May is National Bike Safety Month, and on May 15 the 10th annual Ride of Silence event will be held nationwide. The silent procession honors bicyclists who have been killed or injured by motorists, and the event aims to raise awareness of "share the road" rules and driving safety on public roadways.
The local 8-mile Ride of Silence (first hel in 2006) starts at 7 p.m. at the St. Charles Avenue entrance to Audubon Park, following a brief ceremony at 6:30 p.m. Event organizers request riders wear helmets and a black armband and pedal no faster than 10 mph.
According to the New Orleans Regional Planning Commission, there were more than 300 bicycle-related crashes in New Orleans 2010 (the most recently updated data year), with 32 in the French Quarter and CBD. The most frequent crash sites are on Claiborne Avenue (29 crashes from 2009-2010) and Canal Street (26), while there was a 35 percent increase in bicycle ridership in New Orleans from 2011 to 2012. Ten bicyclistw were fatally injured in accidents in 2010. — ALEX WOODWARD