Bike Cleveland Statement on the Jonathon Sawyer Collision
Bike Cleveland is troubled to learn that chef Jonathon Sawyer was struck by a Greater Cleveland Regional Transportation Authority (GCRTA) bus while cycling down the Euclid Avenue bike lane this afternoon. Sawyer’s collision is one in a recent spate of collisions involving cycling, and with the warming weather, the chances of these occurrences will increase.
Bike Cleveland was already working directly with GCRTA to help them modify their training and policies to improve safe operation around cyclists, and GCRTA CEO Joe Calabrese has promised to hold a special training with his drivers with regard to our new safe cycling ordinances in Cleveland. In response to this incident, GCRTA also has put Bike Cleveland Executive Director Jacob VanSickle in contact with staff responsible for operator training.
We are glad to learn that Chef Sawyer was not injured, and that he will continue to choose to ride his bike to and from work. Chef Sawyer recognizes that thriving cycling communities and economies are critical for Cleveland’s success. So do we.
This collision involving a high-profile member of the community is a reminder that more protections are needed to keep cyclists safe. Over the last several months, Bike Cleveland and Dix & Eaton have been developing a region-wide public awareness campaign focused on improving bike transportation safety with an emphasis on drivers and cyclists sharing the road. Our campaign will launch this summer.
In the meantime, we urge public officials and leaders of large institutions like GCRTA to act with urgency to prevent this type of incident, which has become all too common in Cleveland. Bike advocates and public transit form a critical partnership in affordable and sustainable transportation, and we look forward to working together to ensure the safety of all Clevelanders.