The Chainlink

Cyclist with minor injuries 'lucky to be alive' after he was clipped by a Brown Line train

A cyclist was clipped by a CTA Brown Line train Friday afternoon on the Northwest Side — and walked away with only minor injuries.

The cyclist was crossing the tracks near the Kedzie stop around 4:40 p.m. in the 4600 block of North Kedzie Avenue in the Albany Park neighborhood when he was hit by the train, Chicago police said. The tracks are street-level on that stretch of the Brown Line.

The cyclist was taken to Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center for minor injuries. Officials previously reported he refused treatment.

“He’s lucky to be alive,” said Walter Schroeder, deputy district chief of the Chicago Fire Department.

The Brown Line is operating with a delay after the incident.

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... but was he wearing a helmet? ;>

Short of making the line elevated there are larger barriers not sure what else they can do. That crossing is exceptionally well marked.

That being said, thank God the cyclist walked away without serious injuries.

Tragic.  I guess if people are going to go around the large gate with blinking lights the other alternative would be some huge barrier that you can't get around.  I would think that would be technically difficult and slow to open.  Maybe better signage would be the trick...

It's a frustrating crossing but you just have to be patient. I used to commute regularly past that gate. I've sat at the gate with it going up/going down, waiting for a long time. I can see why some get frustrated and go around it but there's always so much danger in that. Always, always respect the gate and wait. A faster commute and/or general frustration aren't worth risking your life.

Good one Steve!   If he wasn't wearing a helmet, the crash was clearly his fault!

But seriously folks, as cyclists we've chosen a slow means of transport, generally speaking.  Why don't we STOP for traffic signals, busy streets, and flashing train crossings?  Are we really so impatient?  Do we have to act like drivers, hell-bent on not stopping for NOTHING!

My secret: platform pedals on my city bike.  That way it is easy to stop.  And safe, to pull over to the right-hand curb, put down my right foot on the curb, and wait.  And take my time getting going again, after the initial wave of cars accelerates after the light turns green.  And that way, I'm also safe from right-hooks by careless drivers. 

Hi ketoguy...

    Thanks for that piece from Channel 7.  What a tragic loss to his family and the Chicago cycling community.  I'm sure I rode with him in a CCM at some point.  Just the kind of dedicated cyclist that we need in Chicago.  And an easy miscalculation to make...two trains!

     There for the Grace of God, go I....

Grade level trains are riskier in what used to be a quaint chill part of town.

It's just time for that part of town to elevate the train line. Judgement seems to falter in busy urban environments. 

Spend money because a few idiots aren't smart enough to follow blinking lights and a closed barrier?  Include me out of this idea. 

Well Bob I believe that from the earliest days railroads in Chicago were required to elevate their tracks...specifically to avoid the frequent train crashes, injuries and deaths to regular street traffic.  Notice that the far ends of not only the Brown Line, but also the Purple and Pink lines have several grade crossings...outside the original limits of the City of Chicago.

But being a frequent Metra rider, I know that some suburbs have a police officer stationed at crossings during rush hours, handing out $100 tickets to cyclists and pedestrians that go around lowered crossing gates.  Maybe Chicago could do the same thing. 

Some suburbs have also limited trains from using whistles as a warning because it's too disturbing to the residents.

In the earliest days of railroads in Chicago railroads were new and many were unaware of their existence.  Today blinking lights and gate closings should be enough.



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