A Unhappy however Hopeful Trip of Silence – Streetsblog San Francisco

“She did attractive avenue artwork,” mentioned Gail Schickele, remembering her pal and neighbor Diana Sullivan, who was killed in 2013 when she was run over by a cement truck whereas using her bike close to Third and King. Schickele reminisced concerning the time she walked out of her residence and Sullivan had written ‘blissful birthday’ to her on the sidewalk with colourful chalk. “Diana was so beautiful and vivacious.”

Schickele was one among about twenty individuals who participated within the “Trip of Silence” yesterday night–the annual journey to recollect fallen cyclists. It was her first time on the memorial journey, which circulates across the metropolis, stopping at places the place folks have been hit or killed whereas using their bikes.

Gail Schickele on the shrine for Diana Sullivan. Observe this isn’t the placement the place Sullivan was killed–there are actually too many websites to suit all of them into one night time’s journey.

Earlier than heading out from the Sports activities Basement on Bryant Road the place the journey begins, contributors shared refreshments, talked, and checked out photos of the fallen.

“In precisely every week from right this moment it is going to be the five-year anniversary from the day my son was killed. These deaths are preventable,” mentioned Julie Mitchell, an everyday on the occasion. She co-founded the group San Francisco Bay Space Households for Secure Streets. “It’s going to take a whole lot of work, a whole lot of preventing.” Mitchell remains to be too afraid of the situations of San Francisco’s streets to journey a motorcycle; she follows the journey by automobile.

Devon Warner, the trustworthy organizer of the occasion, with Julie Mitchell on the Sports activities Basement

In 2017, the dying fee for pedestrians and cyclists in San Francisco was decrease than the earlier yr. Is that an anomaly or the outcomes of hard-fought advocacy?

Fatalities by year. Source: Vision Zero SF
Fatalities by yr. Supply: Imaginative and prescient Zero SF

It’s too quickly to say. However that truth gave the folks within the room purpose to be hopeful. “In 2017 there have been 20 folks killed on our streets, in 2016 there have been 30,” mentioned Brian Wiedenmeier of the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition. “Let’s ensure that [that decline] turns into a sample.” He harassed the significance of maintaining the strain to repair the streets.

Relating to the significance of maintaining the strain, no person is aware of it higher than Antony Ryan, who has had two scrapes with dying on the streets of San Francisco. In one among them, he was critically injured when a automobile hit him whereas he was using down Ocean Avenue, one among San Francisco’s infamous high-injury corridors. Simply final month, an aged lady was killed at precisely the identical location the place he was hit, but the intersection and avenue nonetheless haven’t been upgraded. “It’s very irritating…simply the callousness of some folks within the metropolis,” he mentioned of metropolis managers and bureaucrats who, in his view, permit harmful situations to persist.

“Coverage makers must be doing higher…nothing lower than lives are at stake,” mentioned mayoral candidate Mark Leno, who was  originally of the journey.

The journey set out on its course round 6:30.

Photo: Paul Valdez
Riders assembling behind the Sports activities Basement, on the point of begin the Trip of Silence. Photograph: Paul Valdez

Because the journey made its approach across the metropolis, examples abounded of a number of the progress that’s been made–such because the newly protected bike lanes in SoMa. However there have been additionally examples of streets which can be nonetheless harmful, with out protected bike lanes, and with harmful intersections and substandard pavement. As one rider mentioned, provided that the progress on our streets continues–provided that street deaths and critical accidents grow to be actually uncommon occasions–will it’s mentioned that those that have fallen didn’t die in useless.

Extra photographs of the journey beneath.

Gashaw Clark’s ghost bike. He was killed final yr.
Flowers for the fallen. Photo: Paul Valdez
Flowers for the fallen. Photograph: Paul Valdez
Julie Mitchell remembers her son Dylan on the ceremony earlier than the journey
Photograph: Paul Valdez
The cease at Market and Sansome commemorated three folks killed near this location, together with Mark Heryer
The cease at 2nd and Folsom, the place Diana Sullivan and others have been remembered
In entrance of SF Metropolis Corridor
seventh and Howard, the place Kate Slattery was killed in 2016
Photo: Paul Valdez
An instance of the auto-uber-alles designs that also must be fastened…and all of the work these devoted advocates have in entrance of them. Photograph: Paul Valdez

For an inventory of the fallen, see Patrick Traughber’s Medium submit.

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