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NYC Snowstorm Aftermath, Deliveryman Hit-and-Run 4

Snow in New York

All Photos by James D. Schwartz / The Urban Country

This past weekend I took a trip down to New York City with a few friends. More than a foot of snow was dumped down on the city the day before our arrival.

Given that we are now in the middle of a similar snowstorm here in Toronto, I thought it would be prudent to share some photos of how New York handles large volumes of snow.

Many (but not all) bike lanes seemed to be mostly cleared in Manhattan. I wandered around the city by foot, so I didn’t end up using any of the city’s new infrastructure this time around.

One thing that stood out for me this year is the vast number of food delivery men riding bicycles around the city. Most small take-out restaurants seem to have these delivery bicycles on premises – many of them equipped with large front baskets.

I can’t say if this is a new pragmatic, cost-saving measure that many small eateries are taking due to a tough economic climate, but everywhere I looked I noticed delivery men on bicycles. And why not? Bicycles are far more cost effective and efficient than automobiles.

One such deliverymen was sadly mowed down by a drunk driver in a hit-and-run on 8th Ave on Friday night. I was in a lounge directly in front of where the collision took place and I watched the FDNY and NYPD working hard to save this man’s life and unpin him from a BMW SUV.

The man was hit from behind by a drunk driver in a Lexus – smashing the passenger side of the front windshield before becoming pinned under a nearby SUV. The Lexus driver left the scene but police caught up to him a few blocks away in the congested New York City traffic where he then tried to run from police on foot.

The driver – identified as 40-year-old midtown resident Clark Gettinger – a man who is listed as a former client of Bernie Madoff – has been charged with Driving While Intoxicated, Vehicular Assault and Leaving the Scene of an Accident and was set free on a $50,000 bail.

The 28-year-old delivery man is currently in critical condition, but hospital officials say the man is expected to die. My thoughts are with the man and his family and I hope he proves the hospital wrong.

I took this picture on my phone on Friday shortly after they took the man away to the hospital. You can see the crushed rear wheel of the bicycle and the BMW SUV he was pinned under:

New York City bicycle deliverman hit and run

While the deliveryman struggled for his life in the hospital, the rest of Manhattan was dealing with the aftermath of Thursday’s snowstorm. I snapped the following random photos to illustrate how quickly the city was able to clear the snow (with some help from the sun):

Snow in New York

Snow in New York

Snow in New York

Snow in New York

Snow in New York

Snow in New York

Snow in New York

Snow in New York

Snow in New York

Snow in New York

Snow in New York

Snow in New York

Snow in New York

Snow in New York

Snow in New York

Snow in New York

Snow in New York

Snow in New York

Snow in New York

Snow in New York

Snow in New York

Snow in New York

Snow in New York

Snow in New York

Snow in New York

Snow in New York

Snow in New York

All Photos by James D. Schwartz / The Urban Country

James D. Schwartz is the editor of The Urban Country. You can contact James at james.schwartz@theurbancountry.com.

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  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/12056080802746709323 Green Idea Factory

    Who delivers take away cheaply in Toronto? The delivery guys on bikes have been an institution for at least 20 years. It is a very hard job, most are Chinese or East Asian immigrants (I heard them described once as practically indentured servants) and regarding those who work in Manhattan except for the ones living in cramped quarters in Chinatown most probably commute a long distance to work. It has nothing to do with “green” but only about economy and the ability to ride against traffic sometimes.

    (Forgive me if any of this is inaccurate: I lived in NYC for 3 years in the late 90′s).

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/04454437680686627778 James D. Schwartz

    Green Idea – there are only a small handful of bicycle food delivery operations in Toronto – and they seem to be in trendy locations with eco-conscious business owners.

    I know New York has been doing food delivery by bicycle for a long time, but I had noticed far more delivery bicycles this year than I had noticed in the past. One small take out restaurant had 5 bicycles locked up inside and the place was so small the bicycles took up most of the floor space (the restaurant was closed).

    I could honestly care less if people are using bicycles because they are “green” or not. Bicycles are practical, inexpensive and efficient for cities – so I think it’s great that they are being used so extensively for food delivery in New York.

    Worker rights are a different issue altogether. The minimum wage here in Toronto is $10/hour. I’m assuming New York has a state law for minimum wage as well, and if these workers aren’t being treated fairly then it’s an issue of labour law enforcement. But I don’t think these bicycles can be blamed for improper treatment of employees. I suspect if a business is going to treat workers like indentured servants, they would do so with or without bicycles.

  • http://hanlonsrzr.blogspot.com/search/label/cycling Mr. S.

    ‘The best justice money can buy’, as usual. You hit a man, drive away, and get released on bail?! Good thing that doesn’t happen in Canada… oh… RIP Allan Sheppard. Hope we all remember long enough for when Michael Bryant tries to reenter public life. I walked out of a dinner where one of the sociopaths from Navigator PR was pontificating on how it was unfair “what was done to [Bryant].” It was walk out or be driven to get an assault charge on my record.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/12029091323155303984 Weester

    Lovely wide cycle lanes, unlike the 2’6″ wide jokes we get here in the UK. Perhaps that’s why I never ride without a helmet?