By Susan Scott, Denver Vision Zero Coalition Member
How many times have you heard a cyclist say “on your left” or heard pedestrians’ steps as they passed you “on your left?” It is a simple phrase, a common refrain, a welcome courtesy. Yet crashes on our roads have left far too many pedestrians and cyclists voiceless. They are no longer able to let us know they are near, silenced while doing ordinary tasks like riding to work or walking to the grocery store.
In 2003, in response to the loss of a cyclist involved in a traffic crash, a volunteer movement began. The Ride of Silence started in one city, recognizing and remembering one life, conceived as a one-time event. Today, however, a much larger movement continues as riders and walkers from all fifty states and forty-eight countries remember cyclists and pedestrians from around the world annually on the third Wednesday of May. Here in Denver we will add our wheels and our feet to the movement on May 17, 2017, well aware that others around the country and world are with us.
The Vision Zero Coalition, a group of community leaders and family advocates who support reducing traffic fatalities to zero through safe streets, has committed to supporting families and remembering their loved ones. On May 17, 2017, the Denver Ride and Walk of Silence will begin at the corner of Colfax and Franklin at 6:30 PM. Those walking will lead us in a silent remembrance to and around Cheesman Park, cyclists will follow. After a memorial walk of approximately two miles and a ride of eight-ten miles, we will place carnations at the pavilion in the park before breaking our silence to honor those we have lost in traffic crashes. Families with young children might choose to join the ride/walk at Cheesman Park.
If you walk or cycle, if you know someone or are a family member of someone who has been seriously injured or killed while walking or cycling, if you have been involved in a crash or a near miss, if your mission is safe streets, JOIN US for the Ride and Walk of Silence. To those of us who have lost family and friends, your participation is more than an acknowledgement of the importance of safe streets for all, but a powerful personal gesture that says our lost family and friends have a voice . . . yours.
The Denver Ride and Walk of Silence on May 17 will honor all of the lives lost to traffic crashes, and anyone is welcome to attend. RSVP for this free ride and walk at walkdenver.org/silence.
The Ride and Walk of Silence
May 17, 2017
6:30 - 8:00 PM
Join us at the intersection of
Colfax Avenue & Franklin Street
Ride/Walk to and around Cheesman Park