I heard from bike store of two deaths on Damen near United Center, those scary five blocks where cars speed. I've been taking that stretch for a year. I take up my rightful place in right lane as sign indicates. Wonder if these two tragic victims did too, or if placement of bike was irrelevant. Also, don't know if store meant recently or over a period of years. Either way it freaked me out and I'm now taking the slower parallel Leavitt. Does anyone know the circumstances of these murders?

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This is the recent one: Andrew Ryan Biesen, 28, September 9 at Warren and Damen:


The Streetsblog link says the driver was going thru a yellow, which means the cyclist was going thru a red. That's more suicide than murder, if strong rhetoric is going to be thrown around.

To be exact, the article says the *driver* told police he had a yellow (and claimed the road was too slippery for him to stop in time to avoid the crash.)

That's fine, but until the investigation brings things into focus it's kind of early for any "murder rhetoric".

Because the cyclist was killed in the accident it doesn't necessarily make the driver the cause, and strong rhetoric does nothing to help.

Calling a motorist a murderer is no better than a motorist calling the road his. It creates friction and doesn't help anyone. To coexist on the road need to respect each other and that doesn't come about thru name calling and a myopic vision of road use.

Yet using words like "suicide" is ok? I think strong word choice is a two-way street.

No, I don't throw around rhetoric like that, but I was trying to point out the foolishness of using such strong rhetoric. It creates animosity and destroys any possible understanding between opposing arguments.

Thinking one is right doesn't necessarily make one right, and that goes for all involved in the conversation. Rhetoric does nothing to further the discussion.

Not sure what you are trying to say here Tony. Just pointing out that you saying "suicide" was a strong choice as well. So technically, you do "throw around rhetoric" to make your point about rhetoric. 

This is a website for cyclists and if you accuse a cyclist of being "suicidal" it is troubling. All of us deal with dangerous drivers nearly every time we ride on a street. Compassion and empathy are more helpful.  

Yasmeen, the way I read Tony's comment it seemed obvious that he was not seriously calling the cyclist's action "suicide" - rather, he was making a comment about the merits (or lack thereof) of such language by saying that one could argue that it is "suicide" if one is to use such language, but that that kind of language - murder/suicide isn't helpful. Your response to his use of "suicide" tends to underline his point, I think.

As I stated, I realized he was trying to make a point but he was doing it in a pretty terrible way. I removed the ending comments where he started getting personal with me after I said this. 

While I am ok with disagreement, trying to make it a statement on who I am as a person and my intelligence level is where I draw the line. 

Frankly, the optics aren't great. Even in context, saying a cyclist that was killed committed suicide by their behavior? Not ok. There is SO much victim-blaming out there and a terrible bias against cyclists and pedestrians. Now look at the high number of cyclists killed this year. 

Now look at the two DUI-related deaths and in both cases, there was victim blaming which lessened the sentences of both men of privilege down to inconsequential. In both cases, the judge blamed the victims. 

There are cases where using the word "murder" is appropriate. A friend of mine waiting at a light was hit and killed by a person being chased by police because it was a stolen vehicle. That was murder. 

Maybe it was premature in this case but extreme to flip it and say the cyclist was committing suicide by the way they were riding which was frankly based on the word of the driver saying he was driving on a yellow - history shows us over and over the driver has been known to lie to protect themselves. 

In disagreeing with the way Tony used this description, he decided to insult me. Couldn't just disagree. Needed to make it personal. If you want to tell me I overreacted, that is your opinion. I disagree. And I don't need to add a person insult in order to express my disagreement.

Those are important points you make TonyP. 

Apologies for my use of murder.  Didn't mean to imply intention, just a needless death of A by another human B.  I agree the word was too strong.  I was more trying to focus on whether this is something we could have avoided. Clearly the Warren Street one was.

Some upgrades have been made / are planned on Damen between Diversey and Belmont, where Liza Whitacre was killed on her bike in 2009. 



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