On Sunday, a group of more than 100 cyclists rode through Philadelphia to raise awareness about bike safety and pay tribute to cyclists killed in car crashes. The event took place on World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims and was organized by Families for Safe Streets of Greater Philadelphia.
Among the participants was Sidney Ozer, who lost his 17-year-old son, Samuel, in a Father’s Day 2020 car crash on Henry Avenue. According to Ozer, the street has a high injury and impact rate. The city of Philadelphia’s Office of Complete Streets reports that more than 110 people have been killed in traffic fatalities this year, including 10 cyclists.
Philadelphia is committed to becoming a Vision Zero city, meaning that it aims to eliminate all traffic deaths. However, according to Laura Fredricks, co-founder of Families for Safe Streets of Greater Philadelphia, the numbers are going in the wrong direction. She believes that advocates need more bike lanes where there is 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 wants to see the Speed Camera Pilot Program on Roosevelt Boulevard extended because it’s set to expire next month. With Thanksgiving coming up and 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.