At vigil for fallen DC bicyclist, activists call for safer streets for bikers


On Sunday, members of the D.C. cycling community gathered at the site where an outspoken D.C. bike advocate lost his life in a crash Friday to hold a vigil and place a “ghost bike” to symbolize the fallen biker.

David Salovesh, 54, was struck and killed by a man driving a stolen van near the intersection of 12th Street and Florida Avenue. Robert Little Jr., 25, of Northwest, was arrested and charged with second-degree murder in connection with Salovesh’s death.

Matthew Sampson, a bicycle activist in D.C., attended the Sunday memorial, where a roadside memorial, known as a ghost bike, was placed at the scene of Salovesh’s death. Ghost bikes are typically painted white and are designed to draw attention to the dangerous conditions bikers face in some sections of roadways.

Sampson wants to see action taken to make the intersection safer for bikers.

“The [Advisory Neighborhood Commissions] have been incredibly supportive, but the city continues to drag their feet,” Sampson said.

Ice Cream Jubilee longest sundae
Ice Cream Jubilee gathered people in Navy Yard on Sunday, July 21, 2019, to break a D.C. record — create the longest ice cream sundae. (WTOP/Keara Dowd )
Ice Cream Jubilee longest sundae
It was D.C.’s hottest Sunday, quite fitting to indulge in D.C.’s longest sundae. (WTOP/Keara Dowd )
Ice Cream Jubilee longest sundae
The high temps couldn’t melt away the enthusiasm for some ice cream. (WTOP/Keara Dowd )
Ice Cream Jubilee longest sundae
Ice Cream Jubilee founder Victoria Lai wanted to do something special to commemorate National Ice Cream Day. She had no idea it was going to end up being at the end of a nasty heat wave melting the area. (Courtesy The Brand Guild )
Ice Cream Jubilee longest sundae
People piled on the toppings before the ice cream melted. (Courtesy The Brand Guild )
Ice Cream Jubilee longest sundae
Even though it was hot, Lai said everyone was happy at Sunday’s event. “What’s happier than ice cream?” (Courtesy The Brand Guild )
Ice Cream Jubilee longest sundae
While there was previously no DC record for the longest sundae, the 100+ foot masterpiece drew over 150 ice cream lovers to The Yards. (Courtesy The Brand Guild )
Ice Cream Jubilee longest sundae
Each participant received a 2-scoop sundae with Ice Cream Jubilee’s signature flavors and customized their treats with an array of toppings. (Courtesy The Brand Guild )
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Ice Cream Jubilee longest sundae
Ice Cream Jubilee longest sundae
Ice Cream Jubilee longest sundae
Ice Cream Jubilee longest sundae
Ice Cream Jubilee longest sundae
Ice Cream Jubilee longest sundae
Ice Cream Jubilee longest sundae
Ice Cream Jubilee longest sundae

The D.C. Bicycle Advisory Council, an organization that advocates for bicycle awareness and safety also called on city officials, including Mayor Muriel Bowser, D.C. police and DDOT to “enact further protections for cyclists and pedestrians, and to provide more funding for safety, enforcement, and facilities for cyclists and pedestrians throughout the District.”

“The cycling and pedestrian community has lost a passionate advocate to a needless death,” the council said in a statement.

Jeff Marootian of the D.C. Department of Transportation said the Bowser administration is aware that the area where the crash happened needs to be improved for the safety of bikers and efforts are being made to ensure that happens.

“The Florida Avenue reconstruction project is included in Mayor Bowser’s budget and it is a priority for our administration,” Marootian said. “It’s a priority for us and a priority, clearly, for the community so we intend to continue to work together.”

According to The Washington Post, Mayor Muriel Bowser has included $2.8 million in her 2020 budget for better enforcement of bike lane laws.

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