Thousands of cyclists gathered at the Philadelphia Museum of Art to ride in honor of a fallen friend.
CBS Philly reports on the large riding event set up in remembrance to 24 year old Emily Fredricks. An avid cyclist, Fredricks was struck and killed by a garbage truck while riding in the Spruce Street bicycle lane in Center City on November 28. In her memory, the cycling group rode the same route she had taken on the day of her death, forming a physical barrier between the bike lane and motor vehicles as a symbolic act of protection.
Alexandria Schneider, a member of Cycle Scene PHL and one of the organizers of the event, hopes to send a message to Philadelphia’s Mayor Jim Kenney as the group rides. “The city has demonstrated a lot of disregard for the cycling infrastructure in the city. We are here to remind the city that we are here, we are cyclists, we are worthy of protection.”
Despite its designation as one of the best cities in the United States for cyclists, Schneider and her group think there’s still a lot of work to be done in making that more than a “by default” designation. Among the various requests the group has for the mayor, Schneider demands that bike lanes be more thoroughly and actively maintained, noting that many around the city have fallen into disrepair as motorists opt to use them as an extra lane in traffic.
“There are bike lanes such as these that are just paint and often paint that is wearing away,” said Leigh Goldenberg, another of the event’s organizers. “People often don’t respect the bike lanes. We often see deliveries parked in the street or people just idling causing cyclists to go into the street.”
A spokesperson for the mayor released a statement following the ride, saying how the death of Fredricks was a tragedy and is currently under investigation. They also mention that the bike lane on Spruce Street where the crash happened was due to be restriped the following month while reaffirming the city’s plan of expanding the bike lane network and protecting cyclists