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Chicago to honor fallen cyclist with memorial roadway

 Ted Villaire
Active Transportation Alliance
312.427.3325 x 288 (o)
312-563-1118 (c)

Tamara Tarver
27th Ward, Alderman Burnett
312.432.1995 (o)

Chicago to honor fallen cyclist with memorial roadway
Ald. Burnett to dedicate a stretch of Clybourn as “Honorary Bobby Cann Way”

On October 25, 2013 at 1 p.m., the city of Chicago will hold a public ceremony dedicating a portion of North Clybourn Avenue to Robert “Bobby” Cann, a cyclist who was struck and killed by a motorist on the street earlier this year. The ceremony will be led by Ald. Walter Burnett Jr. of the 27th Ward, and is scheduled to take place near the intersection of Clybourn Avenue and Larabee Street, where the crash occurred. The roadway will be named the “Honorary Bobby Cann Way.”

Cann, a 26-year-old passionate bicycling advocate, was taking his usual ride home from work on Wednesday, May 29 when a car being driven south on Clybourn struck him. Witnesses on the scene were quick to assist, but soon after being rushed to the Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Cann was pronounced dead. Since the crash, the driver, Ryne Sam Hamel, has been charged with reckless homicide and aggravated DUI resulting in death.

Following Cann’s death, there has been an outpouring of community support. Cann’s friends and family have created a makeshift memorial for him at the site of the crash, they have appeared in large numbers at court dates for the accused driver, and Critical Mass held a ride in Cann’s honor earlier this year. Cann’s employer, Groupon, responded by organizing a fundraiser that brought in substantial resources for the Active Transportation Alliance’s Neighborhood Bikeways Campaign, an initiative geared toward making Chicago streets safer for people biking.

By all accounts, Cann was an outgoing, warm and friendly person who was always concerned about the safety and wellbeing of others. “We want to remember and celebrate the life of this kind and caring young man,” said Ald. Burnett. “We also want this [memorial roadway] to serve as a reminder of our duty to work toward creating streets that are safe for everyone.” In a recent move to improve street safety for people biking, Burnett partnered with Mayor Rahm Emmanuel and the Chicago Department of Transportation to complete a new innovative bike lane on Milwaukee Avenue between Kinzie Street and Elston Avenue. Burnett was recently named chairman of the city council's Committee on Pedestrian and Traffic Safety.

“Our deepest condolences go out to Bobby Cann’s family and friends,” said Ron Burke, Executive Director of the Active Transportation Alliance. “This roadway dedication will honor Bobby Cann’s memory and act as a constant reminder of the urgent need for us to work together in making the city safer for pedestrians and people biking.”

The public is invited to attend the roadway dedication event. Speakers will include Ald. Burnett, a member of Cann’s family and a representative of the Active Transportation Alliance.

The Active Transportation Alliance is a non-profit, member-based advocacy organization that works to make bicycling, walking and public transit so safe, convenient and fun that we will achieve a significant shift from environmentally harmful, sedentary travel to clean, active travel. The organization builds a movement around active transportation, encourages physical activity, increases safety and builds a world-class transportation network. The Active Transportation Alliance is supported by more than 7,000 members, 1,000 volunteers and 40 full-time staff. For more information on the Active Transportation Alliance, visit or call 312.427.3325.