Advocates continue push for enhanced safety in trouble spots
Despite freezing winds, a small group of bikers gathered at the entrance to the Willis Avenue Bridge in Mott Haven on Sunday, Nov. 20 for a bike ride to honor victims of vehicle traffic. The World Day of Remembrance is commemorated internationally on the third Sunday in November.
For the bikers joining the Bronx gathering, the day was all about remembering families of the victims and the bikers and pedestrians who have been killed or severely injured in local traffic accidents. Last year 10,065 pedestrians and 4,273 cyclists were injured on the streets of New York City, according to the transportation department.
“I got involved with cycling safety when Giovanni Nin, 26, was hit and killed on Tremont Avenue in June, and that just hit me. I’m very local to that spot. We set a ghost bike to the spot as a tribute,” said Kevin Daloia, a Bronx cycling safety advocate from the nonprofit advocacy group Transportation Alternatives. “I just got here from Tremont Avenue, from the ghost bike. His family was there to set us off for the ride.”
Bikers and pedestrians formed small groups around the city, then converged at the event’s main gathering at City Hall downtown. The event’s organizers, Families for Safe Streets and Transportation Alternatives, said they wanted to draw more attention to the problem of reckless and careless driving around the city.
The Bronx’s most dangerous spots for walkers and cyclists are the Grand Concourse, Tremont Avenue and Bruckner Boulevard, according to Erwin Figueroa, an advocate for Transportation Alternatives who led the local ride.
“Grand Concourse is the most dangerous street in the Bronx,” said Figueroa. “Since July 2012, almost 1,000 people have been injured and 13 were killed due to the dangerous conditions along the Concourse. We want to see more actions from the mayor’s office to make our streets safer.”
Transportation Alternatives urges those interested in joining the campaign to sign a petition on their website www.transalt.org, and to join The Bronx Activist Committee’s monthly meetings. The next meeting is scheduled to take place Wednesday, Dec. 21, at 6:30 p.m. in The Bronx Museum of the Arts.