Did You Know?

Roughly every three days, one person biking or walking is killed by someone driving a car in the Chicago region.

Memorial for Tyler Fabeck

Dozens of Tyler Fabeck's friends and family gathered last night to mark one year since his death. Twenty-two year old Tyler was traveling on his bicycle when he was killed by a car at the Logan and Western intersection on April 20, 2008.

At the event, Ald. Flores announced that a corner of the intersection will be dedicated to Tyler. The alderman also made it clear that he is committed to making changes to the intersection so that it is safer for all road users. Flores has made requests to the city about the intersection, and has not been pleased with the response.

The event first gathered amig rain and hail in the green space at Logan and Campbell, just west of the intersection where Tyler was fatally struck. Tyler's dad, Danny Fabeck, greeted attendees and told stories about Tyler: the time he cut his dreadlocks and how much he loved the rain. Alderman Flores and Rob Sadowsky, Active Trans executive director, each spoke about how to improve the intersection and why the improvements are so important. Don't say that we can't fix Western Avenue. Don't say that there's nothing we can do about Logan Boulevard. We can make the changes and we have to, said Rob.

Participants then walked, with the Fabeck family and Ald. Flores leading, to the intersection where Tyler's ghost bike is installed. Tyler's mom set flowers by the bike and carefully wiped off the sign attached to the bike. This is the point at which I broke into tears. I had prepared myself for the event to be emotional, but I had to hold my emotions together since I was coordinating the speakers and giving directions to the group. Watching Mary Pat clean off the sign in such a tender way reminded me of the way parents lovingly wipe hair out of their kids' eyes.

The Western and Logan intersection has always been a scary place for me to walk or ride my bike. Other people in the neighborhood complain about it, too. Many cyclists I know will go to great lengths to avoid it entirely. It clearly has a lot of problems that need to be fixed. The Fabeck family is working with Active Trans and 1st Ward Ald.Manny Flores to make the Logan and Western intersection safer so that we don't lose anyone there ever again.

You can view media coverage of the event here and here.