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Lisa Banes' Hit-And-Run Death Amplifies Concerns About Scooters On City Streets

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- The theatre community is mourning the death of actress Lisa Banes, who succumbed to her injuries Monday following a hit-and-run involving a scooter earlier this month on the Upper West Side.

Her death comes as pedestrian-related traffic fatalities have increased across the city, and as newer and more mobile modes of transportation flood the streets, CBS2's Christina Fan reported Tuesday.

She was known for her roles in "Gone Girl" and "A Cure for Wellness," but Banes is best remembered by friends for her magnetism and kindness.

Ten days after she was hit by a scooter driver, the 65-year-old actress succumbed to traumatic head injuries. The driver who killed her is still on the run.

Banes was crossing Amsterdam Avenue at West 64th Street on June 4, when a scooter ran a red light, knocking over the actress, who had the right of way.

Her death is one of 60 pedestrian traffic fatalities this year -- an 87% increase over last year.

"Quite clearly, the mayor has not prioritized street safety or re-imagining our city around people and their needs, and as a result we are seeing an uptick in violence," said Danny Harris of the group Transportation Alternatives.

Transportation advocates fear fatalities will continue to climb as New Yorkers trade public transit post-pandemic for micro-mobility devices like e-bikes and e-scooters. The city legalized both methods of transportation last year and announced an e-scooter pilot program starting this summer in the Bronx.

Attorney Daniel Flanzig said the city's infrastructure is not equipped to handle the volume.

"There really was no oversight when these programs were launched and now what we're doing is trying to play catch-up," Flanzig said.

At the scene of the hit-and-run crash, Fan found e-bikes and e-scooters recklessly flying down the street right by a flashing sign warning people of the tragedy that struck.

When asked if the city will better regulate e-bike and scooter traffic infractions, Mayor Bill de Blasio said, "I'm very troubled when people go against traffic and create danger for themselves and others. So we're going to keep refining how we regulate, how we enforce. But again, anytime we believe a particular company is not acting in a way that's safe for New Yorkers, we also maintain the option to shut them down."

Banes was visiting New York from Los Angeles and was here to take part in a production by the Manhattan Theatre Club.

Social media was flooded with tributes from family and friends, including Clive Davis, who wrote wrote "her irreplaceable loss must be confronted."

Anyone with information about the crash is asked to call the NYPD's Crime Stoppers hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477), or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782). You can also submit a tip via their website or on Twitter, @NYPDTips. All calls are kept confidential.

CBS2's Christina Fan contributed to this report.


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