Approximately three dozen protesters took part in Thursday’s “die-in” in New Orleans as an effort to gain public support for improved cycling safety, according to the Times-Picayune. Lying down with their bikes in front of city hall, the demonstrators sought to commemorate the deaths of city bikers who died in traffic collisions in the past year—including Philip Geeck, Frank Guinn, Leonard Williams, Von Thomas, Joe Barnes, and Ben Gregory—and to call for better enforcement of traffic laws meant to keep cyclists safe.
“This city is more concerned with dead Confederates than dead New Orleanians,” organizer Alexander Fleming told the Times-Picayune, in reference to recent debates over the city’s many Confederate monuments.
Many of the participants believe that city officials have failed to develop a bike-friendly traffic infrastructure, which could potentially save lives. They believe New Orleans can become a great cycling town only when the city government makes a serious commitment to improving road surfaces and creating dedicated bike lanes.