“Ride of Silence aims to Raise Awareness of Bicycle Accidents in Oak Park, River Forest, Chicago Suburbs

There will be a “Ride of Silence” on Wednesday in memory of those killed in bicycle accidents in Chicago and elsewhere as riders and safety advocates continue to push safety and awareness at the start of the summer riding season, Trib Local reported.

Residents in Oak Park and River Forest will be among the riders participating in the national Ride of Silence Event. The event began in Dallas in 2003 after a rider was hit by a school bus. This will be the first event in Oak Park or River Forest.

The Oak Park Cyclist Club became interested in the event amid the continued clash between cyclists and drivers. As our Chicago bicycle accident attorneys have reported, dooring, lack of respect, lane crowding and failure to yield at intersections are just a few of the dangers riders are facing.The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports 20 riders were killed in Illinois bicycle accidents in 2009. The Illinois Department of Transportation reported cycling accidents in Chicago killed 5 riders and injured thousands of others.

In Chicago, ghost bikes — bikes painted white and chained to a post near a fatal accident — are becoming more common. The ride, which will be conducted in silence, is another way advocates hope to raise awareness.

Oak Park in particular has a heavy cycling presence, with officials working to increase the number of bike lanes. Riders will meet at 7 p.m. at Lake Street and Oak Park Avenue and will ride a yet-to-be-determined route.

In all, nine Ride of Silence events are planned in the Chicago area, including Evanston, Downers, Grove, Joliet and Arlington Heights.

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