Outer Loop Ghost Bike

vance_kokojan

I am heading out to chain up another Ghost Bike this evening for an accident I should have recognized a while back. I was contacted by the victims sister thru GhostBikes.org as she was understandably upset that her brothers death did not receive the same attention as Jens did last month. This is something I think everyone in the riding community needs to take to heart. It’s a tough situation and being that Jens accident happened in such close proximity to where so many of us ride every day I understand why it gained the attention it did. However, I think everyone needs to step up when these accidents occur, regardless of what area of town it is in, if we are ever going to be taken seriously. Otherwise, we all look like a group of clique-ish assholes.

Back to the Outer Loop – The incident happened a couple months ago along the Outer Loop just outside of Louisville. The Outer Loop is not anything like what you would consider bike friendly with its 4 lanes and 45 mile an hour speed limit with the majority of traffic driving at least 50. The details I have been able to retrieve are as follows. Vance Kokojan was riding in the right lane, where the “law” states he should have been. While being passed by a tractor trailor driving in the left lane an impatient driver darted into the right lane out from behind the truck and struck Vance. As is the case in such incidents, the driver was simply allowed to go about thier day while another family was torn apart.

As I have stated before, jail is not the answer here. This looks to have been another careless accident. Because of the accidental nature I don’t feel locking the driver in a cage for some duration is going to solve anything. While nothing can be done to bring Vance back, I feel financial restitution to the victims family is the best available outcome. From what I have read, this was a man with a family who depended on his financial support and because of the carelessness of this driver a family has had that support stripped from them. I know this can sound cold and impersonal but I sincerely feel it is a legitimate solution.

When you start affecting people’s bank accounts they really start listening and paying attention to their actions. When you drive a car the consequences for your inattentive actions can be deadly. For whatever reason, this is simply not respected in our society.

Critical Mass Ride

A Critical Mass has been organized for Friday, Oct. 10 in memory of Jen Futrell.

Jen Futrell was hit by a car while riding southbound on Bardstown Road on Tuesday, Sept. 30. She received life-threatening injuries and was taken off life support a few days later. She died on Saturday, Oct. 4.

Come to Critical Mass on Friday, Oct. 10 to remember Jen and raise awareness of these issues:

— Helmet safety – at her family’s request, PLEASE show up wearing protective gear
— Increased protection for cyclists, including increased funding for cyclist awareness campaigns for drivers and more bike lanes
— Changing the culture of Louisville from car-centric to one that defers to alternative modes of transportation like cycling

We are meeting in the parking lot of Bardstown Road Presbyterian (they are not affiliated with this), biking down to the intersection of Baxter/Bardstown Road, then returning to the parking lot. We will pass the ghost bike, placed where Jen was hit. Her family has been made aware of this action and believes Jen would have supported it. ALL are invited, not just those who knew Jen.

Date: Friday, October 10, 2008
Time: 5:00pm – 6:00pm
Location: 1722 Bardstown Road
(Bardstown Road Presbyterian Church parking lot – where the Farmer’s Market is held)

Ghost Bike

Unfortunately the Louisville cycling community has experienced another loss.

Jen Futrell’s life will be honored Tonight (10/2)
7:00 pm
Bardstown Rd & Grinstead

Please Attend

Happy Labor Day

Go ride your bike!

Just don’t do it with the mayor… or if you do, ask him why his so-called bike friendly city employees continue to remove ghost bikes whenever they are put up.