Memorial Ride to Honor Slain Cyclists, Peds this Sunday

Rides will be held throughout the five boroughs of New York this weekend to honor the 20 cyclists who have fallen on

Jean Malizia was paying her Time Warner bill on E. 23rd St., and as she headed off for a ride on the East Side Drive, she was mowed over by a garbage hauler who was never charged in her death.

city streets since last year. The event will also memorialize and recognize the 136 pedestrians who were killed by automobiles in the same time period.

The annual Ghost Bike ride will be held in each borough, with cyclists eventually meeting up in parts of Queens, and the Bronx. It’s the 8th Annual Memorial Ride and Walk on Sunday, April 21, 2013.

This year, Manhattan Rickshaw owner Peter Meitzler will be using a trike cargo bike to carry the last Ghost Bike on a to be placed on Sunday in Queens.

“I see it as a tribute to fallen cyclists, in a moving procession … where this last ghost bike is given a dignified and ceremonial presentation in front of the cycling community and in a way that draws respect and mindful awareness (hopefully),” said Meitzler.

He will join the Brooklyn ride at around the Navy Yard, near Franklin and Flushing Aves. at 2:15 pm.

Among the lives being mourned is that of Jean Malizia who went out with her bike one morning this January from her apartment on the Lower East Side, stopping off to pay her bill at Time Warner on East 23rd St. before she was to head off to the East Side Park Drive for a ride. But she was barely back on her bike when she was mowed down by a garbage truck driver, who didn’t even receive a ticket after he killed her.

Jean is one of two cyclists that was killed already this year: another 18 were killed in 2012.

At each bike, the group will hear this message, one that closely resembles a honorable prayer for the fallen riders, read out loud by Jessie Singer and other volunteers at the Ghost Bike project:

Today we gather in honor of the cyclists and pedestrians killed on New York City streets. In the past year, 136 pedestrians were killed by motor vehicles. Twenty cyclists were killed while riding their bikes. Today we ride in honor of Emma Blumstein, Shaquille “Swizzy” Cochrane, Terence Connor, Tchaka Cooke, David Ellis, Henry Garcia, Mireya Gomez, Roger Hernandez, Victor Lopez,  Jean Malizia, Alexander Martinez, Daniel “Danny” Martinez, Joseph Nelson, David Oliveras, Ramon Russel, Ronald “R.J.” Tillman, four unnamed cyclists, and countless cyclists and pedestrians whose deaths go unreported and unrecognized every year.  We ride with love in our hearts, with sadness for what has been lost, with rage that these crashes did not have to happen, and with hope that we never have to do this again. With these memorials we want to raise awareness about a cyclist’s right to the street and a pedestrian’s right to safe passage in hope that New Yorkers can change the climate on the road and learn to respect one another.

Shaquille Cochrane, also known as ‘Swizzy’, was close to home riding his bike at night at the corner of Park and East 108th St. when a cab driver crashed into him. The driver was not charged according to DNA Info ” police said. No criminality is suspected.”  He was pronouced dead at the hospital soon thereafter.

Then there was the 24-year-old Emma Blumsteinwho was run over by a Dykes Lumber Truck in June 2012 at the corner of Bedford

Terence Connor, 24, who played drums in the band “Total Slacker” was killed by a hit and run driver in Brooklyn.

and Empire Aves. in Brooklyn, NY.

Terence Connor was a drummer in an indie rock band. He was also only 24 when he was run down and killed by a hit-and-run driver on Metropolitan and Stewart Aves.

Tchaka Cooke, 39, was riding his bike on Union Turnpike in Queens when he was fatally hit by someone opening the door of a parked car. Although dooring a cyclist is illegal, NYPD did not charge the driver, reported by Gothamist. In fact, the Ghost Bike project did not even learn of Cooke’s death until they were notified by his family, since his death didn’t even make the newspapers. A dear friend since sixth grade devoted a blog in memoriam for the Big Apple Circus technician, whom he called Bosko SockMonkey.

And then there was  Roger Hernandez who was on his his way to bring flowers to his girlfriend, when he was struck and killed in a hit-and-run accident by a speeding drunk driver in Sunnyside Wednesday night, according to NYPD.

A ghost bike along last year’s memorial ride

Hernandez — who was carrying a bouquet, witnesses said — was pronounced dead at the scene. Police arrested Alex Batista, 25, of Long Island City, on Thursday night and charged him with manslaughter, vehicular manslaughter, leaving an accident that resulted in death, DWI and unlawful possession of marijuana.

But that was the only death in 2012 that the organizers know for sure was met with justice. The remaining drivers continue to populate our roads with their irresponsible, and in most cases, killing ways.

