Ed. note: This is a message from Laura Fredricks. Laura is the co-founder of Families for Safe Streets Greater Philadelphia and a leading voice for Vision Zero efforts in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
Sam Ozer. Will Lindsay. Nadir Holloman. Avante Reynolds. Michael Hackman. Emily Fredricks.
Do these names mean anything to you? Because they certainly mean the world to us.
These are the names of just some of the sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, lovers, and friends who’ve been killed in Philadelphia traffic in recent years.
To combat future deaths and serious injuries of Philadelphia cyclists, pedestrians, motorists, loved ones, sons, daughters, and friends, Families for Safe Streets Greater Philadelphia has worked with State Sen. Larry Farnese to pass Senate Bill 565 — which would allow for protected bike lanes on state roads in Pennsylvania.
But it’s been an uphill battle. In February, an amendment which would have essentially outlawed protected bike lanes in Philadelphia was introduced by State Sen. John Sabatina.
In response, the day the amendment was set to go forth in the Capitol, my husband Richard and I joined Sarah Clark Stuart and Randy LoBasso of the Bicycle Coalition to meet with Sen. Sabatina in person, and told him about the loss of our daughter, Emily. He professed to be sympathetic and understanding and withdrew the amendment.
Tomorrow, though, Sen. Sabatina is set to introduce another Amendment to make protected bike lanes more difficult to install in Philadelphia.
We can’t help but to take this new amendment personally. And we wonder to whomever votes for it: Which of your family members are you willing to lose because of poor or delayed infrastructure?
We had at least hoped the senator would let the Philadelphia bicycle community, and the families of those who’ve lost loved ones know of a new amendment that would infringe on Philadelphia’s ability to build safe infrastructure.
Let’s get our voices together, say no to this Amendment for those we’ve lost on Philadelphia streets — and the countless others who, we hope, will never have to go through what so many of our families in Families for Safe Streets Greater Philadelphia have gone through.
-Laura Fredricks, co-founder, Families for Safe Streets Greater Philadelphia