Did You Know?
Chicago Ride of Silence will mourn the lives lost while biking and walking during the past year
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Active Transportation Alliance
On Wednesday, May 17, the Chicago Ride of Silence will mourn the lives lost while biking and walking during the past year
The annual ride will offer a moment of silent reflection at the sites where drivers killed people biking or walking
Chicago, Ill., May 16, 2023 — On Wednesday, May 17, you’re invited to join others around the world on an annual bicycle ride to honor the people injured or killed while biking or walking in the past year. The event calls attention to the right of people to bike and walk on public roadways and the urgent need for infrastructure that will make these activities in Chicago safer and more welcoming for people of all ages and abilities.
“We want the community to remember and honor the vulnerable road users who tragically died while biking or walking,” said Chicago Ride of Silence organizer Elizabeth Adamczyk. “Together, we mourn, we remember, we ride in unity and reverent silence.”
Beginning at Queens Landing at 5:30 p.m., people will ride in silent procession at 6 p.m. along a 9-mile route through the Loop, South Loop, Chinatown, Pilsen, West Loop, and River West, visiting the following fatal crash sites of the past year:
- Gerardo Marciales, 41, was biking when he was killed by a driver at Balbo Drive and DuSable Lake Shore Drive on February 28, 2022.
- Marsha Frankel, 72, was walking when she was killed by a driver on February 20, 2023 at Wabash Ave. and Roosevelt Rd.
- Guo Ning Li, 78, was killed by a driver while walking on March 19, 2023 at Wentworth Ave. and 24th St.
- Fengan Yan, 55, was fatally struck by a driver while Yan was biking at 26th Street and Stewart Avenue.
- James Richard Thompson, 26, was killed by a driver on March 25, 2023 while Thompson was walking at Washington Ave. and Green St.
- Paresh Chhatrala, 42, was biking when he was struck and killed by a driver near Madison and Peoria streets on April 16, 2022.
- Samuel Bell, 44, was killed by a driver while biking on the 700 block of North Milwaukee Ave. on September 8, 2022.
In addition to those people named above, the ride honors and remembers all the people who lost their lives or were injured while biking or walking on Chicago streets.
Ride participants are encouraged to join a post-ride gathering at the Dandy Crown, located at 694 N. Milwaukee Ave., across the street from the final crash site the ride will be visiting.
“Deaths of people biking and walking have increased in the past couple of years in Chicago,” said Adamczyk. “This is unacceptable. We are calling attention to this needless loss of life and demanding safer streets. We must design roadways that are safer for all road users. We must eliminate traffic fatalities and urge the city to do much more to keep people safe while they’re biking and walking.”
An average of five to six bicyclists were killed every year 2012-2019 in Chicago. But nine people were killed while biking in Chicago in 2020, 10 in 2021, and in 2022, eight people biking were struck and killed by motorists. During 2022, 31 pedestrians were killed by motorists, and so far in 2023 the city has seen drivers kill 15 people while they were walking.
“The lack of safe infrastructure for all road users has resulted in the tragic loss of life. During the summer of 2022, motorists struck and killed at least seven Chicagoland children on foot, scooters, and bikes,” said Amy Rynell, Executive Director of the Active Transportation Alliance. “There is an urgent need for safety improvements on many of our streets. No more people should have to die while biking or walking on any of our roadways in order to achieve needed safety improvements.”
The Chicago Ride of Silence is sponsored by the Active Transportation Alliance. Ride organizers request that black armbands be worn by participants and red armbands if you’ve been hit by a driver while biking (arm bands will be provided). Helmets are required; lights are highly recommended for the ride home.
In the event of inclement weather, participants are asked to gather at the post-ride location.
This year Illinois has nearly 10 rides occurring in communities throughout the state. The Ride of Silence is held in many locations in the US, Canada, Australia, Europe, South and Central America and the rest of the world. This year there are nearly 200 locations registered throughout the world.
Chicago Ride of Silence
Wednesday, May 17, 2023
5:30 p.m. gather; 6 p.m. departure
Start: Queen’s Landing (the waterfront plaza that is across DuSable Lake Shore Drive from Buckingham Fountain)
All are welcome
ABOUT THE RIDE OF SILENCE
Mission statement: The mission of the worldwide Ride of Silence™ is to honor bicyclists killed by motorists, promote sharing the road, and provide awareness of bicycling safety.
Founder and President Chris Phelan organized the first Ride of Silence in Dallas in 2003 after endurance cyclist Larry Schwartz was killed by a passing bus’s mirror on an empty road.
The Ride of Silence is a free ride that asks its cyclists to ride no faster than 12 mph for no longer than an hour. The ride hopes to raise cycling awareness during bike month to motorists, police, traffic engineers, insurance companies, and city officials. The ride is also a chance to mourn, in funeral procession style, those who have been killed.
Make a Donation
Your tax-deductible donation supports the important work that Active Trans does throughout the region