Nothing has changed at the spot where a ghost bike memorializes a man from my Metro Atlanta suburb city who was killed while traveling at the speed of bike in my neighboring city of Sandy Springs, Georgia eight months ago.
The preliminary hearing for the man who killed him (and left the scene, just like the person who hit me did) is this morning in Fulton County Court at 9 a.m. The widow is completely traumatized and has asked those of us who ride bikes to show support by attending via Zoom. Many of us will be doing that. Here is the link if you would like to join us.
We are deeply concerned not just about the life that was lost in May 2020 and the fact that no change has happened at this spot, but also at the “collateral damage” that’s done to the lives that remain after preventable road violence. BikeLaw’s Maria Borowik (whom you met here during the “You Go, Girl” series) suggests these resources:
The Compassionate Friends is a national nonprofit, self-help support organization that offers friendship, understanding, and hope to bereaved parents, grandparents and siblings. There is no religious affiliation and there are no membership dues or fees.
New York chapter with lots of material
Information brochure with resources (also attached)
Atlanta chapter information (not updated in a while).https://www.atlantafss.org/
Elliott Caldwell, executive director of Georgia Bikes (our excellent statewide advocacy agency) is also working on ways to support the ever-growing number of people in our state experiencing direct or related trauma from preventable road violence.
He has also issued a call to join the delegation from the State of Georgia being sent to our nation’s Capitol (virtually) for the annual League of American Bicyclists’ National Bike Summit February 28-March 3, where we will be meeting with federal and state leaders. I am going. Join us.
When I uploaded the video above to YouTube, it asks me if it is made for kids. I clicked yes because kids are passing this scene every single day in the backs of minivans and SUVs. Maybe we need to be asking city halls that question instead. Because as of right now, that answer would be no.
Will we see class action suits in the near future from citizens denied or delayed safe access in our shared public spaces, despite that requirement in their Comprehensive Land Use Plans? Or will our new federal administration in partnership with local municipalities be able to start incentivizing and serving as true leaders on real, measurable change that saves lives close to home and across the USA?
Time will tell. You are needed.