The Chainlink

Angela Park, 39 y.o. Female Bicyclist Killed by Truck Driver Turning Right in Greektown

From WGN...

CHICAGO — A bicyclist is in critical condition after being hit and pinned under a truck Thursday morning.

It happened at Madison and Halsted in the city’s Greektown neighborhood. The bicyclist was transported to Northwestern Memorial Hospital.

Eastbound Madison is closed from Halsted to the Kennedy Expressway. Westbound Madison is closed from Des Plaines to Halsted.


So sorry to say the 39 y.o. female cyclist died. The truck driver was making a right turn (right hook). Our thoughts are with the cyclist's family and friends.

UPDATE 8/10:
Bicyclist has been identified as Angela Park. Our thoughts are with her loved ones. Rest in peace.

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This is my biggest fear. too. I have no idea what I can do to be more visible than I already am. 

My sincere sympathies to the cyclist, her friends, and family.

Word to the wise--don't read the comments of any one of the stories about this cyclist. Just frustrates me more :(

One way to get these drivers to take more care around cyclists is to add a penalty to the motor vehicle code which would levy high fines (similar to those for hitting construction workers in work zones), and mandatory revocation of licenses. They never meet the test for willfully reckless disregard under the homicide statutes unless there's alcohol or drugs involved, so pinning that charge on them is not practical. Meantime I have serious misgivings about taking the lane. My technique is pulling back and letting them get out of my way when approaching an intersection. If I have to get around them, I hop up on the sidewalk and use that to pass - walking the bike or riding if there are no pedestrians around.

There is an area on my commute (Oak Street between State and Wells) which is terribly narrow. I take the lane because I had a truck almost crush me against the parked cars. When I do take the lane, I also do my best to match the speed of the cars. That way the drivers behind me don’t get impatient and try to pass.

But taking the lane on roads with higher speeds is dangerous. Doing so where it’s not necessary is rude.

Id like to point out that our comments about safer cycling techniques can sound like we are blaming Angela for getting killed. Honestly we have no idea how she ended up in harm’s way. We could assume, given her role as a triathlon and athletic instructor that she was an experienced cyclist. You can’t succeed at national events without training for years.

That being said, I’ll simply call this a horrible tragedy, and reserve any judgment for the investigators. And I’d like to remind all of us that when someone as experienced as Angela can get killed, any of us can.

Do your best to eliminate dangers to yourself, by whatever means is at your disposal, that maximizes your safety.

I disagree that it is ever rude to take the lane. It is always necessary to take the lane because eventually some body will decide that there is enough room to drive past the polite cyclist, putting the cyclist in a tight spot. I ride in the path of the automotive traffics right tire, where I am easier to see, have room to maneuver to my right, traffic must cross the center line to pass and the added benefit of fewer flats.

At intersections I move to the left tire path, or further, where I am visible to all. If a vehicle is in front of me I position myself so I can see the drivers face in his\her side view mirror and I can see oncoming traffic and they can see me. This helps fight left hooks and keeps me out of the area of right hooks. The easier that I am to be seen the better are my chances of getting home unscathed.

I did some research on this a few years ago. Sideguards on all heavy duty trucks are effective in preventing deaths in these situations. Japan and Brazil have had them in place for decades, Designed properly they can prevent people from being dragged under the truck which is main cause of the injuries. They also have a side benefit in reducing fuel costs on trucks. It is a simple solution, there is no reason there can't be state and federal regulations in place, when the evidence is clear it saves lives.

This is terrible. 

From drivers ed we were taught that we were responsible at all times for our vehicle. “I didn’t see them” is not accidental, it’s negligent.

+a million points, right here. Too often I hear "I'm sorry, I didn't see you" or "I just wasn't paying that much attention." These are absolutely abhorrent excuses for negligent behavior. You are operating an extremely heavy metal vehicle. If you are unable to have full situational awareness at all times you should not be operating it.

In the case of areas where vehicles are stopped, and there are no flashing turn signals, I typically wave in hopes of getting the attention of the driver. If the driver doesn't see me, I stay back in just in case.

Additionally, I don't squeeze in between cars and rather stay back for safety.

I don't know the circumstances of this incident. I was in that area last week, and it is a complete disaster for all involved.
Anyone know more about the cyclist--name or community she's from? I know it's premature as the accident just happened but I am hopeful some sort of memorial will be incorporated in the Critical Mass ride.
I have no idea how to edit my comment but as quickly as I wrote it, I found the information.

Her name is/was Angela Park, of the 3400 block of South Prairie.

Thanks for posting. It's really frustrating to have them interview a pedestrian advocate who is saying we all need to be separated. Bob Gallo, you have NO idea what you are saying. People that bike are NOT pedestrians. Lazy reporting when there are SO many bike advocates in Chicago.

Bob Gallo, a member of the Mayor's Pedestrian Advisory Council run by the Chicago Department of Transportation, said pedestrian and bicyclist safety is a huge problem in Chicago.

"The problem in Chicago is that we don't have the investment that's being done and the infrastructure to separate cars, bicycles and pedestrians from each other so that they can move about the city safely," Gallo said.

Unfortunately, this is a constant problem as drivers, especially the ones that do not or have never ridden a bicycle, do not or cannot properly judge the distance between their vehicles and the cyclists.


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