Bike club honors Mount Prospect cyclist killed in crosswalk
The Arlington Heights Bicycle Club's annual participation Wednesday evening in the International Ride of Silence honored Mount Prospect resident Joni Beaudry, 55, of Mount Prospect, who was struck and killed last June in a recently opened crossing at Central Road and Weller Lane.
The ride from Recreation Park is held in remembrance and honor of those who have suffered injury or death while cycling.
Beaudry was the mother of five college-age and teenage children. Her death has sparked a review of crosswalk design and calls for stiffer penalties after the driver of the SUV paid $364 in fines and court costs.
The Mount Prospect village board agreed in April to spend up to $38,000 on a Central Road Pedestrian Crossing Study. And legislation toughening penalties for drivers passed the House in April and is awaiting action in the Senate. The policy would require a fine of up to $1,500 or jail time of up to 30 days for a driver who fails to yield to a pedestrian at a crosswalk with an activated rectangular rapid-flashing beacon.
If a pedestrian is killed or seriously injured, the offense would become a felony with a penalty of three to seven years in prison.
Mount Prospect and the Illinois Department of Transportation collaborated to install the flashing beacon on Central in hopes of improving safety at the 35 mph, four-lane street that sees about 21,000 to 23,000 vehicles a day.
But Beaudry's husband, Eric Jakubowski, and others have said the relatively new crosswalks that feature yellow flashing lights give pedestrians a false sense of security.