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The Chicago region’s current hub-and-spoke transit system leaves nearly half a million Cook County residents stranded in transit deserts.

Day of the Dead altar honors those killed while walking or biking

Inspired by the ghost bikes that honor those who were killed while biking on our streets, local artist Norma Rio-Sierra created a Day of the Dead altar dedicated to people who were killed while walking or biking.

“It’s about creating a healing space and creating awareness of what happens when it’s not safe to walk and bike,” said Rio-Sierra. “It’s about celebrating those lives and remembering the people…I want to make it safer for our families to walk. We’ve had too many deaths of people walking and biking.”

The altar incorporates bike parts, colorful flowers, and paper cutouts. She created it for a recent celebration in the Hermosa neighborhood called Hermosa Noche de Calaveras, held by Palenque LSNA, formerly known as the Logan Square Neighborhood Association.

Rio-Sierra, who serves as the cultural events manager for Palenque LSNA, said she was thrilled to be part of the celebration in the predominantly Latino neighborhood.

“Gentrification is moving west and we want to make an effort to help our families stay there,” said Rios Sierra. “This is an immigrant based community and we want to build on that culture and we want to help businesses stay in Hermosa.”

 

 

Rio-Sierra created another altar that is currently on display at the Field Museum. The altar, which is part of the temporary exhibit called Death: Life’s Greatest Mystery, is dedicated to her father, who recently passed away from COVID-19.

The Field Museum altar is available for viewing until September 2023.