With 11 days to go, 2011 has proven a black year for cyclists killed on our roads. Victims' families will join campaigners tonight to remember the 16 families who will be one short for Christmas lunch next week. They will make a renewed call for urgent action to reduce casualties.
The 16 deaths (up from 10 in 2010) are also a political issue in London, with two of them caused — campaigners argue — by the unsafe implementation of Cycle Superhighway 3 at the Bow Roundabout. Following a third boycott by Conservative Assembly members on 8 December — labeled as disgraceful by the Father of Eleanor Carey, who died a few hundred meters from City Hall — a further meeting on 16 December did pass a resolution, introduced by Green AM Jenny Jones and seconded by Mayoral running mate Val Shawcross, expressing condolence to victims and asking for action on dangerous junctions.
Tonight's event, organized by the London Cycling Campaign, RoadPeace, London Living Streets and bloggers Danny (cyclistsinthecity) and Mark (ibikelondon), will be attended by Debbie Dorling, wife of Brian Dorling, killed at Bow roundabout on 3 October; Kenji Hirasawa, partner of Min Joo Lee, killed at Kings Cross on 24 October; friends of Mary Bowers, critically injured near News International in Wapping on 4 November; and friends of Nora Gutman, killed on Euston Road on 17 June.
Campaigners have repeatedly hit a brick wall at TfL, where calls to improve safety for cyclists and pedestrians at key junctions such as Bow and Kings Cross have been rebuffed for fear of causing considerable queues. The Mayor has defended his officials, including the memorable line that the Elephant and Castle (where 89 people have been injured in the last two years) is "fine, if you keep your wits about you."
Danny Williams of Cyclists in the City said, "People are being asked to fling themselves on bikes through multi-lane junctions where cycling is an after-thought. The safety of cyclists and pedestrians should have just as much importance as the safety of motor users on London's streets."
All are welcome to join the vigil, which will takes place at 6pm outside Kings Cross Station. Details here.