New Chicago law requirring vehicle side guards will prevent future tragedies

A memorial all too familiar to cyclists sits at the southeast corner of Addison and Damen in Roscoe Village: a white-painted “ghost bike” covered with silk flowers and surrounded by plants and candles. At the base is a plaque that reads anastasia kondrasheva: she will shine forever. Attached to the cycle’s head tube by a maroon-and-gold Harry Potter-style scarf, there’s a snapshot of the young crash victim, bespectacled and smiling. A laminated spoke card reads “Nastya, always an angel . . . and now you have wings to prove it.”

Last September the 23-year-old health coach was biking north on Damen to work when a flatbed truck driver failed to yield while making a right turn onto Addison and struck her. She fell under the massive vehicle and was fatally crushed by the wheels.

Tragically, this type of fatal crash was unusually prevalent last year. Virginia Murray, 25, and Lisa Kuivinen, 20, were also struck and killed on bikes by right-turning flatbed truck drivers on the near northwest side last summer. These three cases represented half of all 2016 Chicago bike fatalities. A fourth cyclist, 18-year-old Chuyuan Qiu, died four days before Kondrasheva, after the driver of a concrete mixer struck her in Evanston and she went under the wheels.