Chicago has often been cited as one of America’s best large cities for cyclists. This, of course, comes as no surprise to the cyclists who live here. With over 13,000 bike racks, 170 miles of on-street bike facilities, and over 18 miles of beautiful lakefront trails, Chicago cyclists enjoy quite a bit of freedom behind the handlebars. Each year more and more Chicagoans are discovering the benefits of commuting by bike. From minimizing air pollution to improving your own cardiovascular system, bicycling certainly has its popular appeal.
Safety is an Issue in Some Areas
Unfortunately, sacrificing the safety of a seatbelt and security of an airbag comes with a price. Many Chicagoans have found themselves victims of Chicago’s roaring traffic. Fortunately, Chicago’s Department of Transportation (“CDOT”) has found that the “overwhelming majority of bicycle crashes are preventable.” CDOT found that 55% of bicycle injuries and fatalities occurred at intersections. Additionally, six of Chicago’s 77 Community Areas, those located north and northwest of the Loop, accounted for more than one third of bicycle crashes resulting in injury.
If you are one of the Windy City’s 15,000 commuters who travel by bicycle each day, here is a summary of the most dangerous places in Chicago:
Intersections are often the most hazardous for cyclists. This is due to the various moving parts all converging at one location. Drivers often look for the traffic signal without giving much thought to pedestrians or cyclists. The following intersections witnessed between 15-20 crashes that resulted in injury to a cyclist from 2005-2010; Halsted & Fullerton, Milwaukee & Fullerton, Elston & Fullerton and Halsted & Chicago.
Regardless of the geographic area you bike in, if the driver of a car opens their door directly in your path, you have very little time to avoid an accident. Where drivers park tightly together on street sides or very close to bicycle lanes, dooring can create a huge obstacle for cyclists. Here are the streets where the highest numbers of fatalities have resulted from this action, sometimes known as “dooring:” Damen (4 fatalities), Chicago (5), Division(2), Lincoln(2) and Kedzie(4).
The streets can be dangerous even without intersections. This is particularly true for streets that have a lot of traffic congestion or streets on which drivers travel at a high rate of speed. Both of these factors leave bicyclists and drivers with less time to react to avoid a crash. These streets saw the highest concentration of injuries resulting from a bicycle crash: Milwaukee Avenue, Lincoln Avenue, and Clark Street. The spot where these streets converge downtown has been a hotspot for bicycle crashes.
Let Our Attorneys Help You
If you have been injured in a bicycle accident, contact the attorneys at Willens Law Offices to seek the compensation you are entitled to. We are prepared to help you in any way that we can.