The organization Bike New York is pulling the signs that had been promoting its popular Five Boro Bike Tour in New York City. Installed on bus shelters and in subways and commuter trains, the ads picture a packed crowd at the starting line flanked by two dramatic pyrotechnic displays shooting flames skyward. The signs use a photograph of last year's event. They are being removed in response to the Boston Marathon bombing tragedy. They were deemed too reminiscent of the explosions detonated near the race's finish line.
The cycling event, which is scheduled for Sunday, May 5th, is expected to draw 32,000 participants for the 40-mile tour of Staten Island, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, and Manhattan.
"Our hearts are with the people of Boston," Ken Podziba, the CEO of Bike New York, tells Yahoo! Shine. "Out of respect for the victims and their families we are eliminating the pyrotechnic display planned for the beginning of the tour and also removing the signs." Podziba says the image was also going to be used on the program given to the riders (which was already in production), but the organization is doing a complete redesign.
The Metropolitan Transit Authority controls what goes up in place of the signs, but Podziba says he thinks the spaces are going to be left blank for the time being. "That's a message in itself."
Podziba tells Yahoo! Shine that Bike New York is working with the New York City Police Department to ensure the safety of this year's bike tour. "They take the lead in developing a plan and a protocol, there are some things they won't even tell us," he says. "I feel assured knowing that the NYPD is the best police force in the world and they have kept the event secure for the last thirty-five years."
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