June 14, 2005
Pedestrians and Cyclists Killed by Motorists.
TIME’S UP! Environmental Group Direct Action Campaign;
Full-Body Stencils With Names And Dates Where Victims Were Killed.
The Street Memorial Project creates silent but powerful memorials to draw attention to pedestrian and cyclist fatalities around the city through actions such as Stencil Memorials, Memorial Bike Rides, and candlelight vigils.
In collaboration with Right of Way, Time’s Up! volunteers identify intersections around the city that are especially dangerous to cyclists and pedestrians.
Captured by the media, these actions successfully raised public awareness on the need for improvements in the design of intersections, the creation of new bike lanes and motorist awareness campaigns, and harsher punishments for hit-and-run offenders. This project has been vital to increasing non-polluting transportation because it enables cyclists to feel safer utilizing shared roadways.
The success of this project in New York City has inspired similar programs in other cities including Chicago and San Francisco.
Later this project also took on “Ghost Memorials,” which are white bicycles placed in spots cyclists were killed by vehicles, now prevalent in cities nationwide.
NEW YORK CITY — On Tuesday night, June 14th, cyclists and
volunteers with TIME’S UP! Environmental and Bicycle Advocacy group
will initiate a direct action memorial stencil campaign in tribute to
pedestrians and cyclists killed by automobiles. The group will
stencil at a particularly hazardous intersection in Manhattan’s Lower
“While cyclists know of the hazards of riding on our unsafe
streets, the community at large, unfortunately, only takes notice when
one of us is killed,” Bill DiPaola, Executive Director of TIME’S UP!,
noted. “Relative to other cities in this country and around the
world, New York is devoid of infrastructure that would effectively
promote safe cycling; the city also refuses to adequately prosecute or
enforce traffic laws that would cut down on this careless and reckless
Last week, Elizabeth Padilla, 28, a lawyer from Brooklyn was hit
and killed by an ice cream truck as she tried to avoid a motorist
illegally opening the door of his parked truck. In May, a 21 year-old
waitress, Brandie Bailey, was killed by a garbage truck that left
the accident scene in Manhattan’s Lower East Side. In late April, a
59 year-old bicycle commuter, Jerome Allen, was run down by an SUV in
Motorists were not charged with any infraction or crime in these
incidents. In many accident cases, in order for a driver to be
indicted with criminally negligent homicide or other crime, he or she
must have violated at least two traffic laws during that same
New York Daily News)
More information on the
TIME’S UP! Memorial Stenciling Project can be found on our website.
TIME’S UP! believes that the City of New York needs to start
prioritizing the basic rights of citizens to safely walk or ride on
the streets, and address the issues of reckless driving impunities in
a real way.
Automobile accidents are the #1 cause of death for ALL Americans,
children and adults to age 44. Automobiles kill more Americans every
seven years than the total U.S. losses in WWII and Vietnam combined.
(Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services)
In NYC — the nation’s only city where drivers are a minority —
an average of 684 car crashes are recorded every day of every week
of every year. Over 17,000 pedestrians or cyclists are struck and
injured by automobiles every year in NYC, and cars killed 1,190
pedestrians and 121 bicyclists between 1995 and 2001. 91% of injuries
to pedestrians and cyclists are caused by cars, followed by trucks
at 7%. The number of deaths caused by cars is %76 and 17% caused by
trucks. It is also worth noting that buses account for about 1% of
injuries but 6% of deaths. (Source: New York City and New York State
Departments of Transportation)*
In addition to reckless drivers causing senseless injuries and
deaths to pedestrians and cyclists, cars inflict other environmental
hazards on innocent people every day. Vehicle emissions and other
environmental hazards lead to high rates of asthma, the leading cause
of hospitalization among children from 0 to 14 years of age.
Approximately 300,000 of New York City’s children under age 17 are
diagnosed with asthma at some point in their lives, and asthma is the
leading cause of school absenteeism. Among adults, 40% of New Yorkers
with asthma sought emergency care for their asthma in 2002. (Source:
NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene)
Oil from vehicles washes into our waterways, which kills aquatic
wildlife and disrupts aquatic ecosystems. Vehicle emissions also
lead to acid rain, which destroys our public monuments and numerous
historic buildings. Cars cause excessive noise and are an unsightly
part of the urban environment. (Source: U.S. Environmental Protection
Unlike other environmental hazards, stepping into the streets of
NYC and being hit by a car affects everyone. As noted by Charles
Komanoff, a traffic policy consultant with Komanoff Energy Associates,
“Motor vehicles threaten people in every neighborhood, regardless of
race and class.”
TIME’S UP! is community-based, all-volunteer non-profit
environmental education and direct action organization that has been
working for close to two decades in New York City. The group hosts
hundreds of free events and educational workshops annually from
community garden clean-ups and film screenings to bicycle repair
workshops and group bike rides. TIME’S UP! is working to promote a
safer, quieter, friendlier, and more environmentally sustainable
* Automobile accident figures based on verified (more
than one source) statistics compiled from 1994 to 2001 and unverified
figures (single source) from 2002 to 2004 inclusive.