The Chainlink

This is my first time using Chainlink and I'm very impressed with what it has to offer. The bike accident I was just in on Monday night lead me to Chainlink from a dear close friend who told me I should join and share.

I'm here to share the accident with fellow Chicago bikers incase anyone has any advice or information on the accident. Also for safety reasons and awareness. On Monday night around 9:40pm. 12/19/16 I was biking home from work on Diversey with my front and rear lights on. I looked to see if any cars were coming before I moved over to the left lane and put my left hand signal out, in attempt to make a left turn onto Logan Blvd. right in front of Diversey Bowl. It appeared no cars were coming what so ever. As soon as I was making my way to the left lane, a car from behind comes out of no where and rear ends me that had sent me flying off my bike. In pure shock, I crawled over to the side of the curb so I wouldn't get hit by any other cars that were coming. I was then shortly rushed to the hospital. While waiting for the ambulance, it appeared the driver did get out of the car to see what was going on, but was no help what so ever. 

As soon as I was in the ambulance I asked if the police were here to talk to the driver and do a police report. They said the police were on the way and that I should not worry. The police then of course were late to the scene due to confusion from another accident that was on the same street that was a few minutes away. This gave the driver who hit me the time to drive off and no police report from them. THEY SHOULD HAVE BEEN TALKED TO BY ANYONE AND EVERYONE AROUND THE SCENE! I need any witness that I can get.

I would love any information on how to proceed and or ANY advice on how to report or find a driver who hits and runs. Or maybe you have a story yourself that you would like to share. 

BE CAREFUL ON DIVERSEY AND LOGAN BLVD. PLEASE! 

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Welcome!  The Chainlink is a great site full of supportive and knowledgeable cyclists.  I've learned a lot from them.  Of course, I wish the circumstances were different.  The way I would look at this is that you could have been killed and weren't.  It looks like you'll be OK, and that's all that matters and a great blessing.  I was once just about run over by a sixteen-wheeler.  My bike was destroyed but I escaped.  I felt like the luckiest guy in the world.

As far as finding out who did this, maybe you could post some signs seeking info.  Also, are there any security cameras in the area?  Find out fast, because that footage is generally overridden very quickly.

But mainly, thank goodness you survived this horrifying incident.

Thank you for your response! I'm glad to hear you survived as well. A sixteen-wheeler, I couldn't even imagine. The body does crazy things when your life is on the line like that no matter how injured you are. I'm eager to get back on my bike. It was just picked up from the fire station and apparently it's in decent condition, but I will need to get a new one. The frame is a bit cracked and handle bars were bent. I think I will check out working bikes or buy one from a friend for now. I will eventually want to invest in a nicer one. 

Are you still riding out in this winter? Or are you currently still injured from your past crash? Thanks for reaching back out. 

Yes, I'm out riding this winter as usual.  I put my bike down sideways and and scrambled away on my hands and knees just in time, so I wasn't injured in that particular incident.  Ironically, it happened when I was on my way to Working Bikes to look for a couple of parts.  I hope you're able to get back out there soon.

I volunteer at Working Bikes and quality parts are always welcome.  We get a number of bikes that have been left outside to rust, so something in good condition is great.

I travel the same way infrequently: west on Diversey, then south on Logan Blvd. to get to Micro Center via the parking lot of Diversey Bowl.

I always ride on the sidewalk, on the south side of Diversey.

I know it's illegal and I'll probably get a ticket someday.  Crossing a "hill" like a bridge over the river is just to dangerous with cars coming from behind which you can't see and who can't see you either. Taking the lane and signaling for the left turn while waiting for traffic going east is proper - and unsafe.

There's very little pedestrian traffic on the sidewalk.  If there are pedestrians I'll be careful and may even dismount to walk my bike. On that section of Diversey there are two lanes for cars in both directions and simply not enough room to accommodate bicycles.  "Taking the lane" is legal, but unsafe.

Sometime in the last year or two the sidewalk paving was fixed and is now smoother.  No doubt this was for pedestrians with shopping cars or parents with strollers or handicapped with wheelchairs but it's also a boon for cyclists as well.  I'll take the criticism as well as a ticket, but it's a much safer way to travel.

I would do the same.  If I feel my life might be on the line, I will very slowly (or walking my bike) go on sidewalks.  Most pedestrians seem to be OK with that.  

When riding eastbound on Diversey, I use the sidewalk about 90% of the time. The lanes are such a mess at the right edge that you have to move toward the middle to avoid potholes etc, and drivers tend to drive fast and less cautiously there. 

Ugh, how awful. I'm glad you are okay. I've made that same left turn a tone of times and been lucky so far. I'm always worried about being hit from behind, though. 

If the police did not file a report, you can go to the police station and have them file one there. I highly recommend doing so.

The recommendation to check for security cameras is a good one - maybe Diversey Bowl or the townhomes on the north side of Diversey have cameras that caught the incident. 

Active Trans has a lot of good information, including their crash hotline number if you are interested, at http://activetrans.org/resources/crash-support/after-crash.

I'm not sure if this would work but if the intersection had a red light camera you may be able to FOIA the footage from CDOT. According to the city's website,  "24-hour streaming video from red-light cameras is available for review for 30 days" (https://www.cityofchicago.org/city/en/depts/cdot/supp_info/red-ligh...). Not sure if this would work but the worst thing they can do is deny your request at no charge.

I hope you are recovering okay!

Caitlin, give me a call or shoot me an email, I'd be happy to go over what the options are in a crash like this and answer whatever questions you have. Hope you're ok. 

Mike Keating

Mike@KeatingLegal.com

312-239-6787

Sounds good! Would tomorrow afternoon be alright to give you a call? I'm at work now till late. Thank you for helping out.
Sure. I'll be in all day. Call anytime.

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