Video: Cyclists Remember, in Silence, Those Killed by Vehicles on S.F. Streets

By Jeremy Raff and Adam Grossberg

It was a bike commuter’s dream: At rush hour, 14 motorcycle cops stopped traffic at major intersections in the Mission, SoMa and up Market Street. Uninterrupted, dozens of cyclists rode in silence.

The Ride of Silence, San Francisco’s fifth, has spread across the world since it began in Texas in 2003. In San Francisco, a total of 25 pedestrians and bicyclists were hit and killed by drivers in 2013, according to the SFMTA, the highest number since 2007.

On Wednesday, riders memorialized six cyclists and a wheelchair-bound pedestrian recently killed by cars and trucks. At the site of each fatality, they taped up a picture, a description of the collision and flowers:

Harold Swaggard, 55, Folsom and 13th

Amelie Le Moullac, 24, Folsom and Sixth

Diana Sullivan, 48, King and Third

Bryan Goodwin, 31, Market and Octavia

Renata Gonzales, 23, Market and Octavia

Dylan Mitchell, 21, 16th and South Van Ness

Cheng Jin Lai, 78, Bryant and 11th

The ride was more somber memorial than political protest, but it comes in the wake of District Attorney George Gascón’s refusal to prosecute the driver who killed Amelie Le Moullac, even though investigators said the driver was to blame.

Devon Warner, an organizer of the ride, didn’t buy her first car until she was 49, fearing accidents. Soon after, she “scared the pants off some man and his child in the crosswalk,” on Clement Street. “They totally were in the right and I was in the wrong,” she said. She had been Christmas shopping and was distracted. Spooked, she canceled with the friend she was rushing to meet.

For Warner, the Ride of Silence says, “No matter what we’re doing, how busy we are, how much of a hurry we’re in, none of it is worth frightening and hurting other humans.”

Addressing the crowd before the ride, Karen Haley Allen stood before a slideshow of the victims, including Derek Allen, her only son, who was killed at Geary and Clement streets in 2010. “His first word was ‘outside,’ ” she said. The night of his death, he was picking up Chinese food. Allen shared a modified haiku:

Good Luck Dim Sum

Lead my son to crash with MUNI

Boom

Good night Derek

Speakers featured in above video, in order: Devon Warner, Mark P. Sullivan, and Marc Aure.

  • i was run down yesterday…

    In this country it seems you can murder a cyclist with your car or truck and there are no penalties. If we were in Europe the person who killed Amelie would still be in prison and facing severe penalties. Why do we not respect human life in this country? Someone please educate me…

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