Friday, January 02, 2009

Ghost Bike Memorial Ride January 4th

The folks that organize Ghost Bikes in New York will be holding their annual bike tour of the ghost bikes through the five boros this coming January 4, 2009.

This is a day's event that starts at various locations around the city and finally convenes at one location in Manhattan, at St. Marks Church, 131 e10th st. @ 2nd ave., at 5:15 pm. (see full schedule below).

The photos in this blog are of just some of the people that were hit and killed by drivers in New York City (photos courtesy of Ghost Bikes). Some of the photos represent these riders when they were children--a reminder that all of us--and they--are vulnerable and precious.

If you remember, a ghost bike was constructed for Camille Savoy along Rte. 9W in December. More than 100 friends and cyclists attended the memorial celebrating his life.

A recent call to the Bergen County Prosecutor's office to determine when and how the investigation of the driver who hit Savoy will be completed, was not returned.

It is certainly a pity that such a ride must take place at all, or even that ghost bikes must be constructed. In this day and age when sonar is being used to assist drivers in parking, the same technology should be in use to prevent accidents with cyclists.

Why it is not is a crying shame. It may also be one of the reasons that our American car companies are failing--they just aren't putting the right emphasis on the bells and whistles added to cars--those that will save the lives of cyclists and pedestrians.

Since Camille Savoy's death, BBB has joined a major New Jersey group, New Jersey Bike Ped Group, that works in conjunction with New Jersey Bicycle and Pedestrian Resource Center of the Voorhees Transportation Center at Rutgers University. A subcommittee is working towards clarifying and passing state legislation to define safe passing and add a specific number of feet that a driver must use to drive around cyclists and pedestrians.

Previously that legislation has been scuttled and neglected by the NJ state legislature. This year, the group intends to have it passed. An organizational meeting is taking place on January 20. If you would like to be a part of this, please email jbenepe@msn.com.

BBB also will be following up with NJ and NY state Department of Transportation planners to look into whether certain sections of Rte. 9W could be improved for safety.

Meanwhile, in case you missed it, the Daily Record reported in mid December that the number of cyclist fatalities in New Jersey doubled in 2008.

Said the article:
"This year’s fatalities are the highest in at least six years. Seventeen cyclists were killed in accidents in 2005, sixteen in 2004, eleven in 2003 and fifteen in 2002. A total of 22 bicyclists had been killed through last weekend, Fischer said today — compared with 12 fatalities last year and also in 2006."
Wrote the blog at the Tristate Transportation Campaign, a group that is working to improve traffic and reduce cyclist and pedestrian fatalities, "The 91% spike in bicyclist fatalities contrasts starkly with a 21% decline in overall traffic deaths from 2006 to 2008."
Cyclist fatalities also rose in New York City in 2008, according to Ghost Bike and Transportation Alternatives.

The following is according to Phillip, one of Ghost Bike's volunteers:

The NYC Street Memorial Project invites you to the 4th Annual Memorial Ride and Walk in remembrance of cyclists and pedestrians killed on the streets of NYC in 2008. The ride, which will be held on Sunday, January 4, 2009, has 4 starting points: Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, and lower Manhattan. See www.ghostbikes.org for more information.

Here is the detailed schedule:

Bronx/Upper Manhattan Ride:
10:45-11:10 gather at White Plains rd and Allerton ave (subway: 2 to Allerton)
11:15 Michael Needham Barnes ave north of Allerton ave
12:30 Faustino Morales Truxton st and Randall ave
1:20 meetup & break NW corner of Central Park @ Frederick Douglass circle
1:35 Unnamed Central Park West @ w110th st
2:30 Alvaro Olsen w36th st and Broadway
3:15 Amelia Geocos e49th st and 1st ave

Queens/North Brooklyn Ride:
12:00 - 12:15 Gather in Astoria Park @east end of running track (Hoyt and 19th st) (subway: N to Astoria blvd)
12:30 Arturo Flores 27th st and 23 rd ave
1:30 Asif Rahman Queens blvd @ 55th rd
2:30 Sze Man (Josephine) Chan Manhattan and Montrose aves
3:15 Unnamed under N side of Williamsburg bridge, Brooklyn

Brooklyn/Lower Manhattan Ride:
12:45-1:00 gather top of Sunset Park hill (6th ave btwn 41-44th sts) (subway: R to 45th st.)
1:15 Pedro Fernandez-Pacheco 54th st and 7th ave.
2:15 Jonathan Millstein President st. and 8th ave.
2:45 Alexander Toulouse Livingston and Boreum
3:30 Jian-Lan Zhang Hester and Allen sts

Pedestrian Memorial Walk:
2:30-2:45 gather at Bowery and Canal st. (subway: 6, J, M, Z, R, Q to Canal)
2:50 Lai Ho Bowery and Canal st
3:10 James Dong @106 Bowery btwn Hester and Grand sts.
3:40 Josephine LaPlaca Delancey @ Allen st

Convergence of Pedestrian Memorial Walk & Cyclist Memorial Ride:
4:00 Rides/Walk convergence Delancey @ Allen st.
4:30 Rasha Shamoon Delancey and Allen st.
5:00 Memorial for Unknown Cyclists and Pedestrians e10th st @ 2nd ave

Gathering of cyclists, pedestrians, families and friends
5:15-7:00 St. Marks Church, 131 e10th st. @ 2nd ave

Thank you!

Philipp
NYC Street Memorial Project volunteer

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