Jeffrey Axelrod, Cyclist, Killed on Delancey Street Last Night; DOT Responds

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Yesterday at about 5:30 p.m. a 52-year-old cyclist riding on Chrystie Street was turning onto Delancey when he apparently collided with the back of a tractor-trailer, was pulled under its wheels, and was killed. He was pronounced dead at the scene. According to DNA Info, the man has been identified as Jeffrey Axelrod of Hicks Street in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn. There's no criminality suspected -- sources say Axelrod, who was wearing a helmet, appeared to have a problem with his chain and lost control of his bike, which hit the truck and then got pulled underneath it.

Still, early reports of the incident set off a flood of responses, as exampled by EV Grieve's post, "What Is the City Going to Do About Delancey?" referring to the fact that, as reported by the Daily News on August 1, "there have been 523 motor vehicle accidents at the intersection of Essex and Delancey Streets -- 134 involving pedestrians and bicyclists," and three deaths, which puts it in the running as one of the deadliest intersections in New York City. Yesterday Scott Stringer tweeted, "Reports of another cyclist struck dead on Delancey St by cement truck. No more waiting: DOT must fix this dangerous mess and save lives now."

The Department of Transportation points out, however, that this most recent incident happened near Chrystie Street, several blocks away from the Essex/Delancey intersection, and that there have been no fatalities there in the last five years, and one minor bike injury last year. (We asked about the death of Rasha Shamoon, who is memorialized by a ghost bike some 50 yards away at Delancey and Bowery, where she was hit by an SUV in 2008. We'll update when we hear back.)

DOT is reviewing yesterday's accident report.

Update: Jamin Mendelsohn, who knew Jeffrey, writes,

Jeff was a fixture at the Kane St. Church every Tuesday for Cobble Hill's CSA Vegetable Pickup, often wearing his cycling clothes and toting his bike. Every week, I would look forward to seeing Jeff's name in my inbox with an email announcing the vegetables for the week, signing off simply: "peace, jeff."

I've been a member for 2 years and he has been the steady face of the CSA -- truly defining "community" in our enclave in Brooklyn. It is a very sad moment for this community and for everyone who knew Jeff -- his presence in Cobble Hill has been important and this tragedy will leave a void...

[JDoll / @thisisjendoll]

Go to Runnin' Scared for all our latest news coverage.

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5 comments
Ellen
Ellen

Jeff was my childhood next door neighbor. Countless good memories. A more wonderful family you could never meet. We lost touch in later years, but this is just devestating news. He's with his parents now. RIP, Jeff, I will never forget you.

Justincknapp
Justincknapp

Jeff was a good friend and fellow cyclist. We would always discuss nerdy bike things and always ride together. Gunna miss you brother. My heart goes out to your family. And you will be greatly missed at the church on tuesdays. Still in shock...

Pride101
Pride101

This tragedy is really sad and disheartening. I knew Jeff from work, although we worked in different departments, Jeff working daytime hours and me working the night shift. Jeff would have to punch out in my office and we shared small talk for several years. Jeff had a nice persona, always had something nice to say. I didn't know then that Jeff lived in Cobble Hill. I grew up in the same neighborhood and attended Cub Scouts as a child in the very same church on kane Street. RIp Jeff, you will be missed.   

Ed Eddie Edward
Ed Eddie Edward

Jeff was a fixture in Cobble Hill. I will always think of him popping up next to me at the Waterfront on Atlantic Avenue, coming directly from a Bikram yoga class. Washing down some kind of organic snack he brought in a plastic bag with a pint of beer, pulling out the latest CD he had purchased and popping it in a portable player to preview it, because he just couldn't wait  to get home and listen to it. He gave manic a good name. Jeff was passionate about music, cycling, yoga, politics...life.

He was a good man and he will be missed.

Onespeed
Onespeed

Rode with Jeff over the years since moving here in 1997.  We raised many a pint at the Waterfront Alehouse and rode the TA Century and numerous other rides over that time. 

Raising one to you tonight Jeff. 

This is a tragedy for cyclists and non-cyclists alike. 

My sympathies to his family.

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