Memorial Street Sign

Partners launch Memorial Street Sign program and Families for Safe Streets chapter, honor memory of Danielle Chronister

Thursday, Jun 27, 2024

New programs commemorate those killed in traffic crashes and support impacted survivors; encourage safer driving behaviors  

Thursday, June 27, 2024 — Cleveland — Family, friends, and past students of CMSD teacher Danielle Chronister gathered at the intersection of E. 21st Street and Chester Avenue this afternoon to honor her memory and launch new survivor support programs in partnership with Bike Cleveland and the City of Cleveland. Chronister was killed at this intersection on November 3, 2021, by a truck driver who failed to yield to her in the crosswalk as she walked to work.  

“Danielle's death is a horror from which we'll never fully heal," said Ben, Chronister's widowed husband. "We aim to honor her memory by raising awareness and pushing for safer drivers and streets so other families don't have to experience this same trauma."  

At the event, the City of Cleveland unveiled purple and gold memorial signage bearing “Watch for Pedestrians” and Chronister’s name at the intersection, the first of its kind as part of a new memorial street sign program the City developed in partnership with Chronister’s family and Bike Cleveland. The signage program provides an avenue for family members to request City-sponsored signage memorializing people killed in traffic crashes on Cleveland’s streets.   

"This is a memorial with a message to drivers: pay attention," said Laura Wood, Chronister’s mother.  

“Driving is often so integrated in our daily routines that we fail to recognize the enormous impact that a few seconds can have. These signs honor lives lost from traffic crashes and help make this often-normalized toll of our transportation system visible in a way that contributes to more awareness and attentiveness,” said Calley Mersmann, Cleveland Mayor Justin Bibb’s senior strategist for transit and mobility.   

The memorial street sign program complements the City’s ongoing work to improve traffic safety through street design interventions and other strategies as part of its Vision Zero initiative to eliminate traffic fatalities on Cleveland streets.  

Patty Knilans, whose husband Randy was killed by a drunk driver while biking in Avon Lake on June 9, 2019, joined representatives from Bike Cleveland to share information about the new Northeast Ohio Families for Safe Streets (NEO FSS) chapter. As a developing local group affiliated with the national Families for Safe Streets, NEO FSS offers support and community for people who have lost loved ones or who have been injured in a crash by aggressive, reckless, or careless driving.   

“Families for Safe Streets is really about confronting the preventable epidemic of traffic violence and advocating for life-saving changes, as well as supporting those whose lives have been impacted by crashes,” said Jacob VanSickle, Executive Director of Bike Cleveland. “We encourage people to contact us and join other families in remembering loved ones, seeking healing, and advocating for change.”  

To submit an application for signage memorializing someone who has died in a traffic crash in the city, visit: 

To learn more about the Northeast Ohio chapter of Families for Safe Streets, visit:  

To learn more about Cleveland’s Vision Zero initiative to eliminate traffic fatalities, visit: