Support road.cc

Like this site? Help us to make it better.

New York cyclist dies - Woody Allen blamed for the lack of cycle lane

The film director objected to a cycle lane on the street where the incident happened

Film director Woody Allen and his neighbours on Manhattan’s Upper East side are being criticised for having voted against the implementation of a cycle lane on their street, on which a 28-year-old cyclist died earlier this week. 

Allen objected to the cycle lane plan in 2016 because “it couldn't be installed in a graceful way”. 

On Tuesday, July 26th Carling Mott was cycling on New York’s Citi Bike when she was hit by a lorry driver and died at the scene. The driver was not charged after the incident. 

“Her death was preventable and is the result of delaying, shrinking, and withholding vital street safety infrastructure,” Anna Melendez, a member of Manhattan street-safety group Transportation Alternatives, said in a statement. 

“The Adams [NYC mayor's] administration must invest in a network of crosstown protected bike lanes on the Upper East Side to protect bike riders from deadly cars and tractor-trailers,” she added.

Mott had been cycling in between the parked cars and the lorry - a location where the bike lane has been proposed in 2016. Residents of the street, including Woody Allen, opposed the plans for the implementation of six crosstown cycle lanes, saying that lanes on the 84th and 85th Street would impair traffic and have negative effects on nearby "residential buildings, clinics, and schools". 

The proposed cycle lane would have been a painted, single-way lane that would not have been separated from the traffic with bollards - a design that already exists in other parts of the city.

New York Transportation Alternatives' Executive Director of Advocacy Danny Harris said that officials “had failed to build adequate crosstown protected bike lanes in this neighbourhood. The absence of safe biking infrastructure on the Upper East Side is deadly.”

Suvi joined F-At in 2022, first writing for off-road.cc. She's since joined the tech hub, and contributes to all of the sites covering tech news, features, reviews and women's cycling content. Lover of long-distance cycling, Suvi is easily convinced to join any rides and events that cover over 100km, and ideally, plenty of cake and coffee stops. 

Add new comment

15 comments

Avatar
steaders1 | 1 year ago
0 likes

Maybe Woody Allen should be evicted in a very "non graceful way"

Avatar
Fignon's ghost | 1 year ago
0 likes

The litigious octogenarian strikes again!

I love his art but am borderline disgusted at his Dershowitz like approach to contrary points of view.

Graceful way. FFS. Did his lawyer pen that?

Avatar
NOtotheEU | 1 year ago
4 likes

It's shocking how many women are killed by HGV's in this country, not sure if the US is the same. 

I did a bit of searching to see if anyone knows why and it seems no one has studied it in enough depth to come up with a valid conclusion but people who have looked into it think that it might be due to women cyclists being less agressive than men.

To me this feels more like victim blaming than a valid reason, especially as there are many more male cyclists than female and many more male cyclists die each year in incidents with other vehicles.

I've only noticed this recently but the BMJ investigated this between 1985 to 1992 and could only suggest it might be because women are on average shorter and harder to see than men.

Avatar
Rendel Harris replied to NOtotheEU | 1 year ago
3 likes

I've often speculated that it may be because the vast majority of HGV drivers are men who are more likely to overlook female cyclists as in the subconscious they don't ring alarm bells as a potential threat/challenge/adversary whereas a male does, so they're more likely to register the presence of a male than a female.

Avatar
NOtotheEU replied to Rendel Harris | 1 year ago
3 likes

Interesting point. 

I wondered if it was because men are more likely to have worked in heavy industry and have been around lorries at work. Given that London seems to be the place this happens most I'm probably wrong as I'm guessing the majority of cyclists in London rush hour traffic would be students, office workers and shop workers.

Avatar
Rome73 replied to NOtotheEU | 1 year ago
1 like

Definitely London doesn't have so many brexthick drivers. Less gammon = less ignorance on the road. 

Avatar
Hirsute replied to Rome73 | 1 year ago
2 likes

Seems a bit tenuous.

