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Not right: Hit by e-bike, artist must now draw left-handed

BY LINCOLN ANDERSON | Fly Orr is known for her Peops comics — booklet-sized drawings of East Village artists, squatters and activists encircled by handwritten bios and anecdotes.

For at least the next six weeks, though, she’ll be drawing what she calls “Lefty Peops.”

She has no choice. The wrist on her drawing hand was broken Dec. 19 when she was blindsided by an e-biker. Now she’s in a hard cast and wearing a sling.

Orr was crossing Eighth Street at Broadway. She had the green light. Due to an old skiing injury and an inborn knee condition (floating kneecaps), she wears a knee brace and walks with a cane.

“I was going to Trader Joe’s, thinking of all the work I had to do, and this guy came so fast,” she recalled. “And I went down hard, and the rider went down hard. Then he jumped up and biked off.”

The positive artist was upbeat a few days after the collision. (Photo by The Village Sun)

Lying injured on the street and then being taken by ambulance to Bellevue, Orr flashed back to a far more horrific collision. In 2005, she was walking home from a movie with Michael Schenker, a good friend from her East Village building, which they had squatted together, when they were hit on E. 23rd Street by a turning SUV.

That time she found herself strapped down flat on her back on a backboard as medics rushed her to Bellevue, ambulance lights blazing. Orr had to have the front of her upper jaw reconstructed with coral, her “pulverized” nose rebuilt and surgery on both knees. Schenker suffered a traumatic brain injury and was in critical condition but pulled through.

“That was brutal,” she recalled.

This time, she felt fortunate she wasn’t hurt more seriously.

“Thank God, I didn’t hit my head or break a hip,” she said. “I’m lucky — they told me it was a clean [wrist] break.

But, she added, “I already have a lot of [physical] stuff I’m dealing with, so being taken down by an e-bike is not something I wanted to happen.”

She’s not surprised she was hit, though.

“I’ve had so many close calls,” she said. “So have my friends. People are not used to that kind of [e-bike] speed. I have nothing against people making a living. But a lot of people are getting flattened.”

Fly Orr pointed to a Peop she did of late Transgressive filmmaker Nick Zedd. (Photo by The Village Sun)

Around an hour before The Village Sun talked with Fly, Mayor Adams — during a roundtable with the city’s ethnic and community media — described “a perfect storm” that has spawned e-bike mayhem on the streets. Orr added another element — a smoky cloud — to the “storm.”

“A lot of these guys are riding around high,” she said, noting she sometimes smells weed when she passes clusters of them hanging out.

“I don’t want to say all the e-bike guys are riding around high,” she said, adding, “A lot of [car] drivers are high. But I once almost got nailed by a guy on an e-bike going the wrong way. He had a blunt in one hand on the handlebars and was talking on a cell phone in his other hand. He was completely oblivious. He was definitely high.

“They should adhere to traffic rules that apply to motorized vehicles, and get tickets if they go through red lights,” Orr stressed of e-bikers. “They’re not bicycles — they’re motorized vehicles.”

Orr showed her Peop of Downtown theater icon Edgar Oliver, with a drawing of cigarette smokers on the facing page. (Photo by The Village Sun)
Fly also does a comic book series called Sketchy. (Photo by The Village Sun)

Told of the mayor’s claim delivery workers will slow down since their minimum wage has been boosted, Orr scoffed, “Oh, that’s such bulls—! ‘Oh, we’re going to take it easy because we’re making a bit more.’”

Asked if all e-bikes should have licenses, she said, “Definitely, licenses.”

Despite suffering a broken wrist, the ever-optimistic artist’s spirit remains unbroken.

“I’m still on my feet,” she beamed. “I’m thankful every day that I can walk, honestly.”


