Willens Law Offices to donate Ghost Bike racks in remembrance of cyclists killed in Chicago
All over the world, ghost bikes serve as a memorial to cyclists who have been seriously injured or killed by negligent motorists.
Willens Law Offices offers a memorial to those who have fallen in Chicago, and a reminder that the bike laws of this city exist for a very good reason: to protect its citizens from harm.
A silent reminder
Most motorists have no idea how dangerous they are to their fellow man. A sharp right turn around a corner without glancing in the side mirror, and a cyclist is sideswiped, heavily injured, and abandoned. The motorist speeds away, unaware that anything has happened. The cyclist is seen by a few good Samaritans, brought to the hospital, and enters rehabilitation for the crippling injuries to his legs. A few days later, a bicycle frame, painted white, is chained to the street sign at the intersection where he was struck. Motorists continue to pass by. Few notice the white bicycle, and even fewer know what it means. But cyclists who see it know: it’s for one of the fallen, people like; Leonard Ratajczyk and Robert “Bobby” Cann.
What is a Ghost Bike?
Ghost bikes originated only a decade ago in St. Louis, Missouri. There are now over 500 ghost bikes all over the world, most of them in major metropolitan areas where traffic is aggressive and the laws that protect cyclists are mostly unknown and unfollowed. Ghost bikes serve as memorials for the cyclists who have been killed or seriously injured, and are often decorated in small ways that commemorate the person for whom they were erected. By and large, they are simply bicycles or bicycle frames, mangled or wheel-less or even whole, painted stark white and left to the elements. We propose to purchase a white bike rack that is in the shape of a bicycle for the friends and family to install at the location of the accident in Chicago. This will deter thefts of the “Ghost Bike” and also serve as a reminder for the family and motorists in the area of the loved one that was lost. To take advantage of this offer, please contact the Willens Law Office. One bike rack per cyclist this offer is available for incidents that have taken place in 2013 within the City of Chicago.
Ignorance is no bliss
Chicago has many laws designed to protect its cyclists from the dangers of the road, but these laws are rarely enforced and are shockingly ill-known among motorists. Most are unaware that they are legally required to check for passing cyclists before opening their car doors, for example, to prevent accidents caused by “dooring.” Most motorists are not aware that it is illegal to drift into a bike lane, or that it is not permitted to pass a cyclist while making a turn. This ignorance causes countless injuries, and sometimes – too often – it even causes deaths.
A memorial for the whole of Chicago
To bring awareness to the dangers cyclists face every day and the devastating consequences of careless driving, Willens Law Offices has pledged to donate a memorial to those cyclists who have been killed by motorists in Chicago. The Bike Rack, a beautifully crafted piece of street art, will be painted white and donated to friends or family of the victims of the accident as a living reminder that the people of Chicago need to be more aware of the consequences their driving habits have on their fellow citizens. It’s a reminder that the consequences of neglecting bike laws are truly devastating – and sometimes, regrettably, mortal. If you or a loved one has been struck by a motorist while on a bicycle, please contact our firm at (312) 957-4166 or use our online contact form to find out what your options may be to seek compensation for your injuries.