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.
I would say, bike lane blocking is absolutely the issue here. The driver drove his truck into a bike lane, where he was not supposed to be, for reasons that are not clear. If those reasons become clear and still aren't very good ones, then he still had no business being there.
I'm very curious about that truck driver. How experienced was that driver? Was the driver distracted? How familiar was the driver with that area? Was the driver under the influence of any drugs? How much sleep did the driver have before starting his or her shift? The position of that bicycle under the front axle leaves me with a lot of questions about the state of that driver.
Thoughts and prayers are with Lisa's friends and family. I cycle to work daily on Milwaukee and the construction from Logan Sq through Halsted make it a very dangerous ride this summer....I am not sure what can be done but perhaps the Alderman can communicate with managers of work sites? I am headed out of town or I would personally take a ride and speak to workers with a flier asking workers to be mindful of bike lanes..heartbreaking that this happened. As a mother with kids who are old enough to read the news, they don't want me to commute via bike anymore. I have been biking to work for 6 years and am not stopping now.
Based on the tickets issued to the driver - it seems like there's little to no incentive for drivers - especially of large trucks - to be all the vigilant when sharing the road with bikes. Most cars I encounter on Milwaukee seem to sigh and be resigned to watching out for bikes - there may be a shouting match every once in a while - but with the big construction trucks it's different - am I wrong here? But these drivers I feel aren't used to Milwaukee and it's obvious they can't see anything. I hate hate hate hate hate hate when I hear a big truck coming up from behind because I know they're not accustomed to driving on roads with bikes and it's clear they're the most dangerous to me.
And now that the driver here has been ticketed - I'm sure that stokes a lot of fear in the hearts of other truck drivers in that area.
Four out of four of the cyclist deaths in Chicago this year involved commercial vehicles. You raise a valid point.
If for some reason the charges aren't appropriately upgraded, I really hope there are very successful civil lawsuits. We really need change. This is the equivalent of a truck driving up onto the sidewalk and killing a pedestrian. We should be safe in the bike lanes that were created to protect us.
I'm surprised that a driver who kills a cyclist or pedestrian is able to retain their CDL.
Civil lawsuit is very likely to result in a settlement...with one or more insurance companies. It will have no impact on driver behavior.
Trucks apparently continue to drive, park, unload, and pass within 3 feet in this stretch of the MKE bike lane with no consequences, implying that this conduct has the mayor / CPD / alderman's full approval.
It would seem that in circumstances like this the driver and the construction site would stop ALL on-coming traffic, including cyclists in the bike lane. Construction sites ALWAYS have someone stopping traffic until machinery has passed, but not this time. They do so because it is impossible for cyclists and drivers to judge the turning distance needs of these kinds of large trucks.
I hope the construction company is sued for this kind of negligence.
I love the idea of contacting the media about this - not sure who could be our collective voice but we can't just sit here and vent. We need to mobilize and demand charges are upgraded and safety measures are put into place ASAP.
Yes and no as to a civil suit impacting driver behavior. If a driver is involved in an accident which results in a significant judgment and finding of negligence against that person, many business auto insurers will not insure that person on a policy issued to the company. They'll place a specific driver exclusion on the policy stating that the company agrees that person will not have coverage while driving. While the company could conceivably ignore that and allow the individual to keep driving, that rarely happens because the person would be uninsured, and the company in turn usually fires the person or places them in a position where they won;t drive.
Long story short, ticketing and pursuing civil suits against drivers help get bad commercial drivers of the streets, because it can often make it next to impossible for that driver to get added to a commercial auto policy in the future.
Seems like people are already moving on and forgetting that this happened. Nothing has changed to make the roads safer.