The WNY Liberation Collective, a group that focuses on Racial Justice, is planning a protest march on Thursday August 6 (4pm-6pm). The protest is meant to draw attention to lack of safe infrastructure on the East Side, for walking and biking. Those organizing the peaceful gathering are demanding that commercial streets on the East Side undergo “road diet” treatments, similar to those in more prosperous areas of the city. The group states that there are “structural inequities” that must be addressed, for the health and wellness of East Side residents, starting on Bailey Avenue.
- We want to know when interim safety measures, as promised by the DPW in January will be implemented
- We want transparency about how projects are picked and funded by the DPW
- We want to know how many people need to die before the DPW will take action to fix Bailey
The social distancing gathering and protest march aims to draw attention to these aforementioned concerns. On the designated day, cyclists are invited to gather at 1700 Broadway, while walkers and skateboarders will meet up at the Police Station at 2767 Bailey. From each of these locations, the protesters will wind their way to the lot across from the Veterans Administration Hospital.
Typically, the WNY Liberation Collective focuses on Racial Justice. Of course safe infrastructure is part of that broader cause. If it’s not safe to bike or walk in a community, then it’s simply not right. From the Collective:
Studies nationwide show that the likelihood of surviving a collision with a car going faster than 30 mph decreases monumentally. A large contributing factor to high speeds on city streets is that they are designed to move motor vehicles quickly. Wider streets guarantee faster speeds. Hearing our community partners, GObike has advocated for something to be done to slow traffic on Bailey for the past two years. At GObike we favor traffic design options that do not penalize already over enforced populations. If you need to understand how design can moderate traffic please check out this article (and video) in The NY Times.
For those attending the rally and march, please stay socially distant and be sure to bring your mask.