Biking north on Central Park West after work I came across a large number of police cars parked at 86th street. The intersection was roped off with yellow tape. A truck was parked in the middle of the road next to a crumpled bicycle.

It’s one of those scenes where your brain absorbs the details in slow motion. But without being told, you intuitively know that the truck hit a bicyclist and that the person died. 

Later, I see the articles. Jeff Williamson, 71, was hit and killed by the driver of a U.S. Postal truck. Williamson rode a vintage bike from the 1970s. He was an avid hiker, biker and skier. His widow said his favorite thing in the world was to cycle around New York City. The accident happened a month before he was slated to retire. He intended on studying French in France or Morocco. 

He was the seventh cyclist to die in the city this year. New York is a more reckless place since Covid. Uptown there are packs of illegal motorbikes running red lights. Downtown there are scooters weaving through traffic at terrific speeds. There are the guys who go 40 miles an hour on electric unicycles and the delivery bikes who speed on the sidewalks. 

The next day I rode by the same corner at about the same time. No one was there. No cops. No police tape. There was no indication anything had ever occurred.

The city forgets everything and moves on.