A Yale law school student struck and killed while riding his bike is the 12th person to die this year after being hit by a car, according to city officials.
“I know I’m not alone in feeling scared every single day that I bike around and walk around,” said New Haven resident Max Chaoulideer.
A bike is Chaoulideer’s only form of transportation in the city. But he says he no longer feels safe on those streets after what he witnessed last year.
“I unfortunately was with a friend of mine last year who was hit by a car, and I held him in my arms as he died. This happens far too often in our city,” said Chaoulideer.
“The trend of us having a higher number of pedestrian, cyclist fatalities this year is deeply upsetting,” said Mayor Justin Elicker.
At an outdoor community meeting, Elicker spoke to many concerned about that trend saying the city is working on increasing traffic enforcement, pushing the state to allow red light cameras, and spending $500,000 on infrastructure for items like speed tables and speed humps.
“This is very, very tragic for our city, and frankly, all of these could be avoided if we do a lot more work in our city to address these issues,” said Elicker.
The New Haven Safe Streets Coalition proposed several changes they’d like to see. Elicker told the group he’s interested in discussing them but added they’re in a serious financial crisis and that nearly every problem they’re dealing with as a city comes down to money.
Several Yale law school students also attended and said they’re not pushing for increased police enforcement. But they do want solutions to address the intersection from Tuesday night’s crash as well as intersections throughout the city.
“Our friend died because someone was taking a right turn when he was going straight. The infrastructure of that street is not set up in a way that is conducive or safe to pedestrians,” said one resident who attended the community meeting.
City officials say all bike lanes they build now they try to make protective. They also say they are building pedestrian signals at various intersections that currently don’t have them.