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2007 NYC Street Memorial Ride & Walk

On Sunday, January 6th, over two hundred people gathered to remember New Yorkers who were killed while biking and walking. The Street Memorial Project lead the 3rd Annual Memorial Ride & Pedestrian Memorial Walk to honor those killed. In 2007, 23 bicyclists and over 100 pedestrians died on NYC streets.

[intro music]

Speaker: [00:05] Today was the third annual Memorial Ride for cyclists who have been killed on the streets.


Ryan Kuonen: [00:15] I kind of respond out of this idea of making sure everyone, every biker, gets remembered. And from that we added pedestrians.

Leah Todd: [00:23] Today we gather in honour of those killed on New York City streets. In this past year, countless pedestrians were killed by motor vehicles. On average, one pedestrian every other day.

Patrick Tomeny: [00:34] At least 23 cyclists have been killed in 2007.

Caroline Samponaro: [00:37] We arrive with love in our hearts, with sadness for what has been lost, with rage that these crashes did not have to happen, and hope that we never have to do this again.

Leah Todd: [00:48] With these ghost bikes and memorials, we want to raise awareness about bicyclists’ right to the street and pedestrians’ right to safe passage, in the hopes that New Yorkers can change the climate on the road and learn to respect each other.


Ryan Nuckel: [01.06] Here in New York we’ve seen a tremendous and powerful movement grow for bike and pedestrian safety. Over a dozen organisations are represented here today and these memorial rides give, for me at least, an incredible feeling of solidarity and power in times of intense grief.

Charles Komanoff: [01:25] To have three feeder rides, coming from three different Boroughs, to have beautiful ghost bikes decked out with flowers and a sign commemorating the individual, it’s the realisation of something that maybe a few of us 10/12 years ago when we started the Street Memorial Project hoped, but frankly we never dreamed that it would become this big, this powerful, this well organised, this momentous, and with so much love.

Ryan Kuonen: [01:52] When it comes to traffic accidents people seem to think that bikers and pedestrians were doing something wrong, and this gives the family, like a group of people that understand and are kind of on their side

Thomas Cruz: [02:03] You guys did it the first time and we were caught by surprise when we came to the site and we actually saw the writing on the ground saying that you guys were coming. It was a surprise cos we didn’t know that things like this touched so many people. I just hope that these rides and what these things that are happening change the law, you know, because drunk drivers getting away with a slap on the wrist and they’re killing our family members.

Zoe Kelly-Nacht: [02:29] Because I lost my dad two summers ago. He was biking and he was hit by a car. It’s been particularly touching to see the other families and the warmth that this congregation has sort of provided them at each of the individual bikes.

Ellen Foote: [02:50] Participating in this Memorial Ride today and being with you all is definitely the most important thing that I will do this year. But from the bottom of my anguished heart I wish that this event were not happening and that none of us needed to be here.

Steve Hindy: [03:10] America’s in love with the internal combustion engine. But cars, trucks and buses are killing and maiming pedestrians and bicyclists in New York City virtually everyday. They are choking the street life of our city. Our thirst for fossil fuels is forcing us into horrible foreign adventures like the Iraq War. I hope you will join our family, Sam, and Transportation Alternatives in their struggle to ensure safe streets for pedestrians and bicyclists.


Ryan Kuonen: [03:50] That we really want this city, the DOT to like have a database. Bikers, there’s only about 23. Pedestrians, it’s like in the hundreds. This year we can only verify like about 60 and we know that it’s closer to probably 180. So it’s… a lot of this doesn’t get reported in any way and so we really, really want to hold the DOT, NYPD, the city accountable to making this list sort of available.

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  • Ray Scheinfeld from Philadelphia

    The Streets Memorial Project is an important consciousness raising event for the City of NY. Three of us traveled from Philadelphia to NYC to attend this memorial ride for the second time. It was a powerful and moving experience and we were honored to be there. Even on as solemn an occassion as this one, it was a joy to ride with fellow bicyclists from all segments of the NYC biking community. Heartfelt thanks to both the organizers and the dozens of volunteers associated with this project and the ride. We will return for the ride in future years with the hope that they will not be necessary at some time in the not so distant future.

    Ride Safely!

  • killer catch

    as someone who rode in this, and rides every day in nyc, i just wanted to say thank you for making and posting this piece.

    i have started to sent it around to my contacts in other cities around the country and the world, and i hope that others will do the same.

  • Mary Beth Kelly

    I regret that my son and I were out of the country for this year's Memorial Ride. My husband of thirty three years, Dr. Carl Henry Nacht, was hit and killed by a NYPD tow truck while we were riding the Hudson River Greenway in June of 2006. He was honored by last year's Memorial Ride. It was very meaningful for my family and our friends to be a part of that. My daughter Zoe Kelly-Nacht participated for all of us this year and was moved and supported by this deeply meaningful way of grieving together as community. Thank you, from my heart to everyone involved in the Street's Memorial Project, for the annual rides and the presence of my husband's ghost bike.
    Mary Beth Kelly

  • DRKO

    Some images from the ride:

    A day that we were very glad to be a part of. Am further interested in awareness-campaigns regarding bike and pedestrian safety -- feels like there's a lot to be done.

    Working on a sticker right now, an icon/graphic for the inside of a cab window that would show a biker getting doored, within the classic red-circle & line-through-it. Would like to either get the Taxi Commission to agree to put it in all cabs, or else we put em there ourselves. Thoughts?