On Tuesday, November 28, 2017, just after 7AM, a privately operated garbage truck had a collision with a young woman on a commuter bicycle. The female cyclist was taken to Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, a level one trauma center. The accident occurred on Spruce Street in Center City. Tragically, the 24yr old cyclist was pronounced dead at the hospital.
Our hearts go out to the family of the young woman involved in this terrible accident.
A tweet claims later showed USPS and FedEx trucks obstructing traffic. Unfortunately, to get around these trucks cars use the bike lanes, which is extremely dangerous for cyclists. This street is just a few blocks from our office and we have seen the road plenty of times. There is a bike lane here, however, it is poorly marked and frequently obstructed rendering it unusable for cyclists.
Bicycle advocates have been calling for much needed protected bike lanes in Philadelphia for quite some time. Philly’s first protected bike lane just opened around 90 days ago on Chestnut Street in University City, thanks to years of work by the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia.
As you can see by the image below, taken from Google Maps (age unknown), the bike lane on Spruce Street isn’t even noticeable any longer:
Sarah Clark Stewart, the executive director of the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia, called on the city to repaint this bike lane and also add a protective barrier. Philadelphia has been aware of the problem on Spruce Street and has yet to paint it.
An article was posted today on PhillyMag.com today by a cyclist who rides along Spruce Street and she provides some great insight on protected bike lanes.
According to Philly.com, the cyclist was hit when a Gold Medal Environmental garbage truck was taking a right hand turn. Almost 5% of all motorist vs bicycle accidents involve a driver taking a right hand turn. Right hand turn accidents involving bicycles are frequently the result of distraction, failure to yield, or a driver missing a cyclist in their blind spot.
A Facebook event called Human Bike Lane Action has been scheduled for Wednesday, November 29, 2017 at 7:30AM at 1100 Spruce Street. The event encourages everyone, cyclists, pedestrians and motorists, to stand together and demand safe infrastructure. Attendees will gather at 7:30am to link arms along the Spruce Street bike lane near 11th Street to provide safe passing for the morning commute.
If you or a loved one is involved in an accident anywhere in Philadelphia and a blind spot, distracted driver or a poorly maintained road was involved, contact Philadelphia bicycle accident lawyer Edith Pearce today. Successful litigation of bicycle accident, wrongful death cases and claims against government entities requires specialized skill, knowledge and experience to ensure accident victims are given justice. Contact us for a free consultation. If retained, we will hold every party responsible for the bicycle accident accountable.