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2023: a wild ride of ups & downs

Updated: Jan 26

Here's a look back on what we were up to. If we made any of this work look easy, I assure you - it wasn't.  Help us stick around for another year! If this work is important to you, we encourage you to donate today. As we continue to grow, so do our costs.




Record year for bike lane obstructions!

  • In 2023, we collected an all time record high of submissions to our database! Our database has now collected over 65,000 instances of blocked bike lanes.  That’s 65 THOUSAND instances of people’s safety being compromised.  We know that number barely scratches the surface of how often bike lanes are blocked, but it does highlight so much more work needs to be done. View more


Tons of tech updates 

  • We built and released 7 mobile app updates as well as many behind the scenes migrations. More to come in 2024 too! With our growth means we’re growing out of our services and into enterprise level costs.  We’re working to scale, reduce tech debt, and trying to manage mounting costs. Help fund our work


DATABASE BACK ONLINE! 

  • As you may remember, we started 2023 year with our database down.  In late 2022 we were forced offline due to data capping (meaning our database grew too large and graduated into enterprise level costs). We were down for four months but we were thankfully able to get our database back online just in time for the press conference for Lily Shambrook.




Lily Shambrook press conference

  • 3 year old Lily Shambrook was killed while biking with her parents on a neighborhood greenway in Chicago.  Lily and her parents were forced into traffic in order to go around a Commonwealth Edison "ComEd" truck which was illegally obstructing the Leland bike lane.  When forced into traffic, Lily was struck by a driver of a Mondelez semi truck - which was also traveling on the neighborhood greenway. On January 17th, 2023, we joined Lily's parents' legal council as they announced they had filed suit against ComEd, Mondelez, Penske, and the City of Chicago.  Our database shows all named defendants have a history of blocking bike lanes. In fact, ComEd has been submitted to our database no less than 50 times. We are working with Lily's family and their attorneys. Watch the full press conference


100 publications

  • In 2023, our work was published in almost 100 news and biking articles. That’s 100 times we were able to help elevate safety issues faced by the biking community. Read more




 We facilitated a ghost bike & vigil for 16 year old Josh Anleu

  • We helped Josh's family create a ghost bike for him and facilitated a vigil at the crash site.  We were joined by political leaders including the state senator, state rep, and alder, who all spoke at the vigil and shared their own personal connections to the biking community. This was the first time elected officials had attended a ghost bike vigil in Chicago. Just a few years ago, the city would remove ghost bikes and now city and state officials are starting to stand beside us as we advocate for safer bike infrastructure. View more


Post-crash ordinance passed

  • We helped get the Post Crash Ordinance for vulnerable road users passed.  This ordinance requires the city of Chicago to conduct a post crash investigation when a person biking or walking is killed, provide recommendations on how to improve the safety of the location, and to do a better job of transparent record keeping. Read more 



Bicyclists guide to voting: 

  • We conducted a deep dive audit of all 50 Chicago ward's menu money spending for 4 years, alder attendance records, and voting decisions that impact the biking community. Read more 



Awards




Over 2,000 sets of bike lights funded in 2023

  • We restructured our bike light giveaway program, making it easier for more cities to get involved or purchase lights from us in bulk. Folks from all over the US can now apply to be a bike light lead and bring bike lights to their bike community. Over 5,000 sets of bike lights have now been funded through our bike community - and it keeps growing. That’s 5,000 people that will be positively impacted! In 2023 we delivered bike lights to Atlanta, Chicago, New Orleans, Minneapolis, Richmond - all to be given away for free to people who need them.  We’re currently fundraising bike lights for 8 cities: Columbus, Chicago, Milwaukee, Fitchburg, WI, Los Angeles, Long Beach, Louisville, and San Diego.  Sponsor a set of lights here



Launched an advocacy cohort

  • We kicked off developing a 6 week advocacy cohort where we will cover topics related to bike advocacy including: Building relationships with advocates from other cities, Effectively communicating with city/state officials, Advocating for policy/law change, Ways to advocate for infrastructure improvements, How to grow social media presence, How to elevate bike-related issues in the media, How to grow BLU awareness, How to leverage BLU data, Bike light giveaways, and Tips for building continuous momentum. Interested?  Apply today





Women’s Clinic Call to Action

  • We were asked by two state reps to help draw attention to anti-choice protesters (with guns) blocking bike lanes outside a women’s clinic.  We worked with state leaders and the clinic directly. Within a week of our social media posts, city officials began stepping in to help resolve the issue. Read More


Hosted 5 Learning Sessions 




Gerardo Marciales’ ghost bike: 

  • The crash site of Gerardo continues to prove how dangerous it still is.

  • We re-installed Gerardo’s ghost bike after it was destroyed by a driver.  

  • We dug up video footage of said driver crashing into it at full speed and demolishing it and the light pole it was attached to. 

  • We kept pressure on the city for months to replace the destroyed light pole.

  • We successfully advocated for Gerardo’s ghost bike to be left in place and undisturbed during Chicago’s NASCAR race which passed in front of it.




We celebrated 6 years

  • We turned 6 with a PACKED house at Specialized. We were joined by hundreds of bike friends, including city and state representatives, and the Tamale Guy!  Thank you for celebrating with us and thank you for helping us get to 6 years. Photos & videos 


Love the work we do?

  • Help us keep making that happen by making a one-time donation or setting up a recurring one.



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