Two Bike Accidents on Tuesday Precede Next Week’s “Ride of Silence”

They are a haunting reminder of the ones that took place last year. | carlballou | carlballou

Two bike accidents on Tuesday come right before the annual “Ride of Silence,” which aims to bring awareness to bike accidents, as well as honor those who have been killed or injured. The ride, hosted by the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia, will take place on Wednesday, May 18th, at 7 p.m.

Early Tuesday morning, a bicyclist was seriously injured in a hit-and-run in the Cobbs Creek section of West Philadelphia. The incident happened around 2 a.m. near 52nd and Spruce Streets, said police, adding that the 46-year-old man was struck by an unknown vehicle. He suffered injuries to his head and ribs. The bicyclist was taken to Presbyterian Hospital, where he was listed in stable condition.

Later the same day, 44-year-old John Trotter was struck and killed by a SEPTA bus in the Frankford Section of Philadelphia, according to police reports. Police said that Trotter cut in front of the Route J bus on Orthodox Street near Aramingo Avenue. He was rushed to Frankford-South hospital were he was pronounced dead at 12:12 p.m. There were reportedly no passengers in the bus at the time of the incident.

Police are investigating both accidents.

The incidents are a haunting reminder of the two which preceded last year’s Ride of Silence; a hit-and-run that left Temple student Rachel Hall with severe injuries including brain injury and a fatal accident that killed 26-year-old Vijay Mohan on Girard Avenue. After a trying year of rehabilitation, Hall walked at Temple’s graduation on May 3rd, accepting the degree that she had earned the year prior, but wasn’t able to accept in-person because of her injuries.

Randy LoBasso, communications manager for the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia, said he hopes the tragic accidents will prompt the city government to make changes to keep bicyclists safe.

“Those two incidents happening so close to each other are a reminder that the city and state government need to do more to protect cyclists,” said LoBasso, speaking of the two accidents on Tuesday. LoBasso highlighted red light cameras, speed cameras, radars, and protected bike lanes as improvements that can prevent further accidents.

LoBasso reported in the statement that so far this year at least two bicyclist have been killed by motorists, citing also the hit-and-run that killed Drexel grad Jamal Morris in April. In 2015, he said, nine bicyclists died in crashes, the largest number of bicyclist deaths in two decades. LoBasso added that Philadelphia usually averages two to four cyclist fatalities a year.

In the release, the Bicycle Coalition, urged the city to move forward with Vision Zero, a Swedish initiative which seeks to eliminate bike and pedestrian traffic deaths. Over the past year there has been a big push to get Vision Zero active in Philadelphia.

“Over the past two years, the Bicycle Coalition has put a heightened focus on road deaths between all users, and the significant impact a Vision Zero policy could have in reducing these needless road deaths and injuries,” said LoBasso. “The Kenney Administration should move forward on a Vision Zero policy as soon as possible.”

In Mayor Jim Kenney’s 5-year budget plan announced earlier this year, he set aside $250,000 for developing a Vision Zero plan.

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