Date: September 24
Time: Meet at 3, ride at 4
Place: South Lake Union Park (Moving Planet will be wrapping up)
Route: We will ride to the memorials created for Mike Wang, Brian Fairbrother and Robert Townsend.
The number of people killed while biking in Seattle and around the region this summer has been devastating. The mayor responded by calling for a road safety summit, Cascade Bicycle Club held a press conference and every big media outlet in town has run stories and editorials calling for a solution.
But perched on bike saddles all around the city, residents of Seattle are feeling a mix of fear, anger, sadness, hope and everything in between. Friends and family of those injured or killed on the streets of Seattle are coming to terms with their forever-changed lives.
Seattle, we need to get together, honor those who have lost their lives in traffic and support each other. We need to work for change. There is no better way to do this than to ride together.
So with the help of Davey Oil (of Bike Works fame, though he is helping plan in his free time) and Adonia Lugo (one of the founding forces behind LA’s CicLAvia events and author of Urban Adonia), we are organizing a ride that will visit the memorials of Mike Wang, Brian Fairbrother and Robert Townsend while providing an opportunity to come together as a community in favor of safer streets.
Even seasoned bikers, such as Anne-Marije Rook at the Ballard News Tribune, have felt their confidence on the road shaken:
Others have written to this blog to express the emotions that have been stirred up by the recent events. Del Rey, a fantastic local musician who recently created an awesome song and video about biking around town, emailed to say how reading all the sad news on the blog has affected her:
I love reading your blog, but lately it’s been having a bad effect on me. The reports of death after death are filling my head with fear. It’s not keeping me off my bike (I’ve been car-free since 1998) but it’s exacerbating a weird little tickle of paranoia everytime I pull out into the traffic maelstrom…
We wrote last week that we have reached a turning point in our city’s bicycle safety history. Biking is safer than ever, and the number of people choosing to bike is going through the roof. But the demand for safer streets is moving faster than the city’s safe streets improvements.
But safe streets are not just about riding bicycles. Nobody should die on the streets of Seattle, whether they are on foot, on a bike or in a car.
We encourage anyone whose life has been affected by injury or death on the roadways to join us September 24 for a slow bicycle ride. If you are not usually a bicycle rider, find a bike to borrow. We will ride slowly and nobody will be left behind.
The ride starts directly after Moving Planet, a day-long sustainability festival taking place at South Lake Union Park. If you show up by 3 p.m., you can help be in a large aerial photo for 350.org.
We look forward to seeing you all on the streets!