Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Memorial and Whack Graffiti made right

Tonight, a brave group of concerned New York City citizens took to the streets to bring attention to the number of people killed recently by automobiles. As night began to fall on Manhattan, a crew of about 15 cyclists set out to spray paint stencils for their fallen brothers and sisters who choose to ride bicycles in the car dominated streets of the concrete jungle and pay the price with their lives. Pedestrian's deaths due to motor vehicles are on the rise. In May there was a string of hit-and-run incidents where motorists had committed homicide and fled from the scene prompting Mayor Bloomberg to become outraged and demand for stricter laws against this aggression. Also in recent months bike riders have been killed and seriously injured. Transportation Alternatives, a pedestrian rights advocacy group, had one of its chief members Noah Budnick, seriously hit by a tow truck in Brooklyn. Then, in May, 21 year old, Brandie Bailey was killed in Manhattan on her way home form work in the East Village by a truck belonging to East Coast Trucking. Last week, a 28-year-old lawyer, Elizabeth Padilla, was killed in Park Slope, trying to squeeze between 2 trucks. In both cases, the drivers of the trucks had to be chased down, having no idea they had even killed someone. Many commuters in New York weather taking public transit or cycling, feel there is a double standard applied to cars and trucks. That somehow the same level is not taken into effect for car related deaths. Often the drivers of these people killing machines are not sentenced and no investigations are pursued with any degree of thoroughness, often ending in the conclusion of simply an accident. There are others who feel, "you'd have to be crazy to ride a bicycle in New York." and anyone doing it is taking their life into their own hands. This is the school of thought who believes there just isn't room on the road for bikes even though there are many bike lanes throughout Manhattan and Brooklyn. Cyclists generally argue that often cars are double parked in the bike lanes, forcing them to ride more in the middle of the street. Regardless of this endless debate, cars are killing more people and little is being done to correct the situation. So tonight, armed with spray paint and stencils, the all volunteer, environmental group Time's Up along with other concerned riders engaged in a direct action as part of the memorial stenciling project. The group's aim was to paint a chalk outline of a person's body with letters spelling, "killed by automobiles" across the chest. Then in a different stencil the name of the cyclist killed by the motor vehicle is placed near by. All of these stencils are painted in the exact spots where the individual was killed. 5 stencils were laid out tonight. Then for an extra bonus, people went to town on a Hummer graffiti advertisement.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

There's another Hummer ad by them at E18th St and 1st Ave. So far it hasn't been marked up, but it deserves to be!


8:14 PM  

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