I did not know Sylvia Bingham, but I wish I had gotten the chance to meet her. She was killed this past Tuesday when she was struck by a truck while riding her bike to work in downtown Cleveland.
Sylvia graduated from Yale in 2009 and moved to Cleveland to work with “Hard Hatted Women,” an organization that helps lift women out of poverty. She was passionate about social justice and environmental issues, and wrote on her LinkedIn page, “Eventually I’d like to see urban, sustainable agriculture generate high-wage, high-skilled green jobs in our cities.”
I’m sure that I would have liked her.
This is a tragedy for Cleveland. Sylvia was exactly the kind of person that our city needs to attract and retain in order to develop economically, environmentally, and socially. Her death, like that of a canary, is sign of all the work that must still be done to make our city safe for those who bike.
Tomorrow, Sept. 22, the Cleveland bike community will be holding a bike ride in her honor from Sylvia’s Tremont home at the corner of Fairfield and West 11th at 8:00 AM. Participants will be riding in silence to Hard Hatted Women in downtown Cleveland.
I hope that city officials will pay more attention to Cleveland’s biking community in the future. Our city and its suburbs need more bike lanes. More than a few friends of mine have been hit by cars while riding. The Euclid corridor bike lane is not enough.
If we truly want to have a Green City on a Blue Lake, then we need to respect other modes of transportation besides cars and buses. I don’t want to see other people killed in our city for this reason. This was avoidable and we can do something about it.