NYC Transportation chief says SUV popularity, gentrification behind cyclist deaths (Vision Zero Watch)

City Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg on Thursday pointed to an increase in SUVs and the gentrification of industrial areas to explain the alarming spike in cyclist deaths across New York this year.

Trottenberg, speaking at a City Council committee hearing, noted that of the 25 cyclist fatalities so far this year “the vast majority of them have been in Brooklyn.”

“One thing we’re seeing particularly … in areas that were formally industrial – lot of trucks, lot of heavy construction activity – that are becoming residential where cycling is more popular, we’re unfortunately seeing a lot of collisions with cyclists and trucks,” she said at the joint hearing held by the transportation and public safety committees.

According to NYPD stats, 17 cyclists have been killed this year on Brooklyn streets, while at least nine bike riders were struck and killed by trucks this year.