The Chainlink

Armed thieves on the west end of the elevated Bloomingdale Trail have knocked cyclists off their bikes to beat and rob them twice this weekend, and Chicago Police are warning users of The 606 park system to watch out.

Three incidents this month on the trail, a former elevated railroad line, were the subject of a police alert Sunday evening.

The robberies happened July 2 and then on Saturday and Sunday.

Police said the men knocked the victims from their bikes as they rode on The 606.

"In the first two incidents, the victims suffered injuries when they fell off their bikes. In the latest incident, the offenders were armed with a small black handgun and the offenders beat the victim and demanded his belongings," police said in a news release.

The attacks happened:

• July 2, 2017 at 1:15 a.m. at 3510 W. Bloomingdale Ave.

• July 22, 2017 at 5:29 p.m. at 3300 W. Bloomingdale Ave.

• July 23, 2017 at 4:30 a.m. at 1850 N. Ridgeway Ave.

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Thanks for the tip Yasmeen, 

but should transportation infrastructure should ever be closed? Imagine if, due to crime or budgetary reasons CDOT decided to close Ashland or Western or any other major city street during overnight hours? The outcry would we deafening and appropriately so. 

I agree with you - why is it closed? It's considered a park and for cyclists, many of us ride as our form of transportation not just "for fun". I believe this is a mindset we need to change here.

They should be patrolling effectively 24/7 in my opinion. That said, I wouldn't advice for someone to go up there and ride alone at 1 am. BUT, also very disturbing to see one of the incidents was at 5:30 pm. That's NOT off-hours. 


Regardless  of whether the trail is  open or closed there are predators and we need  to be mindful of that  reality.  The  nature of the trail makes it a good location for this kind of criminal hunting.  There is little that can  be done to escape a reasonably coordinated group seeking to prey on  riders, walkers and other  users. 

What bothers  me about designating the trail as  closed  is the inference that the trail  need not be patrolled when  closed.  The lack of a  police  presence tells those predators they have carte blanche for  criminal activity.

Exactly. These are issues to keep in mind at any hour.

I'm not sure there are all that many places in Chicago where it's good to be riding your bicycle at even 1:15 a.m.  In my observation, the percentage of flat-out impaired drivers seems to rise exponentially as we approach and pass the witching hour.

I think we've gone over this before. The city says it's closed to try to limit their liability (and it leaves a victim blaming aftertaste in my mouth too) but they cant legally close it because having it open 24/7 is a condition of the federal funding they got to make it in the first place (or something like that). Also it's one of those things where I'd rather we as a society try to catch the bad guys and assert our right to transport ourselves freely and safely than live in fear and avoid enjoying a particular street.
There should be some video footage of these crimes if the cameras were active.

In October, NBC5 investigations reported,

"After hearing that cameras along the 2.7 miles of trail were not active, police referred inquiries to the Office of Emergency Management and Communications who did not immediately respond to request for comment."

Just throwing a comment in that this occurred at 10 p.m., meaning the 606 was still clearly open (it stays open to 11).  I mean, this is a city, and things happen, but this is becoming a pretty clear pattern.  It would be nice to see some sort of CPD change in approach.      

Well, that settles it. We need licensing - for pedestrians!

That way, whenever there's an incident, people can jot down the number on the offender's back and call police.

Those pedestrians! They don't follow the rules of the road, they don't pay to maintain the roads, etc etc.

(I wanted to write this on DNAInfo and tell those troglodytes off, but surprise surprise, no comments section for this article).

I LOVE this. Whenever DNA posts an inflammatory cycling post I troll like crazy. 

Maybe the Batlike humanoid will make an appearance there :)


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