Cyclist Bashir Mohamed spoke with Mayor Don Iveson Friday afternoon. Mohamed says their conversation circled around a pair of items primarily, increasing the dialogue between Edmonton’s Cycling community and the city, and racism.
“We talked about a renewed commitment to Racism Free Edmonton, so on that front I’m going to be connecting the mayor to different communities and advocates such as Black Lives Matter Edmonton, aboriginal groups and other groups that are interested in order to kind of kick start this and to have the dialogue and the mayor is interested and eager to move forward on that file.”
Mohamed says he feels that there’s a lack of understanding when it comes to the importance of cyclist safety among various city departments.
“Moving forward the point of the city departments being there is so that they can hear from cyclists and understand their perspectives and their issues with safety because I feel that there’s a lack of understanding there. So that’s kind of the key difference here, is that it’s moving towards, like the mayor’s office is working towards a cultural shift.”
Mohamed says some of the departments need to start thinking about cyclist safety when it comes to traffic. Bashir mentioned ETS, City Planners, and the Police.
“Officers have an extreme lack of understanding in terms of traffic law. On my case, every officer I spoke to questioned what I was doing, whether it was legal, and whether I was riding to provoke. So, all these departments have stakes in this and I think there’s that culture shift that needs to happen.”
Mohamed was verbally accosted by a driver who hurled a racial epithet at the cyclist while he peddled his bike through the construction zone nearby Rogers Place at the end of July.