2006-01-08 Cyclists Pay Tribute – NY Metro

City’s cyclists pay tribute to fallen riders


New York Metro

January 8, 2006

By Amy Zimmer

NOLITA – A group of roughly 100 cyclists rode somberly to the corner of Houston and Elizabeth streets Sunday. They placed carnations and candles at the base of a white “ghost bike” to memorialize where Andrew Ross Morgan, 25, was hit and killed by a truck as he rode on June 22.

The wheeled procession visited sites in all five boroughs where 21 cyclists were killed in 2005, including 20 by motor vehicles, according to ride organizer Times Up!, a bike advocacy group. There were six cyclists killed by motor vehicles in 2004, according to statistics from the city’s Department of Health and Mental Hygeine.

“The demand for bicycling is outpacing the supply, and there aren’t enough safe spaces,” said Noah Budnick, projects director for Transportation Alternatives, a group seeking to improve conditions for pedestrians and cyclists.

He cited a plan backed by Community Board 4 to create a bike lane on Eighth Avenue from 14th to 57th streets, that would connect to existing lanes on Hudson Street and Central Park West as something the city could do to protect cyclists.

Many bikers, like Bill DiPaola, executive director of Times Up!, however, believe City Hall is anti-biking.

“The city is hard on cyclists and we think it’s creating a hostile environment for bicyclists,” DiPaola said, citing the NYPD’s crackdown on the monthly Critical Mass rides. That’s why “hit-and-runs are at record levels.”

Brian Galvin, 30, who rides on Staten Island and with his girlfriend in Brooklyn, said city cycling was “insane” because “there aren’t enough bike lanes” and cars are “rushing to get from one red light to the next.”

Galvin, who hasn’t participated in other group rides, came out Sunday because “I don’t want this to happen to me or my friends. Hopefully, if people see these spots, they will respect us more when we’re on the road.”

Copyright 2006, New York Metro