I don't go searching for bicycling tragedies to write about. The ones I do write about come to me in a way that compels me to write about the bicyclists, so that we never forget. When a tragedy happens locally, it's difficult for me not to point it out, and write about it. Maybe subconsciously, I believe that each time I write about a fallen cyclist, that it will be the last time. Because maybe, the world will finally come to its senses, and realize these awful tragedies do not have to happen. Maybe I believe that the community as a whole, that our local government, and that all our bicycling advocates will scream so loud, and finally make it stop. Maybe I believe that I will finally see real action take place in order to create a safer bicycling community for all.
After Luc contacted me about this tragedy, I emailed the Boston Department of Transportation and I contacted Kris Carter, Advisor to the Mayor, and Interim Director of Boston Bikes. Kris responded immediately, and sent me a very heartfelt, sincere, email message. I also read Thomas M. Menino's, very touching post on-line. I know he and Kris strongly believe in the six E's of bicycle planning: Education, Enforcement, Engineering, Encouragement, Evaluation, and Equity.
It's all well and good. But is it enough to take care of the problem right now? What is needed right now, is a strong campaign, a strong marketing plan to be brought to the general public's attention that bicycling is a true mode of transportation. These are human lives who ride bicycles to get to their place of work and their school destinations. We need giant billboards warning motor vehicle drivers of the consequences: the emotional consequence of killing a human being due to carelessness and cavalier attitudes towards cyclists. And, the legal consequence, holding motorists accountable, to back it up. This is what they do in the Netherlands and Denmark. And it works, plain and simple.
Christopher was the second BU student killed in a bicycling accident this year in Boston. A total of five bicycling deaths to date in Boston this year, which is incomprehensible to me. Christopher was a talented student and studying photojournalism. Here is a link to Christopher Weigl's work. This is Chris Weigl.
Student profile - Christopher Weigl from Sarah Ganzhorn on Vimeo.