Oct 30, 2023 - News

Bike fatalities in New Orleans, mapped

New Orleans intersections where cycling fatalities occurred in 2023
Data: New Orleans Police Department; Map: Tory Lysik/Axios Visuals

New Orleans has had five bike fatalities so far this year.

Why it matters: New Orleans has the highest rate of fatal bicyclist crashes among major metro areas in the U.S. — on average 9.9 fatal bike crashes for every million residents between 2017-2021.

  • The national average is 2.7.

The latest: Here's where the crashes have happened this year, along with information about arrests.

January: John Patton was killed in a hit-and-run on his 75th birthday at the intersection of St. Claude Avenue and Alvar Street.

  • A woman was later arrested on a charge of hit-and-run driving with serious bodily injury or death.

May 3: A bicyclist on the shoulder of I-10 West was fatally hit by a vehicle "when he entered the right lane of traffic," police said.

  • No arrests have been made as of Thursday. Police ask anyone with information to call Crimestoppers at 504-822-1111.

May 30: A bicyclist was fatally hit by a vehicle at St. Louis Street and North Claiborne Avenue.

June 13: Dustin Strom was fatally hit at the intersection of Marigny Street and St. Claude Avenue.

  • Police say the driver was speeding and arrested him on charges of negligent homicide and reckless operation of a vehicle.

Oct. 1: A bicyclist was killed in a crash on North Claiborne Avenue at Touro Street.

  • Police say the driver had the right-of-way before the crash. The driver stayed at the scene and cooperated.

The big picture: Bicycle deaths are rising all over the U.S. The national average of 2.7 fatal crashes per million residents between 2017-2021 was up 5% from 2012-2016.

Reality check: Protected bike lanes and other measures designed to keep cyclists safe are often met with fierce pushback from urban drivers who lament the loss of any lanes or parking spots.

  • The biggest obstacle to making New Orleans safer for bicyclists is "people's attitudes to sharing the road with vulnerable users," Allene La Spina, executive director at bicyclist advocacy group Bike Easy, told Axios in May.
  • "People don't have a safe infrastructure to move around," she added.

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