A group of cyclists rode through Philadelphia on Sunday to raise awareness about bike safety, 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, including Sidney Ozer’s 17-year-old son, Samuel. On Father’s Day 2020, Ozer 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, who is a co-founder of Families for Safe Streets of Greater Philadelphia and helped organize the commemorative bike ride, said that while Philadelphia is a Vision Zero city and wants to get to zero traffic deaths; the numbers are going in the wrong direction. Advocates want to see more bike lanes where there’s a row of parked cars separating the bicyclists from moving traffic. While this type of bike lane is legal on city streets, it’s not legal on state-owned roads. They 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.