By Evan Triantafilidis
A bicyclist was killed when he was struck by a box truck at the intersection of 47th Street and 47th Avenue in Sunnyside on Wednesday morning.
At about 8:30 in the morning, a truck, operated by a 33-year-old driver with a suspended license, was traveling westbound on 47th Avenue and attempted to make a right-hand turn onto 47th Street when the accident happened, police say.
The 58-year-old Forest Hills man, Qiang Tu, was riding west in a designated bike lane along 47th Avenue. He was transported to Elmhurst Hospital where he was pronounced dead.
The operator of the vehicle, Shakai Waye of Newark, New Jersey, remained on scene and was later arrested and charged with aggravated unlicensed operator.
Juan Restrepo, a senior organizer at Transportation Alternatives, blamed the loss of life on the de Blasio administration.
“Qiang Tu’s life could have been saved if Mayor de Blasio prioritized people over parking,” he said in statement. “Instead, even though he was biking along a so-called ‘designated bike route,’ there is zero physical protection from deadly cars here, only painted sharrows on the road.
Restrepo called on the city to prioritize protected bike lans in the southern section of Sunnyside on routes like 47th Avenue that are popular with bicyclists headed to the Kosciuszko Bridge.
“Paint is not protection,” he said. “Instead of getting closer to Vision Zero, we are getting further away. But let’s be clear, Vision Zero isn’t failing, Mayor de Blasio is failing.”