Philadelphia’s 18th annual Ride of Silence will honor the people who have died or who have been injured by vehicles while riding a bicycle.
The city’s iteration of the international event, which takes place in more than 400 locations worldwide, takes place Wednesday at 6 p.m. in honor of the 12 bicyclists killed since May of 2021. Event organizers also want to raise awareness around dangerous road use.
The Philadelphia ride includes a presentation, an hour-long bike ride that begins at City Hall and ends at the Art Museum steps, and a memorial bike lift.
Bike rides make up only 1% of all trips in the U.S., yet bicyclists account for more than 2% of deaths involving a motor vehicle.
“People are aggressively driving, they’re distracted … they’re texting on their phones, people who are not driving in a sober condition, either drunk or high,” said Ray Scheinfeld, one of the event’s organizers, of dangerous road conditions. “And then finally, a lot of aggressive driving that goes on, and we’ve seen a lot of that since the start of the pandemic.”
The City of Philadelphia has adopted Vision Zero, a strategy that began in Sweden to eliminate all traffic-related deaths and severe injuries. Philadelphia’s action plan includes strategies to address bike accidents, including adding more bike lanes in the city.