Cyclists pedal to honor bike accident victims

Dozens of cyclists pedaled in unison Saturday to three memorial sites in Seattle where bicyclists have been killed in recent weeks. The sites are known as "Ghost Bike Memorials."

The cyclists rode to call attention to the deaths of Michael Wang, 44, who was killed by a hit-and-run driver at Dexter Avenue and Thomas Street, Brian Fairbrother, 50, who died in a crash on a set of stairs on Fairview Avenue, and Robert Townsend, 23, who was struck and killed by an oncoming car in the University District.

"There's just a lot of cyclists and a lot of friends of cyclists in Seattle who are feeling a little bit traumatized by all these deaths happening so soon, one after another," said Davey Oil, coordinator of the Safe Streets Social Ride.

Morgan Scherer said the recent bike crash victims have been on her mind as well.

"The deaths recently are a huge impact on our community and I'm incredibly grateful to have this emotional release," Scherer said.

Oil said the ride has multiple purposes.

"One major reason to do this is to create an environment and a place for people to get together and ride together and speak together about how they're feeling about these tragedies and what they'd like to do to try to make sure that not one more person dies on the road," Oil said.

The memorial ride to honor the victims was tempered with cyclists' desire to change the way motorists and bikers interact.

"We believe that no one should die on the road and last year over 450 people were killed on the roads in the state of Washington and that's more than one a day," said Oil. "That means our streets aren't safe."

At least 12 cyclists have been killed in crashes in Washington this year. Nine of those fatalies involved in accidents between cyclists and cars or SUVs.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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