Cyclist riding rented bike killed in London

July 6, 2013 at 4:43 PM
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LONDON, July 6 (UPI) -- A bicyclist riding on a London highway painted especially to make it safer for riders was killed when a taxi struck her, police said.

The 20-year-old woman was struck about 5:30 p.m. Friday while riding a rented bicycle on Barclays Cycle SuperHighway 2 near the Aldgate East subway station. Paramedics took the woman to a hospital where doctors declared her dead, the BBC said.

Activists criticized city officials for roadways unsafe for bicyclists. The cycling-friendly superhighways were painted with a blue bicycle lane meant to remind drivers to be aware of pedestrians and bikers.

London has begun a massive public transportation project dubbed "Boris bikes" after London Mayor Boris Johnson -- whose administration pioneered the practice. A computerized system allows users to borrow a bicycle for as long as 30 minutes free of charge from stations across the city as a way to promote emissions-free transportation, exercise and reduce traffic congestion in the city.

Several bicycle "superhighways" were created to allow easier and safer passage for riders.

Some activists charge the superhighways are still too dangerous. Caroline Pidgeon of the Liberal Democrat London Assembly Group said the initial superhighways are "little more than blue paint put down on the road."

Police said the unidentified victim was the first person killed on a Boris bike since the program began in 2010.

The taxi driver who hit the woman stopped at the scene and no charges have been filed.

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