Coming to DC and immediately jumping on my bike and riding on the streets I had a rude awakening. I was not in Chicago anymore. Drivers react and respond differently and are less predictable than Chicago drivers. It's been my new reality for a year and a half. But I still ride every day. I still grocery shop on my bike, bike to work, and go for joy rides.
Part of what's made that possible is the Twitter community of #bikeDC. Fast friends that have been supportive, empathetic, and funny when I've needed them. One such person is a DC cyclist by the name of DaveS. Insightful and thoughtful, he'd often respond to my posts, Tweet about cycling in Chicago too (he used to ride in Chicago before moving to DC).
Tonight I learned he was killed this morning by a reckless, terrible driver on Florida Ave. I can't stop crying. He was just alive. He leaves behind a daughter and a partner. There is no bike lane on Florida Ave much less a protected one. Unlike Chicago, the diagonal streets (named after states) don't have bike lanes for the most part. To tell you a little more about DaveS, he was a tireless advocate. Always thoughtful, always active in speaking up for change. To say he will be missed is a huge understatement. This is a huge loss for DC and all of DMV.
Today I lost a friend.
Police have charged a man with second-degree murder after he struck a cyclist with a stolen van Friday morning at 12th St. and Florida Avenue NE.
The crash happened around 10 a.m.
Police say an automated license plate reader in the area alerted police to the stolen white van. Police tried to stop the vehicle, but the driver, who has not been identified, did not stop.
The van was speeding westbound on Florida Avenue NE and ran a red light at 12th Street, hitting a blue Hyundai before crossing the double yellow lines and hitting the male cyclist. The driver then struck a tree. MPD officers arrested him on scene. Social media reports say the driver was going more than 70 mph.
Reverend Laura Everett has a liturgy for fallen cyclists at ghost bike ceremonies.
"Many roads brought us safely here, to this small square of earth. We stand and ride on holy ground. We gather in grief to remember a life well lived, a life too short, possibilities unfulfilled. As we gather in grief, Holy One, hear our prayer…
When we chose to take a bike instead of a car,
when we chose to listen instead of shout,
when we chose advocacy instead of complacency,
when we chose to get curious instead of cranky,
when we chose to heal a broken world instead of cursing it,
when we travel past this spot, remind us of [the cyclist’s name]."
I also believe that, "we can do better than sacrificing people to the road."
Reverend Laura Everett, at 11:15 to 24:30 in the video. From 2-24-19 Boston ghost bike ceremony for Paula Sharanga.
2nd degree murder is a step in the right direction given Chicago tickets for the same "accident" were failure to yield. $75
Put down the phone and pay attention!
Ghost Bike Ceremony and Memorial Ride for David Salovesh Sunday morning at 11am in Washington D.C.
Our hearts are with the #bikedc and #bikechi communities as well as Dave’s friends & family. Dave is the first BLU Contributor that has been killed. He was active in the bike community. Every time a cyclist is killed or injured we're reminded our work is a giant race against the clock. Last summer when many cyclists were killed, we realized the day would unfortunately come when a BLU Contributor would be killed. We are heartbroken.
This is a link to a recording of Dave's ghost bike installation.
I am so sorry to hear this news. Just today I sent an e-mail to confirm that a bike shop was working with us for the Evanston Ride of Silence and now I read about why that ride is still so relevant, so important. From your description of David Salovesh just about any of us can truly say, "there but for the grace of [insert your deity here] go I." I will be that much more careful commuting home today knowing full well that all that vigilance, all that awareness and any amount of experience may not matter when a criminal mind is behind the wheel of a motored vehicle. May his memory be a blessing.
My condolences, that's terrible.
So sorry to hear about DCs loss.