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Ghost Bike Project: Biking to Work in Chicago Can Have Grim Consequences

The Chicago Ghost Bike Project is a grim reminder that sometimes biking to work, or anywhere in Chicago, can be dangerous and can result in accidents and even death. Many people in Chicago bike to work, and according to Illinois Department of Transportation statistics, about 3,500 Illinois bicycle crashes happen a year, causing over 3,300 injuries and at least 18 fatalities.

On January 5, 2006, a 50-year-old was struck and killed by a hit-and-run motorist while walking their bike on the way home from work along the sidewalk on Western Avenue in Chicago. With an increase in accident numbers and the impact of high profile bike accident deaths – like on January 5,many in Chicago felt that it was time to raise awareness about sharing the road with cyclists. A broad cross-section of the bike community came together, from CCM organizers to bike lobbyists, to start a Ghost Bike Project.

The Chicago Ghost Bike Project is an independent effort to raise bicycle rights and city bike safety awareness, and was inspired by similar efforts in other cities worldwide. The idea is thought to have originated in St. Louis, where a mangled bike was painted white and placed at the scene of a cyclist’s death. Cities all over the planet, from Singapore to Cyprus have continued this tradition in their own way.

Ghost Bikes are created from parts of bikes which are no longer rideable, painted all white, and placed where cyclists were killed by motorists. The purpose of the movement is to provide a grim, but necessary reminder of bike accidents and the hazards that cyclists face when biking on the Chicago roadways. They simultaneously commemorate the victim and raise awareness of the need to combat reckless and aggressive driving. There are currently 14 ghost bikes installed around Chicago

Bicyclists are extremely vulnerable to serious injuries and death during an accident, especially when a car is involved. Not only can some injuries be debilitating, disabling, and life-altering, but the costs of medical care and recovery can also be very high. Accidents can occur whether you ride your bike for fun, bike for a living, bike to work, or are simply walking your bike on the sidewalk.

Unfortunately, after bike accidents some people don’t even realize that they may be entitled to personal injury compensation or that they do have just cause to file a claim. Family members of victims who have died as a result of a bike accident can also file a claim. It is important to remember if you have been involved in a bike accident – don’t jump to conclusions about your rights. Contact our Chicago Accident Law Firm and ask for your free case evaluation.

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