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Lincoln Square, North Center, Irving Park

Community Memorial Planned Wednesday For 2-Year-Old Killed By Driver In Lincoln Square

Neighbors can share their ideas on how to make the city's streets safer for pedestrians and cyclists in honor of Raphael "Rafi" Cardenas, who was killed by a driver.

Marina Ross and Henry Cardenas, parents of 2-year-old Raphael "Rafi" Cardenas, speak at the "Walk and Roll for Safe Streets" event near where their son was killed June 12, 2022.
Izzy Stroobandt/Block Club Chicago
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LINCOLN SQUARE — Neighbors can share their ideas on how to make the city’s streets safer for pedestrians and cyclists at a Lincoln Square memorial in honor of 2-year-old Raphael “Rafi” Cardenas, who was killed by a driver the neighborhood.

The memorial organized by Ald. Matt Martin’s (47th) office is planned 4-6 p.m. Wednesday in the 4400 block of Leavitt Street, just blocks from where Cardenas was riding a mini-scooter when a driver hit and killed him.

Martin said the community memorial aims to give people an opportunity to come together “not just to grieve but also better understand what individually and collectively we can do to advocate more aggressive bike and pedestrian safety.”

Cardenas’ death is just one of a string of pedestrians and cyclists who have been hurt or killed by drivers this year. On Thursday, a hit-and-run driver killed an 11-year-old boy crossing the street on the West Side.

On Sunday, more than 300 people marched on the North Side to demand the city improve infrastructure to protect bicyclists and pedestrians.

“It’s something that needs to improve and that needs to improve quickly,” Martin said. “I think those twin goals, coming together to mourn and coming together to chart a course that people can join, is going to be really important during this event.”

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