Cyclists and pedestrians mourn those killed in car crashes

Memorial ride: Cyclists ride down Union Avenue for the final stop in the seventh Annual Memorial Ride and Walk.
Photo by Stefano Giovannini

It was a day of love and rage.

More than 150 cyclists and pedestrians mourned fellow riders and walkers, laying wreaths and flowers for those who have lost their lives in car crashes at the Seventh Annual Memorial Walk and Ride on Sunday.

The foot procession started on McGuinness Boulevard in Greentpoint where participants paid tribute to victims of automotive collisions including Neil Chamberlain, Liz Byrne, and four others who were fatally struck on the deadly roadway.

“New York City is afflicted with a plague of dangerous driving and McGuinness Boulevard is one of the most hazardous streets of them all,” said Transportation Alternatives director Paul Steely White.

The memorial bike ride visited seven memorials, including one for Mathieu Lefevre, a Bushwick cyclist who died in a hit-and-run with a truck on Morgan Avenue last October. Police controversially closed the case and found the cyclist partly to blame for the collision — even though the driver who ran him over and left the scene was not signalling when he veered into the cyclist.

The walk and the bike ride converged at an anonymous memorial at Union Avenue and S. 5th Street, right in front of Williamsburg’s 90th Precinct headquarters at Union Avenue — where Lefevre’s family claim they received the run-around from police after the 30-year-old artist’s death.

The event was somber, but transportation advocates described it as a call to action.

“The loss of just one life to dangerous drivers is one death too many,” said White. “It’s high time we saw the New York City Police Department finally crack down on dangerous driving.”

Reach reporter Aaron Short at ashort@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-2547.

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