On Sunday, a group of cyclists rode through Philadelphia to raise awareness about bike safety and mark World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims. More than 100 bicyclists participated in the ride, paying 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.
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, co-founder of Families for Safe Streets of Greater Philadelphia and an advocate for safer streets, helped organize the commemorative bike ride. Fredricks said that while bike lanes are legal on city streets, they are not yet legal on state-owned roads. Advocates are calling for more bike lanes where there is a row of parked cars separating bicyclists from moving traffic to improve safety on the roads.
Families for Safe Streets also wants to see the Speed Camera Pilot Program on Roosevelt Boulevard extended because it is set to expire next month. With Thanksgiving coming up soon, 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.