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LISTEN ON DEMAND: THIS AMERICAN LIFE tribute to the 10 killed in the Tops Market shootings.

Proposal for street art near Tops memorial brought to Common Council

Jalonda Hill-Colored Girls Bike Too
Thomas O'Neil-White
Jalonda Hill leads cyclists down Bailey Avenue in August of 2020 to protest a lack of infrastructure improvements in East Buffalo.

Street art memorializing the victims of the mass shooting on Jefferson Avenue could become a reality if the Common Council approves a proposal from a local cycling group.

The BIPOC women-led Colored Girls Bike Too organization is bringing the proposal to Buffalo’s Common Council Friday to not only honor the victims of May’s mass shooting but also bring attention to infrastructural problems plaguing the neighborhoods of East Buffalo.

Director Jalonda Hill said Colored Girls Bike Too is more than just a cycling club.

“So our group focuses on mobility justice and a part of mobility justice is rebuilding our communities through infrastructure design improvements,” she said.

The City of Buffalo doesn’t allow for crosswalk art but in light of the tragedy of May 14th Hill said this is an opportunity to help beautify the area

“Getting asphalt art installed at the memorial site where the racist terrorist attack took place. So that will look like bump outs with art in it,” she said. “Or whatever the community or folks think is appropriate, but then also having crosswalks that also embody some sort of artwork.”

On Sunday afternoon Colored Girls Bike Too hosts a community ride in the area of the shooting in an effort to root out any bad energy that may still exist and bring in good energy by way of burning sage in the neighborhood.

Born in Louisville, Kentucky, Thomas moved to Western New York at the age of 14. A graduate of Buffalo State College, he majored in Communications Studies and was part of the sports staff for WBNY. When not following his beloved University of Kentucky Wildcats and Boston Red Sox, Thomas enjoys coaching youth basketball, reading Tolkien novels and seeing live music.