Ghost bike memorial ceremony dedicated to hit-and-run victim

Brother John Nin (l) and mother Raisa Jiminez mourn Giovanni’s death.
Photo by Silvio Pacifico

A memorial ceremony was held in response to a hit-and-run incident that claimed the life of a young man three weeks prior.

On Thursday, June 30, the Transportation Alternatives Bronx Activist Committee held a the ceremony to commemorate the life of the late Giovanni Nin, the 26-year old who was killed in a hit-and-run incident while biking to his girlfriend’s apartment on East Tremont and Mayflower avenues on the morning of Saturday, June 11.

The ceremony featured a ghost bike dedication and installation at the spot near where Nin was hit, on the southbound side of East Tremont Avenue.

Those in attendance included family members and friends of Nin, along with Councilman James Vacca, members of the Transportation Alternatives Bronx Activist Committee and other community activists, who reminisced about Nin’s life.

“He was a good-hearted individual and he treated me like a queen,” said Raisa Jiminez, Giovanni’s mother. “This was a beloved member of my family who was taken away from me and I’ll never be the same again.”

Jiminez, who was in tears over her son’s death pleaded for anybody with information involving the driver in the hit-and-run incident to come forward, as no arrests have yet to be made.

“He was always happy – it was impossible to catch him without a smile,” said John Nin, Giovanni’s brother. “He was a terrific person – he was my best friend. I want to thank everybody for their support as well as taking this difficult life step with us.”

“This particular stretch of East Tremont Avenue, which has claimed at least two lives in the last three years, is one of the worst stretches in this area,” said Vacca, referring to the stretch between Waterbury Avenue and Bruckner Boulevard, which has a sharp curve that causes blind spots for motorists.

“This situation needs to improve to prevent unfortunate incidents like this one from occurring, and until Community Board 10 comes up with their own solution after rejecting the Department of Transportation’s plan, this stretch will continue to be dangerous for many,” the councilman said.

Vacca blamed CB 10’s inaction on a DOT-recommended plan as partly responsible for the tragic incident.

He also chastised the Throggs Neck Merchants Association for opposing DOT’s plan for this location without submitting an alternate proposal.

“The mayor’s Vision Zero plan for this stretch of East Tremont Avenue was thrown at us at a CB 10 meeting in 2015. We asked for more time to discuss the plan’s impact on the community and to make alternate suggestions but were told that it had to be voted on immediately, so we opposed the plan,” John Cerini, TNMA treasurer said.

“This incident shows the dire need for a complete street redesign on East Tremont Avenue, one that incorporates safety for all road users, including cyclists and pedestrians,” said Dan Ranells, of Transportation Alternatives.

Following the memorial ceremony, attendees participated in a bike ride honoring Nin, from where he was struck to the FedEx at 635 Zerega Avenue where he worked.

Community Board 10 did not return a request for comment.

Reach Reporter Steven Goodstein at (718) 260-4599. E-mail him at sgoodstein@cnglocal.com.

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