May 07, 2024

Memorial Ride for Ali Sezgin Armagan

Tonight, Toronto’s cycling community took part in their fourth memorial ride in as many months; this time for 39-year-old Ali Sezgin Armagan who was killed at Avenue & Elgin on Tuesday, April 30. With eight months to go, this year has already become one of the deadliest for those who bike in this city per Toronto's Vision Zero dashboard, though it hasn’t been updated for the most recent fatal crash.

Here are dozens of cyclists assembling at Matt Cohen Park.

Ottawa Centre MPP Joel Harden could be seen talking with Jess Spieker.

Lining up on Spadina to go north.

Riding north along Spadina.

Turning right onto Bernard Avenue.

The ride stopped on Bernard.

A truck and trailer was blocking a Range Rover and our ride. After a minute, the truck driver moved to some cheering and we could move on.

Riding along Avenue Road to the crash site.

Joey and Geoffrey getting the ghost bike and memorial banner ready.

The southbound lanes of Avenue Road were taken over by our group.

Here’s a short video of the moment of silence under way including Mozzie.

The ghost bike being decorated. MPP Harden was holding the memorial banner, while Councillor Dianne Saxe also attended the memorial ride.

The group gathered on Elgin Avenue before dispersing.

Ahead of tonight’s ride, Mahdis Habibinia wrote an article in the Toronto Star confirming that a 52-year-old man who drove the flatbed truck into Sezgin was charged with careless driving causing bodily harm or death. The article also noted Sezgin had moved from Turkey to Canada in August 2023 and was delivering food for Uber Eats on his e-bike when he was killed.

Since I wrote last Tuesday’s call to action, Councillor Saxe replied to one of my tweets saying she expects the Avenue Road Study to arrive at the Infrastructure and Environment Committee (IEC) on Tuesday, May 28. This makes it even more urgent for Toronto’s cycling community to e-mail Councillor Saxe and the other IEC members to let them know we need a safer Avenue Road now.

Thanks to Geoffrey & Joey from ARC for organizing tonight’s ride, as well as MPP Harden and Councillor Saxe for showing up. Let’s keep the fight going for safer streets and remember, you never ride alone.

Here's a clip made by Nicholas Bello of the ride heading towards Avenue Road.

Joey Schwartz's post about tonight's ride can be found here.

Joanna Lavoie featured ARC's Geoffrey Bercarich and that specific memorial on CP24.

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