Editor’s note: We’ve set up an email campaign for the city to enact changes on JFK now. Click here to take action. There will also be a Memorial Walk in Peter’s honor on Thursday, June 29. RSVP here.
Peter Javsicas, a longtime Transit, Complete Streets advocate and Bicycle Coalition supporter, died Tuesday night from injuries sustained from a crash when the driver of a minivan left JFK and careened onto the sidewalk around lunch hour at the JFK Blvd and 16th St intersection.
In 2004, Peter became the first Executive Director of Pennsylvanians for Transportation Solutions (PenTrans).
Having since retired from PenTrans a couple of years ago, he continued sending out the PenTrans Newsletter on a regular basis.
In the past few years, Peter and his wife formed Mutual Mount Airy a support group of older residents allowed them to “Age in Place.”
I first met him in 1997. Peter was renting space at the offices of Campbell, Thomas & Co. with local Architects Bob Thomas and Jim Campbell while I was collaborating with Cartographer Steve Spindler.
In some ways they were operating a co-working space way before they were cool. Peter was attempting to start up a transit advocacy/consultant type business, which eventually led him to his position at PenTrans. As colleagues and members of Philadelphia’s transportation advocacy network, we stayed in touch and ran into each other regularly.
The circumstances of the crash — a vehicle encroaching on the sidewalk, sacred space for people on foot — is easily preventable. A parking protected bike lane on the north side of JFK Boulevard would have eliminated the right lane, providing a space cushion of nearly 15 feet from the between the sidewalk and the travelway.
Instead of running into people on the sidewalk, the driver would have smashed into parked cars. Secondly, bollards on the sidewalk: this exposed street corner could have also absorbed the impact of the crash. Bollards were cited recently in saving many lives last month in Times Square. The Bicycle Coalition has put together a campaign asking Councilman Darrell Clarke to green light these changes. Click here to send Clarke a message.
The Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia extends our deepest sympathies to Peter’s family and friends.
I am a life long friend of Jean Baker, Peter’s sister-n-law and am so sadden by the loss of Annie’s husband, my thoughts are with the family and I’m sending love and hugs .
Amy (Levan) Keerans, formally of Bloomsburg, Pa
Peter’s death is a great loss, to Philadelphia, to public transit, and to activists and engaged citizens everywhere. What a wonderful spirit: gentle, generous and loving.
Let’s honor his life and his memory by redoubling our efforts to improve clean public transit and to make our streets safer for bicycles and pedestrians.
Peter was a giant.
A terrible tragedy for Peter’s wife, Anne, and his entire family, but also a great loss for his community and, indeed, given his activism and fine values, for all of us, even those geographically distant.