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‘Ghost bike’ laid at site where pedicab operator struck, killed — surviving friends call for action

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A ghost bike has been placed at the site on the Embarcadero where pedicab operator Kevin Manning was struck by a hit-and-run driver. (Photo courtesy Colin Sanders)

Friends of a recently killed pedicab operator are calling on The City to make the Embarcadero safer.

Kevin Manning, 66 was struck and critically injured June 27 by a driver who police are still pursuing. Now to memorialize Manning and push for change, his friends and family have placed a “ghost bike” at Chestnut and Sansome Streets.

Sunflowers are wrapped around the white-painted bike. A sign affixed to it reads in part, “Kevin was a loving father and grandfather, beloved member of the San Francisco pedicab community, talented inventor, engineer and machinist … Kevin brought smiles wherever he went.”

White-painted bikes are often placed on San Francisco streets to honor those who are killed by motorized vehicles while on bicycles. The ghost bike for Manning was built and placed by Manning’s friend Colin Sanders, a mechanic at Cabrio Taxi Pedicabs, where Manning worked. At the gathering of 60 or so people on Sunday, according to Sanders, supporters laid flowers on the cement, read poetry, quoted philosophers, and reminded one another that Manning was not a fan of memorials — he preferred celebrations of life.

As for Sanders, he demanded The City to speed up its creation of protected bike lanes.

“I hate ghost bikes. I feel intense sorrow every time I’ve seen one,” he told the crowd, in a speech he later posted to Reddit. “Kevin’s death was preventable and we intend to do something about it.”

Sanders then called on the Port of San Francisco, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency and Supervisor Aaron Peskin, whose district includes the Embarcadero, to “finally take action on building separated, protected bike lanes. I think this is a legacy Kevin would be proud of.”

The Canadian family who were riding in Manning’s pedicab when it was struck also sustained injuries that day. The family, who were on vacation and live in Canada, have since retained San Francisco attorney Matthew J. Quinlan to represent them in San Francisco.

“The family is doing better, but is still very much in recovery,” Quinlan said in a statement. While Quinlan would not detail the family’s injuries, including those sustained by a 5-year-old, he added, “They returned home to Canada over the weekend and have follow-up appointments scheduled with their doctors this week.”

The SFMTA is planning short-term improvements to the Embarcadero for bicycle safety.

“We express our deepest sympathies to the family and friends of Kevin Manning,” the agency said in a statement. “We plan to announce a final design, including a two-way protected bikeway, for The Embarcadero this Fall.”

The Port of San Francisco has maintained the responsibility for implementing protected bike lanes lanes with the SFMTA, though some advocates have demanded the Port take a leadership role in ushering in bike lanes on their own property.

Police are still working to identify the driver of the gold colored Honda Civic that struck and subsequently killed Manning.

Investigators are asking anyone with information to contact the SFPD 24 hour tip line at (415) 575-4444 or Text a Tip to TIP411 and begin the message with SFPD.

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