More than 100 people came out to advocate for an end to traffic violence in Philadelphia on Thursday.
Joining members of the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia, the Vision Zero Alliance, and Javsicas Family, a group of advocates and supporters of safer streets marched through Center City, from the Comcast Center to Market Street and to Dilworth Park, where the names of all known 2017 victims of traffic violence were read.
The Memorial Walk came about after transportation advocate Peter Javsicas was killed by an out-of-control driver on June 13th. A former executive director of PenTrans, the Mt. Airy resident dedicated his life to better, safer transportation options for all people.
After his death, interest in a plan for calming traffic on JFK and West Market Street in Center City rose. The Bicycle Coalition and others spread an email campaign asking Council President Darrell Clarke to take action on the plan, which involves a parking-protected bike lane and other engineering changes, to help slow down traffic and prevent future crashes on those streets.
Clarke introduced a resolution calling for hearings on Vision Zero in the wake of Peter’s death, but it’s important we see real changes to JFK and Market soon.
There are about 40 percent more crashes on these streets than other Center City streets, like Walnut and Chestnut. Speeding is common.
As part of our campaign to make JFK and Market streets safer, we organized a Memorial Walk in memory of Peter Javsicas and all victims of traffic violence.
Friends, family, advocates, and supporters began showing up at the Comcast Center around 5pm.
The large crowd grew to more than 100 people, who heard from Bicycle Coalition Executive Director Sarah Clark Stuart; President of the Delaware Smart Growth Alliance Jason Duckworth; and Aaron Javsicas, Peter’s son.
“This is exactly the response he would have wanted.” -Aaron Javsicas pic.twitter.com/YLApHJenn4
— Bike Coalition Phila (@bcgp) June 29, 2017
The group, signs in hand, walked through Center City before ending at Dilworth Park. While there, Stuart read the names of all known traffic violence victims in 2017, taken from our PHLtrafficvictims counts. (Click here to read about the march on CBS3.)
We need to keep the pressure on Council President Clarke if we want to see safer streets prioritized.
A plan to change those streets has already been floated and studied.
— Andrew Kramer (@Philly_Kramer) June 29, 2017
It’s time to prioritize safer streets all over Philadelphia.
Thanks to everyone who was able to make it, especially members of the Javsicas family.