March 14, 2019 By Jon Cronin
A Long Island City resident was struck and killed while riding his bicycle in Hunters Point this morning.
The cyclist, identified as Robert Spencer of 50th Avenue, was hit by a black sedan at around 7:50 a.m. near the intersection of Borden Avenue and 2nd Street, police said.
Spencer was riding west on Borden Avenue when he was hit by the vehicle traveling south on 2nd Street. The driver remained on the scene and the NYPD is still investigating the crash.
The driver has not been charged.
EMS took Spencer to Mt. Sinai Hospital Astoria where he was pronounced dead.
At the scene on Borden Ave and 2nd St. In the CitizenApp chat, user stujo says, “A bicyclist was killed” #bikeNYC #VisionZero pic.twitter.com/g6lI7KZcww
— Walking LIC (@LICwalkers) March 14, 2019
I’ve seen pictures of the vehicle… The driver was definitely over the speed limit… Bordennos a 2 way Street… He was coming from 50th Ave… The vehicle is damaged on the drives side… Come on, let’s be for Real… Rest In Peace Spence… This is frinken unbelievable….
I know Robert Spencer very well. Back in the 1990’s, I worked with him for quite a few years at Camp Canine on the UWS in Manhattan. He was a wonderful and beautiful human being. He was a single father who had a good relationship with his adult son. He was an animal lover who worked at the Fund for Animals spay/neutered clinic. He was a pet sitter. We worked together at Camp Canine doggy day care. He even worked just recently with the homeless. He was the type of guy who would do anything to help someone. He was the kind of guy you would want for a neighbor. I have memories/stories but when it happens “close” to home, it hurts. I’ll remember you Robert Spencer and treasure those funny stories. If you love someone, the greatest thing you can do is honor them by sharing your/their stories with others in remembrance of them for a laugh, a smile, a tear or two, a thought. Share your thoughts. May God Bless You, Robert Spencer, for being such a fine person.
How about protected BIKE LANES with a barrier. I ride at least 3 times a week. I see many delivery bikes and yes many are motorized delivery bikes go through red lights regularly. I see regular bikes but not as many as the delivery/motorized kind. Recently I saw on 2 different occasions MTA trucks in LIC /Jackson ave go through red lights. People just don’t seem to care about one another. Everyone is in a hurry. If bikers and cars want to speed find a enclosed track somewhere else. Distracted/impaired driving is also correct, texting, phones, alcohol, etc…now Governor Corruption Cuomo wants to legalize marijuana and add that to the drivers impaired on our roads. How about Illegals granted licenses soon by Cuomo, they have already broken the law to come into the USA, why not break driving laws?
Wow, I didn’t think we’d get racist replies from Trumpeters on _this_ post but…there it is
Not sure how it was racist but ok.
How di you manage to bring immigrants into this post?? We need a charity to buy you Trumpeters some brains!
MrLIC, there’s nothing LIC about you. If you’re anti immigration, you’re in the wrong town, city and borough. Immigration whether via boat, car, foot or plane created this city to be as amazing as it is. If you don’t like it, leave 🙂
I’m sorry another bicyclist was killed and my heart goes out to his family and friends – it’s another senseless loss of life in this city. Someone said (in the Daily News) that he rolled through the light and that the other driver was turning with the light. I work downtown by City Hall and I’m tired of moving out of the way of bicyclists on Broadway (most not messengers) who zoom through red lights, zig zag through traffic and don’t give a dam that somebody is crossing the street! This city is a walking, driving city (drivers who support this city by paying taxes for gas, paying for insurance and paying to have their vehicle registered and inspected. The bike lanes are hardly used, take up parking spaces which we can’t afford to give up and bicyclists don’t obey the same traffic laws as drivers in 4 wheeled vehicles. Not to mention, if somebody gets hit by a bicyclist, there is no recourse to pay their medical bills because the 2 wheeler people don’t have bike insurance.
Yeah and as a pedestrian I am tired of taking my life into danger every time I cross the crosswalk because cars and trucks are turning and they do not give a damn who is in the crosswalk. And I am tired of NYPD not even giving failure to yield and a city hall that persists in keeping simultaneous walk signs with green lights thereby ensuring that crosswalks are the most dangerous places in the city. They KNOW that and let this blood shed continue in the name of the almighty flow of traffic….they are murderers.
Linda – I’m in Queens and the traffic light turns green a few seconds after the walk signal and what happens is drivers think something’s wrong with the traffic light and go through it. Not to mention the cars behind them road rage honking for them to move. There are plenty of immigrants – I don’t know their status here – who have drivers licenses and no insurance and can’t communicate if they get into an accident. Either way, people have to take responsibility for their own safety.
Try crossing without headphones, and without looking at your iphone. It’s not that difficult to cross the street even blind people do it.
I whole heartily agree !!! This is a serious situation.
I have almost been hit several times by bikers bob and weave through traffic totally ignoring the rules of the road. Especially delivery cyclist.I feel the if more officers pull them over as they would a car, some of this will stop ! It is sooo unfair that they put pedestrians and motorists at rist of losing their lives or taking someone else life, totally due to their negligence, negligence that comes from non caring of life.
I know it’s hard to hold everyone accountable, but if we could hold some it would make a difference.
So i say finecthe companies that hire these guys to deliver andcare not obeying the traffic laws and put pedestrians livescat risk. That’s a start.
“It is sooo unfair that they put pedestrians and motorists at ris[k] of losing their lives or taking someone else life, totally due to their negligence, negligence that comes from non caring of life.”
This is tens of thousands of times wrong. First to assign some kind of belief about the motivation of delivery cyclists, or cyclists in general, saying “they do not care about life” while commenting on article about a cyclist that lost his life is extraordinarily insensitive.
