Ottawa cyclists and pedestrians took to the streets and to City Hall Thursday to mark the one-year anniversary of the death of Danielle Naçu, the young civil servant who died while cycling to work.
Naçu died while cycling on Queen Street after a motorist exiting a parked car opened their door in the path of Naçu's bicycle. Naçu and her bike then fell into the path of another car that had been behind her.
The ride began on the corner of Sparks Street and O'Connor Avenue at 11:30 a.m. and passed the Queen Street site of the white "ghost bike," which still marks the spot where Naçu died. The ride then finished at City Hall.
Tom Naçu, Danielle's father, said the loss of his daughter remains difficult, particularly during holidays and birthdays.
'Hopefully we're doing something good here,' father says
He said he hopes the commemorative ride and similar events can help further road safety.
"Hopefully we're doing something good here, that the drivers and the cyclists will share the road and be more careful and respectful of each other," said Naçu.
Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson said stickers that attach to driver-side mirrors, warning drivers to watch for bikes, are set to be distributed in the coming months as part of an awareness campaign on the dangers of "dooring."
Watson said he'll ask city staff to make sure every city-owned vehicle has the sticker on it within the next couple of months.
In the days following Naçu's death, a spontaneous bike ride took place.
Organizer and friend Marc-André Daigle said today's journey mirrored that ride. Daigle said the tragedy touched a chord with a lot of people.
"With Danielle working in the downtown core, a young public servant, a young leader for tomorrow, a single female, she represented a lot of characteristics that a lot of people in the community shared and can easily identify with," Daigle said.