Lincoln Square block party supports street safety ordinance after 2 young kids killed days apart

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Chicago aldermen joined neighbors and Lincoln Square residents for a block party supporting a city ordinance to protect bicyclists after two toddlers were killed in separate incidents days apart.

"We really need to raise awareness about safety; pedestrian safety, biker safety," said Aubrey Nieves, resident.

READ MORE: Chicago residents call for safer streets after 2 young kids killed in cycling accidents days apart

"Sometimes people don't look but then just drive," said Carmelo Nieves, resident.

Demands for city legislation to protect bikers has gained momentum after 3-year-old Lily Shambrook and 2-year-old Raphael Cardenas were killed in separate North Side incidents, just days apart.

RELATED: Chicago bike accident that killed 3-year-old girl in Uptown was preventable, safety advocates say

47th Ward Alderman Matt Martin joined neighbors to host the block party and honor the inspiration behind the new ordinance he introduced in City Hall Wednesday. The event was held just blocks from where Cardenas was struck and killed by a driver while he rode his scooter.

"The idea is to be able to come together rand really mourn Rafi Cardenas," he said.

SEE ALSO: No citations for driver after 2-year-old boy killed while riding mini scooter

"Rafi was just a beautiful boy, so sweet and full of energy, full of love and curiosity," Aubrey Nieves said.

The parents attending the block party said these senseless deaths emphasize the basic need for safety for pedestrians, children, and bikers on Chicago's streets.

Activists have long said the tragedies are avoidable, but only if city leaders make what they call life-saving changes, including integrating safety into infrastructure.

"When we do arterial resurfacing, so when we're really grinding up our streets, our bigger streets like Montrose, we're doing soon, Lincoln, that is part of that process. CDOT looks at every single intersection," Ald. Martin said.

Martin believes this way he the city can maximize safety and the opportunity to make these improvements on an ongoing basis.
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