The Chainlink

A male cyclist was hit by a driver of a car at Halsted and Roosevelt during the Tuesday evening rush and suffered serious injuries.
A cyclist friend was in the vicinity of Halsted and Roosevelt around 5:30pm, 7-18-17 and viewed part of a car on bike collision. The driver was piloting the vehicle westbound traveling about the speed limit when they hit the southbound cyclist. The cyclist was unconscious and his leg was broken. The driver remained on the scene.The cyclist was alert when paramedics arrived and was taken to a hospital. Does anyone know this cyclist and how he is doing or any other info?

Additional discussion with DNAinfo article:

Views: 8934


Replies are closed for this discussion.

Replies to This Discussion

Do you know if this intersection has the longer/delayed red signal (during the pm rush) so the intersection can clear? If it does, both the driver and the cyclist, if they knew about it, could have tried to take advantage of it.

I think it is worth noting that the Halsted lanes are solid, but biking on Roosevelt can be a fairly harrowing adventure, even though the street was one of the first recipients of striped bike lanes in this general area.

Evening rush hour westbound Roosevelt traffic backs up heavily where it crosses the river up to where Roosevelt passes over 290. Motorists frustrated with gridlock seem to have a tendency to put the pedal to the metal as soon as the street "opens up" again at Halsted.

I see this same phenomenon all over the City, it gets exacerbated when there are expressway offramp connections, drivers stuck in rush hour traffic on the expressways will get this stretch of an offramp where it can be tempted to gun it in order to make it through a traffic signal, and then they don't always quickly transition from that near-highway speed to city speed.

This is not what happened in this case. The cyclist ran a red light, paused in the lane that had the right of way.

I repeat, I've see cyclists do this quite frequently. Is it worth your life to get to your destination 2 minutes sooner? At some point commonsense should "come into play"!

I agree with you. I'm saying that it's even more important at an intersection like Roosevelt and Halsted. Traffic on Roosevelt here can move surprisingly fast, it is best not to take any chances and just wait for a green light. Like you note, it's literally just a question of a few minutes, if even that.

Waymond, I get the point and I know its easy to think lightly of someone losing their life or getting seriously injured when its not someone close to you. However, when it happens, its worth taking a step back to think about the dynamics of transportation today. Even when someone is clearly at fault.

Why? Because we are cyclists too. And although we understand the law, we are bound to make mistakes here and there. It is specially sobering to see the astronomical consequences of a cyclist/pedestrian mistake. Look the wrong way or take a step in the wrong direction and a 2 ton structure of metal will destroy you. 

Should laws be followed? Yes, I do it all the time. I stop at every red light regardless of how stupid I look to all those that run it. But have I ever made a mistake while biking? Certainly. Do I deserve to die or get seriously injured for doing so? No. 

So, by taking a step back and thinking about transportation dynamics in a city, we can realize the huge burden of responsibility that lies with people transporting themselves on 2 ton structures of metal. People should think twice about using 2 ton vehicle to transport their 150lbs body since it puts everyone in danger when anything is slightly miscalculated. No possible law out there will prevent human mistakes and I'm not sure taking a wrong step merits someone losing their life. 

I think the dynamic would greatly improve if we adjusted our speed limit downwards (and enforced it). But saying "people shouldn't drive because cyclists will always make mistakes, ignore red lights and get hit by cars" is not a very compelling argument in a City where some 60% of the residents have a car. It's not a question of deserving to die, it's physics. You move in front of a 2 ton object, you are placing your life in jeopardy no different than if you step off of the edge of the platform on the L.

Chicago is never going to be devoid of large vehicles like trucks, buses and trains at ground level. If you live here, you have to pay attention to your surroundings. And while I feel bad for this poor guy, the fact remains that he made the choice to blow a red light.  There is no way to justifiably deflect blame on to the motorist, who will very likely suffer from a form of PTSD their entire life - did they deserve that?

Incidents like these are held up as examples why cyclists don't deserve special infrastructure because we don't follow traffic laws anyway, and that we should be licensed and more strictly regulated. It creates a more hostile environment on the street for all of us.

So let's not feed the flames (just read the hater comments at the DNA Info article) by pretending this is something that it is not. I hope the guy fully recovers, but this is not lawsuit material. It's not a larger, systemic injustice. It's just a tragedy that was very preventable.

Was this a reply to my post? It seems like very few things relate to what I said. Here's a few highlights:

  • "But saying "people shouldn't drive because cyclists will always make mistakes, ignore red lights and get hit by cars" is not a very compelling argument in a City where some 60% of the residents have a car." <--- I never said that, go read my post if you really think I did.
  • "It's not a question of deserving to die, it's physics." <--- You probably didn't think through this one. Physics does not dictate how we pass judgement over an incident. 
  • "There is no way to justifiably deflect blame on to the motorist, who will very likely suffer from a form of PTSD their entire life - did they deserve that?" <-- Agreed with the blame part, not sure why you bring it up since I never said the motorist was to blame. Does he deserve PTSD? No, just like the cyclists doesn't deserve what happened. 
  • "It's not a larger, systemic injustice. It's just a tragedy that was very preventable." <--- This right here is probably the only thing we both agree upon, so it was a nice way to end your reply I guess :)

I think the greater point lost in my post (my fault perhaps because English is not my first language) is that the cyclist doesn't really deserve to get hurt (probably a fine would do) and that drivers usually underestimate the dangers of driving a motor vehicle. This is in response to many people claiming that the cyclists gets what he deserves. If this sentiment was true, if anyone anywhere makes the mistake of stepping into traffic, it would be okay to sentence them to a car hitting them, even if they didn't get hit by a car. Execution style. Hopefully you can see how stupid that is.

