The Charleston Moves Ride of Silence was scheduled for Wednesday night, but postponed due to the flooding downtown. Even though the ride was canceled, people who lost loved ones in bicycle crashes this year tell News 2 the Ride of Silence draws attention to an important safety issue.
Edward Mullan says, “He meant a lot to me. He meant a lot to a lot of people.”
Mullan’s son, Brett, died in February while cycling on the Stono River Bridge. He was hit by a car. Brett was only 30-years-old and supposed to be married in April. The organization Charleston Moves says cycling should be safer in Charleston County.
Executive Director of Charleston Moves, Kurt Cavanaugh, says, “People dying on our streets can’t be seen as business as usual and be status quo. We lost six Charlestonians already in 2015 who were biking or walking on our streets and any number other than zero is unacceptable.”
The Ride of Silence scheduled for Wednesday night was a memorial for the lives of those cyclists and pedestrians lost on Charleston roadways.
Cavanaugh says, “It’s also a silent call to action for better infrastructure on our streets.”
Charleston County tells me since the Transportation Sales Tax was implemented in 2006, the county has seen improvements in access for cyclists.
Charleston County Project Manager, Richard Turner, says, “We have completed about 13 miles of bike lanes since the sales tax program started and we’ve also completed another 12-13 miles of multi-use path.”
Charleston County gets $500,000 each year to spend on infrastructure improvements for bikes and pedestrians. Charleston Moves says the projects in progress, like the Ashley River Bridge project, are a great step, but the county needs to do more.
Cavanaugh says, “We have very little infrastructure in the terms of just paint on our streets. Paint can make things a lot safer just by marking space as to, ‘you should be here and you should be here’, kind of thing. So it’s a great start, but we really need to have things on the street today. We can’t wait and wait and do long term studies, we need it today.”
Edward Mullan says Brett biked to work every day for five years. Edward plans to participate in the Ride of Silence when it’s rescheduled.
Mullan says, “I just think what they’re trying to do is a good thing, so I want to be there for my son. I’m sure he would’ve probably been there too, if he was still around. He loved his bicycle.”