Philadelphia’s Ride of Silence honors bicyclists who lost their lives

File photo: A white-painted ghost bike is parked on the Philadelphia Art Museum steps, ahead of the Ride of Silence on Wednesday, May 16, 2018. (Bastiaan Slabbers for WHYY)

File photo: A white-painted ghost bike is parked on the Philadelphia Art Museum steps, ahead of the Ride of Silence on Wednesday, May 16, 2018. (Bastiaan Slabbers for WHYY)

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.

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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.

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