|Happy Alive Day!|
Each year on the anniversary of my accident, I find myself standing on the corner of 5th Street and Washington Avenue in South Philly.
I watch the traffic go by, breathe in the autumn air, and stare wistfully (or perhaps lovingly) at a little patch of blacktop that's so familiar I consider it mine.
Today the blacktop is different.
(And I've never been more excited to write a blog post in my life!)
This intersection -- which has felt to me like the most vulnerable place in the world -- is now PROTECTED.
|With a brand new|
PROTECTED BIKE LANE!
It's the most beautiful thing I've ever seen.
The best "Alive Day" gift I could have asked for.
(Seriously, my eyes tear up with joy!)
A biker in a gold helmet approaches, following the same route I rode on this exact day 12 years ago. I snap a pic as she passes by.
|It feels like the whole street |
should be paved with gold!
I look both ways and then step carefully onto the green lines myself. The paint is still fresh; the colors, impossibly bright.
My eyes follow the smooth curve of white strokes on the ground.
I knew this was in process. It's been years in the making. But I drove by just weeks ago -- and none of this was here!
|(It's so new, it comes with instructions!)|
Washington Ave. is busy as always, but it feels different somehow. Changed.
I have to tell you... I almost didn't go back this year.
I've changed too, and I felt a strong pull to do this day differently. To turn a new page. Get a fresh start.
I wondered if it was time. But how would I know?
Or is it too late?
Turns out, 12 years is just right.
This isn't the end of the journey, really. Just the end of a certain chapter. There'll be many more milestones, I'm sure.
|Today, like always, |
I leave a little something behind.
Its markings will be there to protect all who pass through. Bikers on their way to work, like I was. Kids on their way to school. Skaters, scooters, strollers, and so many more.
|What could be better than that?|
Vision Zero's goal is to reduce traffic deaths to zero by 2030. For more on Vision Zero Philly and protected bike lanes, click here.