Philadelphia cyclists rode through the city on Sunday to raise awareness about bike safety, marking World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims. More than 100 bicyclists hit the streets to pay tribute to cyclists killed in car crashes. Among them was Sidney Ozer, who lost his 17-year-old son, Samuel. On Father’s Day 2020, he was coming home from his job at the bike store and was struck and killed by an automobile on Henry Avenue, a high injury, high impact street, Ozer said. 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.
Laura Fredricks is a co-founder of Families for Safe Streets of Greater Philadelphia and helped organize the commemorative bike ride. The city is a Vision Zero city which means we want to get to zero traffic deaths. However, numbers are going in the wrong direction according to Fredricks. Advocates want to see more bike lanes where there’s a row of parked cars separating the bicyclists from moving traffic on city streets while this type of bike lane is legal on state-owned roads it’s not legal on city streets due to lack of funding or political will. Additionally advocates want Speed Camera Pilot Program on Roosevelt Boulevard extended because it’s set to expire next month as it has been proven effective in reducing speeding and increasing revenue for education programs aimed at reducing traffic accidents caused by speeding. With Thanksgiving coming up there will be an empty seat at the dinner table where Samuel would have sat. Ozer is vowing to celebrate his son’s life and continue the fight for safer streets in his honor by advocating for better infrastructure and increased enforcement against dangerous drivers who put cyclists at risk.