I'm trying to process what happened to Lisa as someone who rides that route every day.
Did Lisa get hit trying to merge with traffic just before the construction site or did this happen well before the construction - some folks are saying the semi hit Lisa while she was in the bike lane before the construction site.
All that being said - my heart goes out to their friends and fam.
Background on Lisa:
CHICAGO — A young bicyclist killed in a River West crash was "a radiant and shining star," friends of the victim said.
Lisa Kuivinen, 20, was riding a bike in the 800 block of North Milwaukee Avenue when the Rolling Meadows native was hit by a truck and killed Tuesday morning. Kuivinen had been an undergraduate student at School of the Art Institute of Chicago, studying in the fine arts program.
Kuivinen had a "smile and laugh that just lit up the room," one friend wrote in a post on Facebook.
Added another: "Lisa was such a wonderful friend and artist. I can't believe Lisa is gone and I'm going to miss their smile and laughter."
Kuivinen, who preferred to use the pronouns "they" and "them," had danced at Fred Astaire Dancing Studio. In a post to Facebook, an employee of the studio said Kuivinen was a "talented, beautiful and passionate dancer."
Lisa "was a star up on that stage. A radiant and shining star," the post said. "We will miss [Kuivinen] so much. There are no words to explain the sorrow and sadness we feel."
I saw the crash site before it was closed off, and I can confirm that the crash occurred north of Racine, before the construction site. This is where the bike lane is still unobstructed, before bikers merge with vehicles to get through the construction site. I didn't witness the crash, but in the aftermath, the truck was stopped in the bike lane, entirely to the right, and some of the stuff I did see makes me think that it's very unlikely Lisa Kuivinen was outside the bike lane when they were struck.
I'd bet money that the truck was carrying materials for the construction site and just pulled over to the right to park (and block the bike lane, of course) without ever seeing the cyclist. In my own opinion, if that scenario is correct and given the obvious nature of the bike path and the numerous cyclists in the area, the driver's action in moving to the right when he couldn't see if cyclists were there could easily be deemed reckless. We'll see what the state's attorneys think.
It's a plausible scenario. I will be curious to see what further investigation uncovers.
Some contractors do this. Some do not. I have seen it done by contractors on 2 recent Loop projects, especially at rush hour.
It should be a requirement, with fines for failure to do it and something we could report via 311.
Crazy idea, but would city cyclists have standing to sue the construction company to get them to add a flagman?
Brilliant idea. As a part of the permitting process, the city should require construction companies to provide flag persons when deemed appropriate, with liability coverage to ensure compensation in the event of a worst case scenario.
Having a flagman is required pursuant to the terms of many construction permits issued by the city.
Thanks for the info. So tragic. So many semi's on Milwaukee these days with all the construction.