Early Saturday morning, 38-year old Antonio (Tony) Sandoval Aparecio was killed while bicycling through the intersection of 2nd and Girard in Northern Liberties. He had just left Johnny Brenda’s, where he had worked as a cook for many years.
The intersection at which the crash occurred. View PA/NJ Bicycle Crashes 2011-2014 in a larger map
Tony was a beloved employee at Johnny Brenda’s. Staff, management, and friends of the bar and venue have been expressing their loss online. His family is holding rosary services at 7PM each night this week at Antonio’s home at 1432 S. 12th Street (corner or 12th and Dickinson). Donations in his memory will also be accepted at the home or at Johnny Brenda’s.
The account of the crash given by investigators is a familiar one. The bicyclist “darted” into traffic crossing Girard Ave at the 2nd Ave trolley stop. Unfortunately we will never know Antonio’s account of what happened. So far we don’t know how fast the Audi was travelling, and no charges have been filed against the driver, who remained at the scene. Both CBS and NBC had brief articles about the crash.
We extend our deepest condolences to Antonio’s friends and family.
The Ride of Silence – Wednesday, May 21st
Tony is one of five people who lost their lives in our region over the past year. They will be honored at the Ride of Silence, a worldwide event remembering people killed on bicycles and bringing attention to bicyclists’ rights to safe space in our streets.
The Philadelphia Ride of Silence – Wednesday May 21st
Meeting Place: Philadelphia Art Museum Steps, 6:45 PM
The Ride: A silent, slow 8-mile loop through Center City, returning to the Art Museum steps.
This Is Not Acceptable – Bring Vision Zero to Philadelphia
If you pay attention to bicycle and urban transportation trends, you may have heard about Vision Zero. Vision Zero is the name given to a data-driven, planning-centered approach to reducing traffic injuries and fatalities. Taking as a given humans’ ability to make mistakes, this approach states that our streets and highways should be designed so that mistakes do not cost lives. The emphasis is on design over education. In 1997 the government of Sweden set a national goal of zero deaths on the nation’s highway system by 2020. Their results have been stunning. We in the United States suffer 3.4x the traffic deaths per capita than Sweden.
Here in the states New York City is embracing Vision Zero. Traffic deaths there have been reduced 34% since 2005 and Mayor Bill DeBlasio has created a permanent Vision Zero Task Force. A timely New York Times article this week discussed Vision Zero’s success in Sweden and its application to the Big Apple. Some pertinent quotes:
“You should be able to make mistakes,” said Lars Darin, a senior official with the Swedish Transport Administration, “without being punished by death.”
Though traffic deaths have fallen in many areas of the world, in large part because of improvements in emergency care and vehicle safety, places that have adopted Vision Zero-style programs have reported disproportionate success. According to the New York City plan, fatality rates in American states with Vision Zero policies, including Minnesota and Utah, fell at a pace more than 25 percent quicker than the national rate.
In Philadelphia we must have streets that convey everyone safely to their destinations, regardless of their mode of travel. We believe that a Vision Zero approach to traffic safety in Philadelphia would save dozens of lives and prevent thousands of injuries every year. Philadelphia’s next mayor should adopt a Vision Zero policy as their flagship safety issue.