Photo of Thomas McAnulty via commemorative Facebook page.

Thomas McAnulty, 73, died on Saturday after being hit by a motorcyclist on 96th street and Amsterdam Avenue on Thursday night. He was remembered by friends, students and colleagues as a caring art teacher who loved to travel and mentor his students. He was a longtime Upper West Sider and a professor emeritus at Adelphi University on Long Island.

The family is asking people who may have witnessed the crash to contact them at An NYPD spokesman told us that McAnulty was walking in the crosswalk. A detective at the 24th precinct said the motorcyclist had the green light at the time of the crash, but it’s not clear if the person was speeding. Last we checked, the crash was still under investigation.

Friends created a Facebook page to commemorate McAnulty, who lived on 96th street with his wife Mary; they have two adult children. He would lead regular art trips to Florence, Italy.

“It was an honor to be his student, as he took everyone under his wing, gently guiding us to be better in our own ways,” wrote one student. “He was never pushy, and if he had an ego, it was never present in a critique, so I always felt like he was genuinely excited to see what we could do and curious about where we would take our art.”

His family posted the following notice:

We will be celebrating Tom McAnulty’s life
at Riverside Memorial Chapel
180 W 76th St, New York, NY 10023
on the corner of Amsterdam Ave.
(212) 362-6600
on Friday, January 22nd, 2016

There will be a visitation at 11 am followed by a service at 12.30 pm.
We will gather for food and drink afterwards, at a location to be determined.

Flowers can be sent to the Riverside Memorial Chapel. En lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Tom’s name to Families for Safe Streets/ Transportation Alternatives. Families for Safe Streets is comprised of victims of traffic violence and families whose loved ones have been killed or severely injured by aggressive or reckless driving.

NEWS | 27 comments | permalink
    1. Susan Levit says:

      A kind and lovely man, who I always looked forward to seeing. My sympathies to his family.

    2. Cathy says:

      I feel terribly sad to read about another pedestrian death. Why is it that the City doesn’t make it clear that pedestrians have the right of way, and the prosecute the crap out of those in violation??

      • DP says:

        With all due respect to you and to this man and his family, and clearly all the details of this accident are not known yet, pedestrians don’t always have the right to cross in front of traffic that has a green light. And again, I don’t know what happened in this particular instance. Every day I see people run in front of cars, trucks and buses all over the city. Frankly, I’m surprised more people aren’t hit. Careless and reckless drivers should absolutely be prosecuted. And pedestrians need to heed walk/don’t walk signals as well.

    3. Susan says:

      My heart goes out to the family of this lovely and gentle man. I came upon this accident while the street was closed two hours after it occurred. I am so terribly sorry that another truly wonderful member of our Community has died on our streets. This is the second pedestrian fatality within one block on 96th Street that I know of-in the last 2 years

      I am an Upper West Side resident for 40 years. In spite of an effort made to control traffic and the streets here, it is simply not working! If the overdevelopment which has been rampant in this particular neighborhood doesn’t stop, I’m afraid pedestrian fatalities will become the leading cause of death. Yet every time this Community fights the extreme real estate development going on here, we are either ignored, laughed at, or overruled! And with this Mayor’s initiative to build higher in our contextually zoned neighborhoods and historic districts, a gigantic giveaway to developers to destroy low rise and replace it with high rise our neighborhoods are at risk. How is it that a Community is so helpless to control the safety and quality of life of its neighborhoods!

    4. Amy says:


      • Cato says:

        The motorcycle here was traveling on 96th Street. Your signs, even if posted, would have had no effect.

        We don’t know how fast the motorcycle here was traveling. And, in any event, being hit by a motorcycle at 25 mph could, I’m sure, be deadly.

        Finally, please don’t shout. It doesn’t make you point any more persuasive.

      • robert says:

        They are already up and have been for over a year

    5. Mike says:


      With all due respect, a hit and run accident Is criminal and the motorcycle operator does not need any excuses foe his behavior.

      • Anon says:

        What are you talking about? This wasn’t a bit and run.

      • bystander says:

        The motorcyclist didn’t run. He stayed at the scene according to the previous posting. He was hospitalized.

        The real answer is to stop jaywalking. No one has the right to jaywalk. Jaywalking is dangerous and bad for all of us. Jaywalking slows traffic and causes more energy to be wasted as cars can’t operate efficiently when drivers have to constantly brake.

        Instead of engineering another nightmare like Columbus, I’d rather see police enforcing traffic laws.

