Cycling community holds memorial ride for cyclist on UT campus

A “ghost bike” now sits where a cyclist was killed on San Jacinto in January. (Photo: CBS Austin)

Austin cyclists held a memorial ride for the cyclist killed on the UT campus last month.

Anthony Diaz was killed Jan. 19, after a bus crashed into him on San Jacinto, close to the Darrell K Royal – Texas Memorial Stadium.

On Wednesday, a few dozen riders held a silent memorial ride. They went from Plaza Saltillo, to the crash site and then to the Cap Metro bus station off 5th Street.

“Once we arrive we would like to say some words about how safety should be the most important issue to bus drivers, rather than speeding down a street to make a green light, or stay on schedule,” the Facebook event said.

When they got to the crash site, the riders found a white “ghost bike.” James Lentz, the president of the Campus Bike Alliance at UT placed the bike there Tuesday night. “I think it’s important for the cycling community to have memorials, I think it’s important for people in the UT community and the Austin community to see things like this and realize like that there are serious consequences sometimes,” Lentz said.

Lentz helped paint the bike white three days after the crash. However, he had to wait for UT’s approval. “Initially they were saying if they saw it locked anywhere but a bike rack, they would impound it,” Lentz said.

After two weeks of back and forth, UT gave permission for a temporary exhibit. Lentz said it will only last for 14 days. He’s still working with the university to make it more permanent. “It’s frustrating, it’s such a small thing to ask when someone has died,” Lentz said.

A university spokesperson said UT is grateful to see a memorial to the victim of this tragic accident. The spokesperson said they’ll have to wait and see moving forward whether or not the memorial will be permanent. He said the Dean of Students is working with the cycling community.

Lentz said the ghost bike is important to stand as a reminder to drivers to stay cautious. He also said it should highlight the need for bike lanes on San Jacinto. “I don’t think I’ll ever really feel satisfied with just a memorial. I mean there needs to be change so this doesn’t happen again,” Lentz said.

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