Live to Ride Fund to raise awareness in honor of fallen cyclists

By Japhanie Gray - Reporter

SAN ANTONIO - Local groups, including the San Antonio Area Foundation, the 80/20 Foundation, the city of San Antonio and bicycle community organizations are taking action after two of their very own died in cycling accidents involving a suspected drunken driver.

“The cycling community is really in this moment where they are realizing there needs to be advocacy,” said Lorenzo Gomez III, with the 80/20 Foundation. “There needs to be action, and I just think that this is a moment where social change can happen, real grassroots social change. We are really pushing big social change and to not let the tragic death of these cyclist go responded to.”

Collectively, the groups created the Live to Ride Fund to build public awareness for sharing the road, while supporting grant making for safer city streets.

“We believe strongly that San Antonio can’t be a city that just relies on cars as the primary mode of transportation,” Gomez said. “The cycling community is just getting bigger and bigger every year, and we want to send a strong message that we are here to advance that scene forward.”

The call to action comes after the death of Dr. Naji Kayruz and Tito Bradshaw.

“We want to use the momentum behind the community mourning these deaths to do something great,” Gomez said. “Let’s use their tragic deaths to change the city for the better and advance forward. So we think that this fund is going to help make San Antonio more cycling-centric, make it safer and fund projects that actually send a message that San Antonio is here for the cycling community.”

Gomez said some people have already started brainstorming in honor of Kayruz and Bradshaw.

“There are people who started petitions to get those spots where they were killed to have better bike lanes installed in them,” Gomez said. “There has been mural projects being talked about. There is a master plan for cyclists.”

More than anything, Gomez said, this is about raising awareness and educating the community on how things are changing over time.

“Studies show there will be over a million people moving into our city in the near future,” Gomez said. “If we have a million cars, we are going to be in trouble. We need public transportation, cycling and other things like that to become more viable options.”

He said it will also help our city become more competitive.

“There is a war for talent,” Gomez said. “Cities that have high walkability or cycling attract more people. You don’t want to lose this generation. The number of 18- to 34-year-olds with a driver’s license has gone down 30% because they are choosing not to drive.”

Gomez said they have offered a $200,000 match grant for the donations coming in.

To give to the cause, visit the San Antonio Area Foundation website, where you can easily give to the Live to Ride Fund a minimum of $10.

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