PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The year 2021 is on track to be one of the deadliest years for bicyclists in Philadelphia. The latest fatal incident involves a deadly hit-and-run crash that happened Tuesday night on Roosevelt Boulevard in the city’s Summerdale section. A witness told police the victim was crossing the boulevard at Adams Avenue when he was struck and killed.
And then the driver took off.Police: Man, 2 Children Injured In Crash In Willingboro
The hit-and-run happened around 7:30 p.m. when it was dark outside.
Police are now looking for a White and Blue Ford F-150 truck that officers say struck and killed a cyclist.
A man selling trash bags on Roosevelt Boulevard says he often sees drivers whizzing by way too fast.
“It ain’t worth it,” the man said. “It ain’t worth rushing. A ticket. You can hurt somebody. It ain’t worth it.”
The deadly hit-and-run crash happened just hours before Philadelphia officials held a ribbon-cutting event Wednesday to unveil safety improvements along North Broad Street. Officials also released the city’s annual Vision Zero Report. It aims to get traffic deaths in Philly down to zero by 2030.
But last night’s victim is the seventh bicyclist to be killed in Philly so far this year. That’s more than any year since at least 2016.
Why are more cyclists dying in the city?
“Because people are being irresponsible driving their cars,” Mayor Jim Kenney said. “It’s a simple equation. It’s a terrible equation but it’s simple. people are lead-footing around this town. They’re buying muscle cars like crazy. And they’re driving like idiots.”READ MORE: Big Decision Looming For SEPTA Employees As Union Fights For Better Wages For Its Workers
The mayor isn’t wrong. Eyewitness News captured a driver blowing right through the red light at the same intersection where that bike rider was killed.
“All traffic deaths are avoidable,” Randy Lobasso, of the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia, said
Lobasso says other improvements are needed citywide.
“We need to see way more protected bike lanes, we need to see way more pedestrian improvements like we have here,” Lobasso said. “And we need to be able to slow down cars.”
City officials have previously committed to building more protected bike lanes with a 2020 goal of 20 miles but missed that mark.
“We’re gonna be just about 20 now, which is in fact a year late.” Mike Carrol, of the Philadelphia Transportation office, said. “But we want to get some projects done in light of what happened with the delay of the pandemic. So I feel like we’re not far off track.”
By 2025 the city wants to have a total of 40 miles of protected bike lanes.MORE NEWS: Flames Put Out After Tearing Through Mount Laurel Home
The bicycle coalition says the city is safe to bike in but there is still reckless driving behavior leading to death which needs to change.