PITTSBURGH - Several hundred people turned out amidst cold rain showers Saturday afternoon to attend a vigil for a bicyclist killed Friday night in Oakland.
Police said Susan Hicks, 34, of Pittsburgh’s Morningside neighborhood died after getting pinned between two vehicles near the intersection of Forbes Avenue and Bellefield Street.
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The accident happened after one of those cars was rear-ended, forcing it forward and pinning Hicks.
Hicks, who worked for the University of Pittsburgh for the last two years, was taken to UPMC Presbyterian where she later died.
Many of the people who attended Saturday’s vigil didn’t know Hicks, but that didn’t stop them from calling on the city to create a safer environment for bicyclists.
“It’s like running with the bulls out there and it doesn’t have to be,” said Scott Bricker of the group Bike Pittsburgh. “We’ve seen countless cities redesign their streets for everyone so we’re hoping the city and PennDOT will do the same here.”
However, some in attendance did know Hicks well, like co-worker Elaine Lynn.
“There’s so much more to her than as a biker,” she said. “She was a very wise, strong young woman.”
Regardless, Lynn agrees that change must happen for bicyclists to be safer on Pittsburgh’s streets.
“People need to work together to change things, to bring awareness,” she said.
For Bricker, “a protective bike lane would have prevented this.”
“Not one more person should die on our streets,” he said.
Along those lines, city crews worked to expand some bike lanes in downtown Pittsburgh.
They extended the Penn Avenue lane in the central business district by two blocks. That bike lane currently has an average of about 850 bike trips per day.
According to police, no charges have been filed against the driver who initiated the collision that killed Hicks.
The medical examiner has ruled Hicks’ death accidental.