Staten Island Ride

12:00 PM - Every Thing Goes Book Cafe, 208 Bay Street (between Victory and Hannah)

12:30 PM – Sutter Oval (Howard Ave end), Wagner College, across from Main Hall

12:45 PM – RJ Tillman, Howard Ave between Highland & Grand

2:00 PM – S.I. Ferry, St. George Terminal, Staten Island

Jean Malizia’s long time partner, Lou wrote: “After paying her Time Warner bill at 12:20, she unlocked her bike. She stepped into the street and it remains unclear if she was walking aside her bike or had just got on when a private carting company truck from Citiwide Carting ran her over. The report said the truck was pulling out and clipped her; not true, he ran her over twice. There were no charges made and the driver was issued a ticket for failure to have a fire extinguisher in the truck…really?

2:30 PM – S.I. Ferry, South Ferry Terminal, Manhattan

3:30 PM - Jean Malizia, E. 23rd and Madison

4:00 PM – E. 59th St. & 1st Ave., Queensboro Bridge (converge with Bronx Ride)

promptly at noon.
Brooklyn Ride

2:00 PM – Seth Low Square, intersection of Stillwell Ave., Bay Parkway & Avenue P (N to Bay Parkway)

12:35 PM – Henry Garcia, 20th Ave. and 80th St.

1:00 PM – Victor Lopez, Utrecht Ave. and 58th St.

1:45 PM - Emma Blumstein, Bedford Ave. and Empire Blvd.

2:25 PM – Unnamed memorial, Franklin Ave. and Flushing Ave.

3:00 PM - Terence Connor, Metropolitan Ave. & Stewart Ave. (converge with South Queens Ride)

Bronx Ride

12:15 PM – Webster Ave. & Gun Hill Rd. (D to 205th St., 2 to Gun Hill Rd., 4 to Woodlawn or MetroNorth to Gun Hill Rd.)

12:30 PM – David Ellis, Webster Ave. & Gun Hill Rd.

1:00 PM – David Oliveras, Williamsbridge Ave. & Mace

1:50 PM – Joseph Nelson, Fordham Rd. & Jerome Ave.

Manhattan Rickshaw’s Peter Meitzler will ride this trike bike with the final ghost bike to be placed at the end of the memorial ride. (test bike is being carried above.)

3:00 PM - Shaquille “Swizzy” Cochran, Park Ave. & 108th St.

3:30 PM – Daniel “Danny” Martinez, 5th Ave. & 82nd St.

4:00 PM – E. 59th St. & 1st Ave., Queensboro Bridge (converge with Staten Island Ride)

4:30 PM – Unknown memorial, Queens Blvd & Jackson Ave.

North Queens Ride

1:00 PM – Queens Criminal Court Bldg, Queens Blvd & Hoover Ave. (E/F to Union Turnpike)

Alexander was riding his bike early in the morning on his way to work when he was struck from behind by the driver of a tractor trailer. The driver did not stop and has not been found by police. Alexander was killed on his birthday.

1:15 PM - Alexander Martinez, Queens Blvd south of Hoover Ave.

2:00 PM - Tchaka Cooke, Union Tpke & 178th St.

3:00 PM - Mireya Gomez, 126th St. & Roosevelt Ave.

4:00 PM - Roger Hernandez Greenpoint Ave. & 39th St. (converge with South Queens Ride)

South Queens Ride

1:00 PM – Rockaway Blvd, Woodhaven Blvd & Liberty Ave. (A to Rockaway Boulevard)

1:30 PM – Ramon Russel, 114th St. and 150th Ave. (Aqueduct Racetrack)

2:15 PM - Unnamed memorial, Cypress Hills St. at Salem Field Cemetery

3:00 PM - Terence Connor, Metropolitan & Stewart (converge with Brooklyn Ride)

3:40 PM - Unnnamed memorial, Borden and Greenpoint Aves

4:00 PM - Roger HernandezGreenpoint Ave. & 39th St. (converge with North Queens Ride)

4:30 PM - Unknown memorial, Queens Blvd & Jackson Ave.

Convergence
4:30 PM – Unknown memorial, Queens Blvd & Jackson Ave.
The event is free and open to all.
Rain date: Sunday, April 28
The memorial group is also looking for donations to help fund the continued good work they are doing, and are trying to raise a modest $5000, with funds going to revisions on the website, and other work done by volunteers each year. PLEASE DONATE, even if you can’t make it on Sunday, to http://www.crowdrise.com/ghostbike/fundraiser/ghostbikes
Detailed ride schedule: www.ghostbikes.org/node/949