EDITOR’S NOTE: This event was postponed for one week until Aug. 22 due to excessive heat and smoke from nearby wildfires, as well as a delay in the City Council’s discussion of police oversight, organizers said.
A group of community organizations has joined together to host a 10-mile bike ride through Pasadena this weekend in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement.
The “Evening Ride for BLM,” scheduled for 7 p.m. Saturday, is being put together by the Pasadena Complete Streets Coalition, the NAACP, the National Day Laborer Organizing Network, and the Coalition for Increased Civilian Oversight of Pasadena Police, organizers said in a written statement.
Riders will meet up at the First AME Church of Pasadena, 1700 N. Raymond Ave, and the final stop will be City Hall, 100 N. Garfield Ave. Only street parking will be available.
“The route is 10 miles with some gradual hills and four stops,” the statement said. “At each stop, we will commemorate a person whose interactions with the Pasadena Police resulted in injury or death. Christopher Ballew, Kendrec McDade, Reginald Thomas, and Margarita Perez were injured or killed by the Pasadena police.”
“We demand true community safety through the adoption of a Community Bill of Rights,” the statement said.
Colin Bogart, and active member of Pasadena Complete Streets, said the group was trying to consider a more holistic view of what having safe streets means, and not merely focusing on traffic and road safety issues.
“Safe streets means safety in all manners. it’s more than just safety from being in a traffic collision,” he said.
“This is a conversation that’s going on in bike advocacy communities across the country,” Bogart said. “Does it mean safety from being hit by a car, or go beyond that? We recognize as a group that it does go beyond that.”
“It means something different for me as a white, middle-aged male riding down the street than for someone who is Black or Brown,” he said.
Pasadena Complete Streets reached out to local organizations that have been championing police reform to see how they could offer support, he said. “We talked about it, and the ride this weekend is one way we can do that.”
Negative encounters between police and members of the public often begin as traffic stops, bicycle stops, or pedestrian stops, Bogart said. He added there was concern about whether such enforcement actions disproportionately affected people of color.
Additionally, lower-income communities are likely to have more people who depend on bicycles as a primary form of transportation, Bogart said.
The Pasadena Complete Streets Coalition favors design improvement over enforcement actions as a method of improving safety for bicyclists and pedestrians, he added.
Masks will be mandatory at Saturday’s ride and will be provided if needed, organizers said. All riders were urged to have their bicycles equipped with white lights in the fronts and red rear reflectors, as well as bring a candle.