Nov. 16, 2020 By Allie Griffin
A GoFundMe page has been set up to support the family of a delivery worker who was killed in crash with a semi-truck in Astoria last week.
Alfredo Cabrera Licona, 35, died in hospital Thursday after his scooter and a Bud Light truck collided at the intersection of Astoria Boulevard and Crescent Street.
Cabrera Licona was close to finishing up his shift for the day when the truck driver turned right onto Crescent Street and struck him as he drove within the bike lane, according to the GoFundMe page.
Assembly Member-elect Zohran Mamdani launched the fundraiser Saturday to help Cabrera Licona’s wife and two sons, 8 and 11, who live in Mexico.
The delivery worker was the breadwinner of the family and had moved to New York from Mexico nearly 10 years ago in order to provide for his wife and children.
At the time of his death, he was planning to visit Mexico for the first time since he immigrated to the U.S. Cabrera Licona was looking forward to seeing his youngest son, who was born after he moved to New York, according to the GoFundMe.
Mamdani hopes to raise at least $10,000 for the family, as they struggle to make ends meet. At the time of publication, about $8,000 had been raised through the GoFundMe.
“We ask that you stand in solidarity with Alfredo and his family, as they struggle to go on without the husband, father, and breadwinner they loved and leaned on,” Mamdani wrote on the GoFundMe page.
Yesterday, a delivery worker was crushed & killed under a truck in Astoria.
He wasn’t just killed by reckless driving, but by @NYC_DOT‘s reckless policies that incentivized that behavior.
Their failure to protect our bike lanes endangers all Astorians – bikers & others alike. pic.twitter.com/ksDNOwFggP
— Zohran Kwame Mamdani (@ZohranKMamdani) November 13, 2020
The soon-to-be Assembly Member for the 36th District representing Astoria said he and other local officials will continue to put pressure on the Department of Transportation (DOT) to make the bike route where Cabrera Licona died safer.
Mamdani said that Cabrera Licona’s death was preventable, noting that the current barriers along the Crescent Street bike lane are flimsy and don’t do enough to protect cyclists from passing vehicles.
He also said that DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg’s inaction to provide greater protection to cyclists played a role in Cabrera Licona’s death.
“Her office — along with Mayor De Blasio, who is ultimately responsible for this city — is culpable in this death,” Mamdani said in a statement.
He and other lawmakers warned the DOT that the existing barriers were insufficient before Cabrera Licona’s death, he said.
Mamdani and five other elected officials penned a letter to Trottenberg less than a month ago calling on the DOT to install stronger barriers than the flexible delineators that currently separate the bike path from car traffic on Crescent Street.
“Seven cyclists were killed across NYC just last month — we cannot wait for the next to be on Crescent,” they wrote in the Oct. 22 letter, prior to Cabrera Licona’s death.
Mamdani, State Sen. Michael Gianaris, Assembly Member Brian Barnwell, Council Members Jimmy Van Bramer and Costa Constantinides and U.S. Congress Member Carolyn Maloney advocated for greater protection such as jersey barriers — the type of interlocking plastic barriers often used around construction sites — or Qwick Kurbs to separate the bike path from the roadway in the letter.
Following the fatal crash, Mamdani has reiterated those calls and said Trottenberg must install adequate safety barriers along the bike path as soon as possible — before another person dies.
“Commissioner Trottenberg must take immediate action to install appropriate safety infrastructure for the Crescent Street bike plane at the points identified in our original letter to her, before any more lives are lost,” he said. “My office will aggressively pursue this issue until that happens.”
The advocacy group Transportation Alternatives also said the Crescent Street barriers need improvement.
“Another person is dead because our city has once again compromised safety in the name of driver convenience,” Transportation Alternatives Executive Director Danny Harris said in a statement.
“While street safety advocates fought for and won a two-way protected bike lane on Crescent Street in Queens, the Department of Transportation chose to deploy nothing more than flexible plastic delineator posts to separate people on bikes and scooters from multi-ton motorized vehicles,” Harris added. “This ‘protected’ bike lane was not protected.”
The DOT didn’t respond to a request for comment by the time of publication.