        Why do people think they can complete a left hand turn on Broadway against a red light? I don’t know how many times I’ve been crossing 88th street north to south with the walk sign in my favor only to have a truck bearing down on me.

        • anon says:

          The question of if cars can complete the left on Broadway was asked on a different thread a couple of days ago. The answer given was you only have to stop if the median is 30 feet or wider. The median on Broadway is typically about 20 feet. Do you have a link saying drivers can’t complete the left (assuming no oncoming traffic or pedestrians in the crosswalk)?

          • bystander says:

            My concern is being hit by a car that refuses to yield to pedestrians in a crosswalk with the light. The 20 foot vs 30 foot seems a spurious distinction and I’d have to see the law to believe it. If you notice the sign at 86th and Broadway, it clearly states that a left hand turn can be completed after the light changes.

            • anon says:

              Of course a car completing the turn has to yield to the pedestrian. Even if that wasn’t the law the vast majority of drivers don’t want to kill anyone. The 30 foot distinction is real. See 120(b). It changes it from one intersection (on Broadway) to two (on Park Ave).

              Intersections where a sign says otherwise have their own rules.

              Your question “Why do people think they can complete a left hand turn on Broadway against a red light?” is that, unless otherwise stated, they can.

        • anon says:

          Here in the second question

          They say it’s legal to complete the left turn but often safer not to.

        • John says:

          I know it would be hard to do but I think it is time for a 4 way stop like other city’s have.

          Then there would be zero cars or bikes crossing the crosswalks.
          4 way stop

    6. sheila tilly says:

      I am so sad to hear this…my condolences to his family and friends..I too am an UWSider…RIP

    7. Anon says:

      What kind of information is the family hoping to get from witnesses? The police say the motorcycle had the light. Witnesses aren’t going to be able to say if the motorcycle was going over or under 25 mph (unless it was ridiculously far over but I’m sure the police would have determined that already).

      I realize the family is grieving and my heart goes out to them.

      • Margaret says:

        The motorcyclist speed is a natural question to ask because 10 mph above the speed limit adds 75% to his stopping distance. I have been checking since someone said that it was too dark at 5. I’m nearsighted but without my glasses I can see pedestrians dressed in black from about a block and a half away. Even in full dark. I worry about the tendency to misstate facts and overlook information that matters.

        Luckily the speed is an easy question to answer if anyone’s got a videotape of 96th Street. Check the number of seconds, or frames, between the motorcyclist passing two fixed points. Measure the distance in feet. His speed in feet per second, times 3600 seconds per hour, divided by 5280 feet per mile, equals speed in mph.

        Hopefully the investigators are at work on this as part of their investigation. We don’t know what happened but finding this out shouldn’t be controversial.

        To the UWS family of this artist who meant so much to his family and friends, I’m sorry for the shock and loss. He sounds like a wonderful man who meant so much to so many. With every tragedy on the UWS, I keep praying we can fix our streets to make it the last.

    8. Gary says:

      Has the reduced speed limit made pedestrians worse?

    9. Groundcontrol says:

      Here is an article about the other New York resident, who was also a fine member of this Community killed 2 years ago within a block of this horrific accident.

      96th Street and its environs is a very dangerous place. Those who live here know it. The city has done nothing effective to address what is happening up here. There should be cameras on every block of 96th in each direction. You speed, you get ticketed. Period. Clearly there were no cameras as there seems to be no eyewitness accounts of what happened. There should be 25mph signage everywhere- The crosswalks should be better lit-with much better marking. There should be no turns except for city buses coming off of 96th Street traveling East or West. That’s the price everyone pays for increasing and overpowering building for which planning is ever absent.

      • anon says:

        The gothamist link posted below claims to have a witness. I agree that people shouldn’t speed. I don’t know why everyone is assuming, and even accusing, the motorcyclist of speeding. I have seen no reports that he was. The police say he had a green light which would also mean the pedestrian had a don’t walk signal.

        • UWSider says:

          You’re right, we don’t know what happened here. The motorcyclist wasn’t a hit and run driver. But I see motorcyclists racing up Broadway every week. The assumption doesn’t exactly spring from nowhere.

    10. Debbie D. says:

      More info here, along with a nice little writeup about some of the history of traffic concerns on the UWS:

      And yes, gothamist does trend towards being pro-pedestrian and pro-cyclist, although they do back it up with data.

    11. UWSider says:

      Such a shame. Admittedly, we don’t know the facts, but I am TERRIFIED of being killed by a bicycle or motorcycle on the UWS.