Deaveon Davis rode his bike to work almost every day. He was biking to his girlfriend’s house to get his car keys one early morning in March and he was struck and killed by an SUV at the corner of Linden Ave and Glen Road in Brighton. His friends and family were devastated.
The cycling community in Rochester decided to take action. There have been too many cyclists killed by cars in our community. The installation of a Ghost Bike serves two purposes. The first is to honor and memorialize the dead. Deaveon’s family gathered to pray at the corner where he was killed. His name was written on the white ghost bike. The second purpose of this installation is to raise the level of awareness of cyclists on the road. We need to learn to share the road and look out for cyclists. Drivers are distracted by cell phone notifications, trying to text and drive, trying to make calls and drive, and a myriad of other little things that use up the instant they need to avoid a fatal collision. Since we don’t have bike lanes, we tend not to expect to see cyclists on the road, especially at multi-lane busy intersections.
In the Netherlands, the pedestrian is King, the cyclists are queens, and the car comes in as a lowly commoner. Bike lanes are everywhere and they have their own stop lights.
Most people ride their bikes to work, school, the store, and even to the golf course. For all the months we were there, I never saw an accident. Drivers are vigilant.
I officiated at the installation of the ghost bike for Deaveon. I have done countless funerals but the devastation of his friends and family was intense. They were still trying to fathom how a young man with everything going for him in the prime of his life was gone. His life was snuffed out in a matter of seconds.
My son rides a bike to work because it’s fun and he’s trying to help save the planet. I worry about him. I would love to see our community embrace this wonderful mode of transportation. If you want to help in this endeavor, check out Reconnect Rochester. https://reconnectrochester.org/