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Bicycle Safety

Liz Padilla Memorial & Bike Improvements

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 On June 9, 2005, one year ago tomorrow, 28-year-old pro bono lawyer and Park Slope resident, Elizabeth Kasulis Padilla was hit by a truck and killed on the corner of Fifth Avenue and Prospect Place while riding a bicycle to her new job at the Brooklyn Bar Association.

Since that day, members of Park Slope Neighbors have been working to get the New York City Department of Transportation to make bicycle safety improvements along the narrow stretch of Fifth Avenue between Carroll and Dean Streets.

Tomorrow morning at 8:00 am at the corner of Prospect Place and Fifth Avenue, Park Slope Neighbors, Transportation Alternatives and the Park Slope Civic Council, along with elected officials, local bike commuters will gather to honor Elizabeth Padilla, read a letter from her family, and to announce the bicycle safety improvements that the Department of Transportation has agreed to make in response to our requests.

After the brief memorial, cyclists will participate in a group ride to DOT headquarters in Manhattan at 40 Worth Street. There, DOT Commissioner Iris Weinshall will be presented with a letter calling for stronger street design standards to encourage bicycle commuting by better protecting New York City's cyclists.

* * * * *

Elizabeth Padilla worked as a pro bono lawyer and legal services coordinator with the Brooklyn Bar Association and was a tireless volunteer with a number of organizations. After graduating from Cornell, Ms. Padilla spurned a six-figure starting salary with a Silicon Valley law firm to do poverty law.

She worked at the Family Center in New York, providing pro bono legal services to indigent persons suffering from terminal illnesses, primarily people living with HIV-AIDS. She volunteered for Human Rights Watch, taught English as a second language to immigrant high school students, and worked in a soup kitchen run by New York Cares. A cyclist, swimmer and marathoner, as well as a personal trainer, Ms. Padilla was a member of the Achilles Club, an organization that enables people with all sorts of disabilities to participate in mainstream athletics.

DETAILS:

What: A memorial for Elizabeth Padilla followed by a group ride to DOT

Commissioner Iris Weinshall's office in Manhattan to call for stronger bike safety measures.

Where: In front of 79 Fifth Avenue, at the corner of Prospect Place, Park Slope, Brooklyn.

When: Friday, June 9th, 8:00 am

Who: Members of family, Park Slope Neighbors, Transportation Alternatives, Park Slope Civic Council, Visual Resistance, Councilmembers David Yassky and Bill DeBlasio and Community Board 6 and neighborhood cyclists.

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