This is, as you mentioned, a tragedy. To make any more of it is a stretch. Its a good reminder for us cyclists to stay safe. As for traumatized drivers, its probably good for them to reconsider how dangerous a two ton vehicle is. There's a lot of responsibility involved with driving one. Probably a physics class would help. Wouldn't be hard to understand either: You use 4,000lbs to transport 150lbs (at 50mph), that's some dangerous shit right there. 


"You use 4,000lbs to transport 150lbs (at 50mph), that's some dangerous shit right there."

1000x yes

A BIG + 1 ! Yes, very dangerous shit! . . .

Which is a very good reason we cyclists need to be practice safe behavior when riding! It's no guarantee, but it helps!

Marcelo, I read your post multiple times because it is such a perfect example of why cyclists get such a bad rap. The concept you are missing here is taking responsibility for your own actions.

You are intentionally going out of your way to confuse "the cyclist got hit due to their own behavior" with "the cyclist deserved to get hit." I hear lots of people saying the first thing. You are the one stuck on the second thing.

I brought up physics as they are laws of nature. It should be common sense that when cars and bikes collide, the cyclist always loses.

Your insistence that the problem here is the weight of the car and the passenger is misguided. You are implicitly making the argument that there is something inherently wrong with using a car to transport a person. If there is such an argument to be made, it's due to greenhouse gas emissions and climate change, not reckless cyclists.

Say the cyclist was hit by a 4,000 lb car carrying four 150 lb people. Or the cyclist was hit by a bus, by a delivery truck, by the Brown Line crossing the street at grade level. Would that change the fact that you'd still have a tragedy, that could have been prevented by simply following some common sense rules like not entering an intersection against the light?

You're now making your argument even more divorced from reality by projecting a highway speed of 50 mph on to this driver.

Why I responded to *your* comment is simply because you are dangerously wrong. The responsibility in this case did not lie with the driver. No. Just no. The weight of the car is irrelevant. The responsibility was the cyclist's, to follow a reasonable set of rules that have been put in place to ensure safe movement where pathways intersect.

The second reason I responded is that you are so caught up in semantics that you are missing the larger problem. That problem is that lots of people - those in the 60% of Chicagoans who own cars category, for example - are going to make something out of this. And it bodes very poorly for the rest of us.

If you doubt me, go read the venom being spewed at the DNA Info article and remember that these are people who also live in Chicago. And they vote. And they express displeasure to their representatives at what they perceive are a group of people receiving benefits (bike lanes) who do not pay for them (license and registration).

*edited for coherence

You make a lot of assumptions about my original post in your replies. I'll point a few out by paragraph below: 

  1. I, above all, completely agree with taking responsibility for your actions. My pet peeve is people that blame others for their own issues. Not sure why I'm missing that point.
  2. Not purposely trying to confuse. Sorry if I didn't state the obvious. Yes, if you step into traffic you will get hit. Not sure I needed to do that but hopefully its clear now. Thought I would add something on top of that, not to confuse but to bring a few lessons/reminders we can take away.
  3. Sure.
  4. I never insisted on a problem. Just brought up a few things that I thought where relevant to be reminded of. I've commuted in a city without bike lanes for over 15 years and I thought it was pretty cool. I think Chicago is even cooler with all the infrastructure.
  5. No, that would change the fact that I wouldn't find it useful to remind people of what I did. 
  6. I never said this driver was doing 50mph. But sure, I'm bad with miles, I've used km/h all my life.
  7. I am wrong because responsibility of this accident does not fall with this driver? How can I be wrong for something I didn't say. If a cyclists runs a red light an causes an accident they are responsible. Not sure there is much to debate on that. As for this instance, I do not have enough information to conclude and that is why I am not providing an opinion on this particular case.
  8. I agree, its a problem if drivers project the behavior of one irresponsible cyclists to the rest of us cyclists. I believe they call that out-group homogeneity. Its something we should all avoid doing.
  9. I don't doubt you, I've been in there plenty of times. Never thought that sentiment was a result of comments like mine.

Overall, I'm not sure I understand why it is bad to take a moment to remind people that its dangerous out there. Its dangerous to drive a motor vehicle and its dangerous to cycle. Its so dangerous that simple mistakes may end up in huge accidents.


© 2008-2016   The Chainlink Community, L.L.C.   Powered by

Disclaimer  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service