Avatar
Rome73 replied to Rendel Harris | 1 year ago
1 like

It's arguably to do with discipline. There is a suggestion that women obey the rules more and therefore put themselves in vunerable positions - I.e. waiting at the lights alongside a vehicle that in which the driver has restricted vision. Whereas a male cyclist will go through the stop light - and thus away from potential risk. Its a theory. 

Avatar
Brauchsel replied to Rendel Harris | 1 year ago
1 like

I'm not sure many of the HGV-driving killers of cyclists notice that there even is a cyclist until it's too late, never mind which sex they are. 

Avatar
Rendel Harris replied to Brauchsel | 1 year ago
1 like

Brauchsel wrote:

I'm not sure many of the HGV-driving killers of cyclists notice that there even is a cyclist until it's too late, never mind which sex they are. 

That's entirely possible, but then if they don't notice any cyclists we are still left with the question of why it is so often women who are their victims.

Avatar
ktache replied to Rendel Harris | 1 year ago
3 likes

I think brumsadump is getting there, and it might have something to do with "obeying the law", I reckon that a societal myth has built up that it's the lawbreaking male cyclists that get themselves killed and it's their own fault (as we all know, absolute nonsense), you know, going through red lights and foolishly going up the inside of turning HGVs.

And I think that these women are riding completely within the law so expect to be respected and to be safe.  So they don't ride up the inside of HGVs, but of course they are overtaken by them, the drivers deliberately putting the cyclist in their huge blind spots, the driver instantly forgetting about the cyclist and running them over.

It's a little bit sexist but it's my take on it, and it might go some way  to explains why women are more likely to be the victims of huge lorries and trucks, given their proportion within cyclists.

Avatar
wtjs replied to ktache | 1 year ago
1 like

So they don't ride up the inside of HGVs, but of course they are overtaken by them, the drivers deliberately putting the cyclist in their huge blind spots, the driver instantly forgetting about the cyclist and running them over

This is how you end up on 'the inside' of large vehicles, seeing the notices on the back 'warning' cyclists, and knowing that the sniggering b*****d Lancashire police just eject any reports from cyclists straight into the bin with no response and no thought of any action. I certainly won't be sympathetic about the highly unlikely event of any Lancashire police officer being hit while out cycling- or, to put it another way, I'll be exactly as sympathetic as the police are to cyclists

Avatar
brooksby replied to NOtotheEU | 1 year ago
6 likes

I read Streetsblog and the Gothamist from time to time, and a lot of times you get a story where a cyclist or a pedestrian has been killed by a HGV and it turns out that the truck should not even have been on that street. A lot of streets in New York are apparently flagged as ones that HGVs and buses aren't allowed on.  And yet that never becomes part of the prosecution (when they even bother with prosecution: the NYPD has form for releasing extremely victim-blaming statements and attempting to close the file before they've done any investigation. CSI:NY it is not...

Avatar
hawkinspeter | 1 year ago
9 likes

They're missing the point, it's not the dangerous lorries and cars that cyclists need protecting aginst, but the dangerous drivers. One way to deal with the dangerous drivers is to ensure that drivers are charged after fatal incidents, but the U.S. has no desire to penalise drivers.

Avatar
OldRidgeback replied to hawkinspeter | 1 year ago
6 likes

The US has a very poor record for road safety. Around 4x as many people are killed/head of population in road crashes in the US than in the UK. New York actually has one of the best safety records for road safety in the US. Drink driving and speeding are real problems in the US and actually got worse during the lockdown period when there were fewer vehicles on the road, so pedestrian and cyclist fatalities actually increased.

There are lots of reasons for this poor safety, but poor driver training, a lack of regular safety checks on vehicles in many states and poor enforcement of laws on speeding and drink/drug driving are all big factors.

Florida and North and South Carolina are amongst the worst states for road deaths. As I recall, North Carolina has a population of around 10.5 million, compared with 65 or so million for the UK. But in 2020 I think over 1,700 people died in road crashes in NC, compared with over 1,500 FOR THE WHOLE OF THE UK. Those statistics are pretty horrific.

Latest Comments