Last night we had dinner with an old friend and his new wife. When the topic turned to cycling in New Orleans, she confessed she was fearful for her safety, and she enumerated an appallingly long list of friends and acquaintances who have been severely injured when their bicycles collided with automobiles.
This morning a number of friends contacted me, concerned that I was perhaps no longer among the living. I’m still here, but a man about my age was killed at Jeff Davis and Canal Street. He was riding a bike and was struck by a car, or so I read.
I was not killed this morning, but it could have been me. Until the new year, I passed through this intersection at least twice a day. This is a dangerous intersection for bicyclists; there are not even stripes to designate where the Jeff Davis bike path crosses Canal Street.
This reminds me why I first got motivated to pursue the construction of a trail in the Lafitte Corridor ten years ago, and why the work of groups like FOLC and Bike Easy is so important. We need to do better by our cyclists and pedestrians.
For now, though, my heart goes out to the man who was killed this morning, and to his family.
Here’s the word from NOPD:
BICYCLIST KILLED IN MID-CITY TRAFFIC COLLISION
NEW ORLEANS, LA. – The NOPD is investigating a traffic fatality that claimed the life of a 45-year-old man. The incident occurred around 9:00 a.m., at the intersection of Canal Street and North Jefferson Davis Parkway.
The 51-year-old female driver of a blue Buick Park Avenue was travelling northbound on Canal Street in the center lane. At the same time, the bicyclist, driving a blue Cranbrook bicycle, was traveling eastbound on North Jefferson Davis Parkway attempting to cross the vehicle’s lane of travel and was struck. EMS arrived and rendered aid to the bicyclist, but the attempts were unsuccessful. The victim was pronounced dead on the scene.
Blood and alcohol tests are pending and the investigation into the collision is on-going.
Fatality Investigator Anthony Pontiff is in charge of the investigation and can be reached at 504-658-6210.