Honor Fallen Cyclist Bobby Cann at Tomorrow’s Street-Naming Ceremony

Bobby Bike Trip
Bobby Cann on a bike trip from New Hampshire to Chicago. Photo courtesy of the Cann family

This Friday at 1 p.m., family and friends of fallen bicyclist Robert “Bobby” Cann, plus members of the local bike community, will gather at Clybourn and Larrabee to pay tribute to a man who was widely described as an ambassador for safe cycling. 27th Ward Alderman Walter Burnett will be designating the 1300 block of North Clybourn, where Cann was killed on May 29 by an allegedly drunk, speeding driver, as “Honorary Bobby Cann Way.”

“We struggle every day with overwhelming sadness from the tragic loss of our dear Bobby, but are honored that Alderman Burnett’s office has recommended memorializing him in this way,” read a statement provided to Streetsblog by Cann’s family. “We are grateful to the city council for approving the proposal, and to the city of Chicago for its continued efforts to protect cyclists.”

Organizers expect that a large crowd will attend the street-naming ceremony, which will last about an hour. Burnett, Active Transportation Alliance director Ron Burke, and a member of the Cann family will speak.

The public is invited to attend the event, which will honor Cann, remembered as a caring person who was always concerned about the welfare of others, mark his passing, and draw attention to the need to create safer streets for vulnerable users. Cann’s coworkers started a memorial Groupon that has raised over $40,000 for the Active Trans’ Neighborhood Bikeways Campaign, which advocates for protected bike lanes.

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Memorial to Bobby Cann at the crash site. Photo: John Greenfield

Ryne San Hamel, 28, killed Cann, 25, while allegedly driving 50 mph with a blood-alcohol content of .127. He has been charged with reckless homicide, aggravated DUI, misdemeanor DUI, reckless driving, and failure to stay in the lane.

At a court hearing on October 7, Judge William Hooks denied a request from San Hamel to get his impounded Mercedes back, according to Kate Conway, an attorney for Cann’s family. Hooks had previously approved a motion by Assistant State’s Attorney Maria Augustus to amend the conditions of San Hamel’s bond so that he cannot drive, as well as the state’s request for random drug and alcohol testing for the defendant.

On Friday, October 18, Active Trans’ Jason Jenkins posted the following update on San Hamel’s status on the local bike website TheChainlink.org:

A good piece of news just came our way that we can now share. The Assistant State’s Attorney has been working with the Secretary of State to revoke the defendant’s drivers license. Today we learned that the administrative revocation was filed by the ASA and granted. The offender now has his license revoked. He will be unable to ever drive until he participates in a hearing with the Secretary of State’s office. They would not give him [his license] back until at least the case is over. If he is incarcerated, it stays revoked until he is released and shows he is capable of driving responsibly. This could take many years. Possibly never.

Jenkins added that this represents a stricter and more encompassing restriction on San Hamel’s driving privileges than the suspension of his license as part of the bond, and one that’s much more difficult to reverse or appeal. San Hamel’s next hearing takes place on Friday, November 8, at which time the defendant may make another attempt to reclaim his vehicle, according to Conway.

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