SAFETY: World Remembrance Day 11.20.16
On Sunday, November 20th, the Long Island Chapter of NYBC held Long Island’s first World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims Rally & Ride event, on the boardwalk in the City of Long Beach. We gathered to remember those maimed and killed in traffic violence on Long Island, and rally to eliminate such preventable tragedies. The event received wonderful coverage in Newsday and the Long Island Herald.
The weather wasn’t cooperative for the scheduled 10-mile ride through Long Beach, Lido and Island Park, but it that turned out quite nicely – it led to an over hour long discussion on walking and biking on Long Island.
NYBC Board member Dan Flanzig spoke about our 3-foot Safe Passing and E-Bike campaigns, and the importance of being an active member in an organized group like NYBC, who can help push for needed change on the local and state level. LI Chapter Organizer Allison Blanchette spoke of the $8.85 million in Long Island bike-ped projects unlocked this year. She articulated the importance of language in saying crash not accident and the importance of setting our moral barometer to zero – as in striving for zero injuries and fatalities.
Traffic safety advocate Mark Hoffacker from the New York Coalition for Transportation Safety – NYCTS talked about some of the work his group does in Nassau and Queens with child seats and with bicycle education. Katie Artz, a local ped-bike advocate who is involved with a Safe Routes to School program, spoke about the need to increase school crossing guards, an ask echoed by Jill Levitz-Heller, who was joined by her daughter, a member of a new Girl Scout cycling club.
These residents concerns for safe streets to bike and walk are based on real experiences, and their concerns are backed up by some very real statistics. In 2015, 30.56% of bicycle fatalities and 13.32% of bicycle injuries in the State of New York happened on Long Island. More deaths than reported injuries – that can be interpreted many ways.