Somewhere in Philadelphia, there's a hit-and-run driver who needs to face up to the awful consequences of having run down and fatally injured a pedestrian in mid-October.

Anyone walking on a Center City street should keep a wary eye out for him. Description? He'll be riding a bicycle.

How's that for giving a knock to the normally warm-and-fuzzy image of cycling?

At a crucial juncture - where Mayor Nutter is taking important steps to promote environmentally friendly cycling - the bizarre accident on Oct. 15 at the intersection of 16th and Locust Streets turns the issue of cycling safety on its head.

More often than not, it's bicyclists who risk life and limb at the hands of reckless motorists when venturing out on city streets. But the crash that took the life of Andre Steed, 40, a Center City paralegal, was a reminder that pedestrians face serious risks, too.

Indeed, the dangers of riding on city streets perversely leads many cyclists to pedal illegally on city sidewalks, swerving around and between pedestrians.

A fitting memorial to Steed - in addition to holding the man who struck him accountable before the law - would be to take strides toward making the streets safer for everyone, whether on foot, bicycle, or in a vehicle.

With its push for more bicycle use, the city is steering the right course in promoting commuting by bike to reduce congestion and pollution and promote exercise.

The recent opening of dedicated cycling lanes along Spruce and Pine Streets as a pilot project means that, for the first time, cyclists can cross Center City with greater safety. If the city establishes a bike-sharing program, even more people will hop on bikes.

But these efforts raise the stakes in assuring that cyclists ride safely, and obey the rules of the road just as drivers must do.

So it's good to hear that Nutter officials are planning a two-pronged approach once grant funding is secured: a public-awareness safety campaign, followed by enforcement. In the meantime, the city's new handheld cell-phone ban for drivers and cyclists alike could reduce dangerous riding distractions.

Everyone in the city has a stake in making cycling safer.