Supporters and loved ones of cyclists killed by automobiles convened yesterday for the 10th Annual Ghost Bike Memorial Ride, in which participants pedaled to the city's numerous white painted "ghost bikes" to pay homage to those who have been killed by motorists in the past year.
Leah Todd, a volunteer with the NYC Street Memorial Project, said that despite Mayor de Blasio's professed commitment to Vision Zero, the city needs to do more to protect cyclists and pedestrian from negligent drivers.
"This year, almost the same number of New Yorkers were killed riding their bikes as were killed a decade ago," she said in a statement. "Mayor de Blasio was elected on a promise to unite New York's 'Two Cities.' But today, children who live in low-income neighborhoods are disproportionately likely to be killed while walking or riding their bikes and our city's network of bike lanes is centralized in the wealthiest districts. It's clear that much more needs to be done to make this city safe for bicycling. We would love to stop building ghost bikes, but you'll have to ask the mayor what it will take to get this project to retire."
De Blasio spokesman Wiley Norvell argued that the administration is doing its part to combat fatal crashes.
“From tough new laws to safer street designs, we are committed to protecting pedestrians, cyclists and all street users through Vision Zero," he said. "And we’re putting real resources in play to do it. Initiatives like the $100 million overhaul of Queens Boulevard—complete with a protected bike lane—will bring safer streets to neighborhoods that have long demanded them.”
NYPD data reveals that 144 pedestrians and 20 cyclists were killed by cars in 2014, and 168 pedestrians and 12 cyclists were killed in 2013. At least two cyclists have been killed thus far in 2015.
Jessie Singer, another volunteer with the project, said that 150 ghost bikes have been installed around NYC.
"And for 10 years, every time we build a ghost bike, we say, 'Please let this be the last,' she said outside of City Hall yesterday.
"And it never is, and it’s fucked up and I’m tired of it."