-year-old Hector Ayala Jr. was riding his bike a block from his home at the Louis Heaton Pink houses when he was hit by a 2018 Dodge van, police said. The van was heading westbound on Linden Blvd and Ayala was riding southbound on Crescent St, according to the police, who found Ayala with trauma to his torso. Ayala was taken to Brookdale Hospital, where he died.
The driver of the van remained at the scene. No arrests have been made and the investigation is ongoing.
The first bicyclist death of 2019 took place on New Year’s Day in Sunset Park. Hugo Garcia, 26, was riding his bike when a taxi driver opened the car’s door in his path. Hugo was thrown into oncoming traffic, where a 2013 Nissan hit and killed him. Bagels by The Park (323 Smith Street) set up a GoFundMe page for their delivery man to help his family in Guatemala, PMFA wrote yesterday, so far raising just over $2,600.
“Life-saving measures, like protected bike lanes, must be applied wherever possible and as a matter of policy – not just when it is politically palatable or after a bicyclist has been killed. This is the only way to create a connected, city-wide network of protected bike lanes,” Transportation Alternatives’ Co-Interim Director Ellen McDermott said following Garcia’s death.
“There is a bill in front of the City Council which would establish a ‘Vision Zero Street Design Standard,’ which would move the New York City Department of Transportation toward installing safety improvements like protected bike lanes every time a street is repaved. The Vision Zero Street Design Standard bill should be a top priority for the City Council this year.”