On Sunday, a group of cyclists rode through Philadelphia to raise awareness about bike safety and honor the memory of those who have been killed in car crashes. More than 100 bicyclists hit the streets, including Sidney Ozer, who lost his 17-year-old son, Samuel, in a traffic accident on Father’s Day 2020. 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.
Philadelphia is a Vision Zero city, which means that its goal is to eliminate all traffic deaths. However, the numbers are going in the wrong direction. Laura Fredricks, co-founder of Families for Safe Streets of Greater Philadelphia, helped organize the commemorative bike ride and advocates for more bike lanes where there’s 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. Advocates also want to see the Speed Camera Pilot Program on Roosevelt Boulevard extended because it’s set to expire next month. 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.