Coming to DC and immediately jumping on my bike and riding on the streets I had a rude awakening. I was not in Chicago anymore. Drivers react and respond differently and are less predictable than Chicago drivers. It's been my new reality for a year and a half. But I still ride every day. I still grocery shop on my bike, bike to work, and go for joy rides.
Part of what's made that possible is the Twitter community of #bikeDC. Fast friends that have been supportive, empathetic, and funny when I've needed them. One such person is a DC cyclist by the name of DaveS. Insightful and thoughtful, he'd often respond to my posts, Tweet about cycling in Chicago too (he used to ride in Chicago before moving to DC).
Tonight I learned he was killed this morning by a reckless, terrible driver on Florida Ave. I can't stop crying. He was just alive. He leaves behind a daughter and a partner. There is no bike lane on Florida Ave much less a protected one. Unlike Chicago, the diagonal streets (named after states) don't have bike lanes for the most part. To tell you a little more about DaveS, he was a tireless advocate. Always thoughtful, always active in speaking up for change. To say he will be missed is a huge understatement. This is a huge loss for DC and all of DMV.
Today I lost a friend.
Police have charged a man with second-degree murder after he struck a cyclist with a stolen van Friday morning at 12th St. and Florida Avenue NE.
The crash happened around 10 a.m.
Police say an automated license plate reader in the area alerted police to the stolen white van. Police tried to stop the vehicle, but the driver, who has not been identified, did not stop.
The van was speeding westbound on Florida Avenue NE and ran a red light at 12th Street, hitting a blue Hyundai before crossing the double yellow lines and hitting the male cyclist. The driver then struck a tree. MPD officers arrested him on scene. Social media reports say the driver was going more than 70 mph.