But also frustrating is the straw man argument about cyclist behavior and pedestrian safety. Five years ago, 2014 ended with 183 pedestrian fatalities (nearly 12,000 injured). 2018 ended with 115 pedestrian fatalities (10,500 injured). This is by no means enough progress, but is a huge improvement in the safety of our streets for all users, but particularly the most vulnerable.
In approximately this same time frame, there has been the mass proliferation of the dreaded throttle assist e-bikes, legal in NY State but still dubiously illegal in NYC. The amount of pedestrians killed by bicycles has remained consistently between 0 and 2, with the average being less than one per year. If we were seeing some kind of spike in pedestrians being killed by delivery cyclists, then your fear reaction might be justified.
It is not. Bikes, even speedy ones, still weigh a tiny fraction of what a car does, still travel at a fraction of the speed, still stop much quicker, and still hit pedestrians at 1:20 of the ratio of what cars do. It takes a driver traveling at speed enough time to react to travel a full city block. A cyclist can react in a fraction of the time and at a fraction of that distance. This is why you’re 20x less likely to be hit by a bike, and hundreds of times less likely to die as a result.
Fear is fear, but fear is not always rational or directed appropriately. It can lead to mistakes as highlighted by the above quote.
You may be right but these so called illegal in NYC e-bikes are used widely by delivery for businesses. I see as I said many E-bikes more than regular cyclists run RED LIGHTS. Why wait til something happens. It is not pedestrians as much as these ebikes being hit running these red lights that concern me most. Why wait until numbers of accidents go up. Enforce the e-bike ban now.
19 pedestrians and cyclists will die today and every day in car-building/parking lot and car-pedestrian/cyclist crashes mostly because of the flaws and inefficiencies (poor reaction time and stopping distance) of the right foot braking method which we are all forced to use when braking an electric or automatic transmission vehicle. There is no scientific justification for the right foot braking method other than ’that’s the way it’s always been taught’! NHTSA studied this issue and concluded that female drivers have the biggest problem with this braking method (and male drivers as well if the research had been completed). But instead of continuing to blame female drivers why are they not looking for a solution by testing this braking method against the much safer, simpler and more efficient left foot braking method? Perhaps ME TOO is not the only victim of a male systemic belief.
We ask @NYC_DOT @JimmyVanBramer @Transalt to show some respect and refrain from exploiting the grieving family of Robert Spencer in their attempt to further this Vision Zero “road diet” agenda that delays our first responders, takes away parking from residents and businesses who need it, and makes roads more dangerous than they were before.
You sound just like the NRA after a shooting. No, now is exactly the time to point out that the unsafe design of our roads is costing us the lives of our loved ones and our neighbors. It needs to stop and we need to make our streets safer. Incidentally, change the shameful name of your group. It’s an inherent lie.
GTFOH with your BS, about bikers obeying the law. They respect zero traffic regulation. Pedestrians cross whenever they feel like, it with their heads up their butts and both are rarely issued summonses. If you want to save lives and cut down accidents, make vision zero a three sided approach, Bikers, Pedestrians and drivers must all obey the law. Only then will you see a difference. We have lived here in NYC without bike lanes for decades with good success for a city with eight million people.
You make a great point–after a tragic accident resulting in a death, we shouldn’t do anything to prevent another one
Very sad this happened. It’s going to continue as long as bicycles ride in the streets in the city
The driver was not charged because murdering a bike rider is acceptable behavior in NYC.
She wasn’t charged because she did NOTHING criminal in this accident. She was going with her green light and he was riding against traffic on the wrong side of the road, westbound. It’s a tragedy for ALL involved. Stop trying to vilify the driver who was inconsolable at the scene. It could have been anyone of us!
I think we should first know what actually caused this tragic accident before we start assigning blame.
Motorists drive recklessly in LIC, even though it is now a highly residential area. Speed bumps and more stop signs should be installed on many of the streets to slow cars down, once and for all. I have witnessed many cars run through the stop signs along Center Blvd. On the other hand, cyclists need to respect traffic signs and patterns, as I’ve seen plenty of them ride through red lights, etc. People just need to be more cautious and respectful of one another.
Robert Spencer was a very fine human being, and his loss is felt among many. This could have been avoided. Push for change!
Nothing for nothing, we have been asking Jimmy Van Bramer for help for 4 years on this section of Borden Ave. He has refused and even blocked residents comments on Twitter and Facebook. Jimmy will not listen to us. Maybe because he breaks the law too, here is a oldie but goodie from last year of Van Bramer parking in a fire lane then driving away and running our stop sign. SHAME SHAME SHAME ON VAN BRAMER. Another person is dead because he will not help or listen. Watch the video. It’s Van Bramers car. http://www.timessquaregossip.com/2018/06/councilman-jimmy-van-bramer-runs-stop.html
if its not in sunnyside, and is not a photo op, jvb dont care. Sorry to burst that bubble, and condolences to the family of the dead.
Construction companies closing roads and sidewalks creates dangerous condition for pedestrians and cyclists. We need to protect the streets from these greedy politicians and corporate hogs
There will be a vigil and memorial ride on Saturday, 12-2.
I live in Suffolk County on Long Island and have ridden with different bicycle clubs through the years on quiet and busy public roads. These days I’m sticking to the paved paths of public parks. Pedestrian/Bicycle vs Motor vehicle has become epidemic. There’s too many distracted drivers that are actually starting to outnumber drunk drivers. There’s no such thing as multitasking. In reality, the brain can only focus on one task at a time. Rapid switching between multiple tasks gives the illusion the brain can multitask, but it can’t. This fact is often discovered after dire consequences have occurred. One major cause is attempting to text and drive…
I offer you my thoughts and prayers.
Bound to happen. drag racing at night, taxis driving through stop signs, and lack of police