On Sunday, a group of cyclists rode through Philadelphia to raise awareness about bike safety and pay tribute to cyclists killed in car crashes. More than 100 bicyclists hit the streets as part of the World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims, including Sidney Ozer, who lost his 17-year-old son, Samuel. According to the city of Philadelphia’s Office of Complete Streets, more than 110 people have been killed in traffic fatalities this year, including 10 cyclists.
Philadelphia is a Vision Zero city, meaning that we aim to get to zero traffic deaths. However, the numbers are going in the wrong direction. Laura Fredricks, co-founder of Families for Safe Streets of Greater Philadelphia and an advocate for safer streets, helped organize the commemorative bike ride. She wants to see more bike lanes where there’s a row of parked cars separating bicyclists from moving traffic. While this type of bike lane is legal on city streets, it’s not legal on state-owned roads.
Fredricks also advocates for the extension of the Speed Camera Pilot Program on Roosevelt Boulevard because it’s set to expire next month. With Thanksgiving coming up, there will be an empty seat at the dinner table where Samuel would have sat. Sidney Ozer is vowing to celebrate his son’s life and continue fighting for safer streets in his honor. The event was a powerful reminder that we must do more to protect our loved ones and ensure their safety while riding bikes on our city streets.