  1. nancycohen17 nancycohen17 February 6, 2024

    I have been Screaming about this since I was plowed down by a regular bike over a decade ago and now it’s so much worse. The e-bike drivers are rude and dangerous and when I was telling one that he was going through a light and it was my walk, he call me a privileged, white bitch. Perhaps he thought I was privileged because it was near Lincoln Center. So sorry for the above story and for Merle Ratner. It seems they do drive worse in EV…it’s like the Wild West… saloons, shootings, some folk mean as a snake.

  2. Michael M. Michael M. January 20, 2024

    May I suggest we start calling them…


  3. Susan Susan January 3, 2024

    This is just one more crash into a pedestrian by another e-vehicle totally unregulated by the city and state. There are thousands of injuries in this city that go unreported. The Mayor said the same thing last week that he did last year while he has done nothing! And more and more people are injured and frightened to walk in their neighborhoods. Many are planning to leave.
    I suggest to anyone injured or reading this to join the only advocacy group trying to correct this dereliction of duty by the Mayor and the Governor. They are trying to protect New Yorkers and there are more than 30 victims in the group, many who were severely injured.

    The Mayor saying he favors Gale Brewer’s suggested fix over Bob Holden’s bill that 32 councilmembers signed onto shows the Mayor’s lack of knowledge of this issue. Brewer wants to license only commercial e-vehicles. But some of the most serious injuries have been caused by ordinary e-vehicles. Priscilla Loke was killed by a Citi Bike rider who ran a light and crashed into her in a crosswalk. Another severely injured victim was crashed into and partially paralyzed by a noncommercial rider.

    Brewer sadly is in the clutches of the lobby Trans Alt and probably the Mayor is, too! If I were injured by an e-vehicle in this current mayhem situation, I know I’d be suing the city.

  4. john sullivan john sullivan January 1, 2024

    Observed a mom crossing a street with her small child. Out of nowhere, a moped delivery guy curved right behind the child to make a right onto the avenue to go the wrong way. I always swing my arms when I cross a street to make an impression that I am a live human being. When possible, cross a street with other people. I believe a don’t-care-about-anyone delivery guy is less impulsive if there are several people to drive right into. Never have I so much wanted to move out of NYC if I could. Like Andy Cohen stated on CNN New Year’s Eve yesterday, NYC needs caring parents — referring more than once to his lack of faith in our “anointed” mayor. Keep safe in 2024!

  5. Kathryn Adisman Kathryn Adisman January 1, 2024

    Glad you highlighted this problem via a local working artist. It brings home the need to pass laws that impose constraints on e-bikers. This is a no-brainer.

  6. JacDog JacDog January 1, 2024

    There has been a reckless disregard for public safety since Transportation Alternatives prevailed on Mayor Bloomberg to withhold enforcement by the NYPD on the rogue riders. Now Vision Zero (does this mean blind?) has given New York the worst congestion in the nation. So much for being beneficial for pollution and the environment. OK, ride-share shoulders part of the blame.

    Meanwhile the visionaries have increased the daily danger with lithium ion battery fires and explosions, and an increased number of unregulated micro-transport vehicles, and yet the zealots still clamor for NO ENFORCEMENT. The deaths are at tragic levels. The accidents are not statistically accounted for.

    Between the possibly delusional zealotry of the TA sophists and the predatory tactics of the real estate industry, the bludgeoning of the quality of life and the loss of life are merely considered collateral damage. It is not far-fetched to speculate that the dangerous conditions are contrived to drive older and less-mobile residents from the city. As well it is probable that congestion was contrived to promote the congestion tax.

    If we remember that Mayor Bloomberg said he wanted to make New York City a “luxury destination” and increase the population to 12 million, it puts things into perspective. Look both ways twice and have a safe new year.

  7. LES3025 LES3025 December 30, 2023

    I hope she has a speedy recovery! Seems like it was so much worse when she was hit by a car.

    • JQ LLC JQ LLC January 3, 2024

      You’re a very stupid person.

  8. Jay Crockett Jay Crockett December 30, 2023

    Another example of why Holden’s bill MUST pass the City Council. Where are our elected officials when we need them?

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