On July 30th, 2019, 58 year old Wayne Richardson was riding a bicycle westbound near the 2800 block of E. Madison Street at approximately 10:15 pm when he was struck from behind by a driver of a dark colored four-door sedan. The driver of the sedan then fled the scene. Police are still searching for the driver of the sedan, which should have heavy front end damage and could be missing a front bumper. Anyone with information about the vehicle or its occupants is asked to call detectives at 410-396-2606. Your information can remain anonymous.
It is difficult to find the words when a second person riding a bike was killed by someone driving a car in the span of six weeks. It’s frustrating when we have the infrastructure tools necessary to prevent fatal crashes, but our city delays design and construction because of backlash from drivers. Backlash has resulted in the delay, removal or modification of bike lanes across the city and has left streets objectively less safe to walk or ride a bike on.
We did not know Wayne Richardson. We did not know Mickey Hughes. But we grieve for them just the same. When your job is to make streets safer for people and someone dies because they aren’t, it is deeply personal. Which is why we will say this:
There is a difference between listening to the community, and allowing community input to undermine City adopted plans that improve public safety. But the City repeatedly does not discern between the two. This has to change.
In Baltimore, we are in a crisis regarding countless safety issues — gun violence, lead exposure, asthma, and on and on. None seem to be receiving the sense of urgency they deserve. This has to change.
Today we met with the Baltimore City Police Department to discuss issues around reporting and officer education. Last week we met with the new Director of Transportation. There is some movement in the right direction.
In Baltimore 33% of residents lack access to a car. That number climbs as high as 60% in the neighborhoods near where Wayne Richardson was killed. There are unused state and federal dollars that have been awarded to the city for projects that make our streets safer to ride a bike on. Use them. Immediately. Please don’t make us write another one of these.