Philadelphia was the site of a commemorative bike ride on Sunday, marking World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims. More than 100 bicyclists hit the streets to pay 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. 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 and advocates are calling for change as the numbers of traffic deaths continue to rise. Laura Fredricks, co-founder of Families for Safe Streets of Greater Philadelphia, helped organize the commemorative bike ride. She spoke about the need for 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. Additionally, advocates want to see the Speed Camera Pilot Program on Roosevelt Boulevard extended because it’s set to expire next month.
As Thanksgiving approaches and with 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. The commemorative bike ride was a poignant reminder that road safety is an issue that affects many families in our community and beyond.