On November 18th and 19th, Federal Plaza became the stage for a solemn installation of 132 pairs of shoes, each representing a victim of traffic violence in Chicago over the past year. Vision Zero Chicago joined cities across the globe in commemorating World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims (WDR) , a day observed internationally to remember the many millions killed and injured on the world’s roads, together with their families and loved ones.
The chilly temperatures did not keep away our partners committed to bringing awareness to this pressing issue. The Vision Zero Chicago team engaged in meaningful conversations with fellow Chicagoans and visitors who signed the Vision Zero pledge and reflected on their behavior behind the wheel, as pedestrians and cyclists.
Family members and friends of victims had the opportunity to personalize a pair of shoes in memory of their loved ones. Among those families was the Ortiz family, who came together to remember the life of their husband, brother, father and friend, Raul Ortiz. Raul was fatally struck by a vehicle as he biked close to the intersection of Ogden and Erie this past June.
The Monday morning press event was held with the backdrop of the memorial. Agency leaders and other partners spoke in memory of those who lost their lives in traffic violence, in support of family and friends affected by these crashes, and for actions to reach Vision Zero goals. Among the speakers, Janna Henning shared the life and dreams of her former partner Patrick Stack, lost in a bike crash in 1989. Janna urged attendees to collaborate in implementing solutions to eliminate fatalities on our roads. Janna has been dedicating her energy into advocating for safer streets to honor Patrick’s memory, and encouraged all to do the same, “… let’s all work to prevent traffic [crashes], so others won’t have to grieve as we do”.
The Vision Zero Chicago team thanks all our partners who helped make this event possible: Chicago Department of Transportation, Chicago Department of Public Health, Illinois Department of Transportation, Active Transportation alliance, Ghost Bikes, Ride of Silence, AARP. We also acknowledge the generous contribution of Keating Law office, for sponsoring the event and installation.
Read press coverage of the event at the links here:
Vision Zero dedicated this event to everyone who has been affected by traffic violence.
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