Brooklyn resident Adam Uster was killed while biking home after grocery shopping at Wegmans in Bedford-Stuyvesant.

“The last thing I said to him was, ‘Be safe,'” said Annie Goldner, Uster’s mother.

Uster, 39, a husband, father of two and a cycling advocate, was driving south when a pickup truck driver hit him at the intersection of Franklin Avenue and Lexington Avenue just before noon Monday, May 1, according to New York City Police Department.

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“This death occurred at Community Board 3 in Brooklyn, which has no protected bike lanes. Franklin Avenue only has an unprotected bike lane with all paint,” according to Transportation Alternatives.

Badly injured but conscious, “he could even say the names of his daughters” when “his wife and paramedics arrived at the scene,” according to Streetsblog.

Uster was taken to New York-Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital for surgery but did not survive.

The pickup truck driver remained at the scene but was not arrested. As of Wednesday, the NYPD is still investigating the 13th cyclist fatality in the city for 2023 — a sixfold increase from 2022 City data.

“Road traffic violence has killed 13 people riding bicycles so far in 2023 — by far the most at this point in any year under Vision Zero and more than triple the average since 2014,” said Transportation Alternatives.

Demands for city leaders to do more are getting louder on social media.

“Franklin Avenue has a deadly PAINT bike lane. Color is not infrastructure!” tweeted one person.

“If someone is crushed to death on their way home from shopping and no one finds the fault, then something is wrong with the way our streets are designed. City officials and planners should be held accountable,” said another commenter.

“We are devastated to learn that Adam Uster – a longtime biker, community member and TA member – was killed by a truck driver in Brooklyn. Adam is the thirteenth cyclist to be killed in 2023, by far the deadliest year for cyclists under Vision Zero. We are demanding immediate action from our leaders to keep New Yorkers safe – the city needs to build basic bicycle infrastructure and Albany needs to pass Sammy’s law to give New York City control of its own speed limits,” said Danny Harris, executive Director of Transportation Alternatives.

Action to reduce traffic speeds in areas like Bedford-Stuyvesant is limited because the NYS Senate controls traffic laws. Sammy’s Law, NYS Senate Bill S2422would “allow cities with more than one million people to relax restrictions to allow cities to set speed limits below 25mph”.

Until speed limits are lowered, road safety is enforced and concrete cycling infrastructure is installed, cyclists will remain a particularly vulnerable commuter.

Headshot by Taneika Duhaney

Taneika is a Jamaican runner and gravel cyclist based in Virginia. As a passionate cyclist, she wants to get more people of all abilities to ride off the beaten track.

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