photo by Courtney Ehrlichman
A Tragic Loss of Life
This past weekend has been full of sadness and grieving. On Friday, October 23rd Susan Hicks was riding home from work in Oakland when she was killed by a driver at the corner of Forbes and Bellefield.
Susan Hicks was assistant director at the University of Pittsburgh’s Center for Russian and East European Studies, a resident of Pittsburgh’s Morningside neighborhood, and a daily bicycle commuter.
Susan’s friends tell us that she was a wonderful, fierce, and loving person. Her colleagues say she had a passion for languages, a talent for working with students, and spoke Russian fluently.
By all accounts, Susan had a bright future ahead of her. She had already been promoted at work after being hired to the Center for Slavic Studies only two years ago. She had also recently purchased a house in Bloomfield and was excited to move in soon.
She is survived by her parents who live in Virginia and three brothers.
A Beautiful Community Response
Mere hours after the news announced the crash on Forbes bicyclist community members including Anne Marie Toccket had arranged to hold a candlelight vigil the following evening. More than 200 people came out in the rain to honor Susan’s memory and held signs reading “Not one more,” “I ride with Susan,” and other messages.
UPDATE: Taking Action
To win this struggle we’re going to need an army of people to stand with us, write letters, attend meetings, and organize rallies. Join BikePGH’s ACTION for Safe Fifth/Forbes Coalition to see this through to victory. We need you now. Sign up here.
Thanks to Pitt student Greg Dornseif for springing into action upon hearing about the fatal traffic violence near his campus. Greg created a Change.org petition calling for safer streets in Oakland. We are proud to have partnered with Greg to amplify his voice and call on the University of Pittsburgh, the City of Pittsburgh, and PennDOT to work on the Fifth Forbes corridor. The petition closed on Wednesday, October 28th after garnering 2,500 signatures in just 4 days.
BikePGH will take these 2,500 signatures to Mayor Peduto, PennDOT, and the chancellor University of Pittsburgh. We are calling on these Oakland stakeholders to craft a timely and appropriate response to these tragedies. We must work together to create a safer Fifth/Forbes corridor for all who use it.
We will send updates to our ACTION for a Safe Fifth/Forbes list with next steps.
We are in awe of the tremendous show of support that has been shown across Pittsburgh. Let’s keep it going.
This post has been updated to reflect the closed petition and our next steps.