On July 20, 17-year-old Emily Jancart of Moon Township was struck and killed while riding her bike in that community.
This most recent bike-related death is the fifth in the Pittsburgh area in the last two years, prompting Bike Pittsburgh to sponsor advertisements around the city as part of a public awareness program to protect cyclists.
According to Bike Pittsburgh Executive Director Scott Bricker, they just want to remind motorists to be more alert while sharing the road with cyclists.
“A lot of people don’t understand that we’re just like them, and we have families and we have jobs and we’re trying to get from point A to point B and trying to enjoy ourselves and that we need to be watched out for,” he said.
The ads remind motorists that they are real people on these bikes and to pass with care. They feature a wide range of real Pittsburgh cyclists from a priest and a nurse, to Pittsburgh Steeler Antonio Brown.
Bricker said an abundance of crashes spurred them to act.
“Unfortunately bike crashes are underreported, so we don’t have an exact figure, however there were at least three fatalities last year and another two this summer, and there’s many many others who have been hit and severely injured,” he said.
Bike Pittsburgh hopes to expand the campaign from a few billboards and bus shelters into full bus ads and television spots throughout the year.