New Parking Corral Raising More Awareness of Riders and Reducing Risks of Bicycle Accidents in Chicago?

Last Friday, Chicago’s Department of Transportation (CDOT) celebrated the installation of the city’s first on-street bicycle parking corral. The parking lot is located on Milwaukee Avenue just south of North Avenue. The new, multi-space corral allows space for more than 12 bicycles in a single space that would have otherwise been occupied by one or two cars, according to The City of Chicago’s Official Site. The project was funded by the Wicker Park Bucktown SSA and put together by CDOT. This is the first of many that are to be installed throughout the city.
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Our Chicago bicycle accident attorneys understand this is a step in the right direction for bicyclists. As bicycling gets more and more popular, the need for others to acknowledge the existence and safety needs of riders grows more and more crucial. Oftentimes bicyclists are injured or killed on our roadways because they are overlooked by motorists. With more awareness about our two-wheeled travelers, we may be able to save some lives on our roadways.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were more than 600 bicyclists killed on U.S. roadways because of traffic accidents in 2009. Another 51,000 bicyclists were injured in these incidents. Bicycle accidents in Chicago and elsewhere that resulted in death accounted for 2 percent of all traffic deaths for the entire year. Illinois witnessed 20 bicyclist deaths in 2008; hundreds more were injured.

A bicycle corral is an on-street parking facility for bicyclists. A corral makes efficient use of the parking lane for bicycles in areas with a high demand. Corrals typically provide enough room for 12 or so bicycles in the space that would normally have been used for 1 of 2 cars.

What are the benefits of having a bicycle corral in my city?

-Businesses can benefit from these corrals as they provide a 10-to-1 customer to parking space ratio, they increase foot and bike traffic and they advertise “bike friendliness” to the area. Corrals can also improve the pedestrian environment by taking bicycles off the sidewalk.

-These corrals improve bicycle parking availability at popular destinations. They can also increase the visibility of bicycling as a convenient form of transportation.

-The high-visibility environment of the corral reduces the risk of bike theft.

-Pedestrians can enjoy the increased availability of space on busy sidewalks with heavy foot traffic. They would no longer have to dodge bikes parked along the sidewalks.

-Corrals clear up intersections and in turn improve sight lines by eliminating the opportunity for larger vehicles to park at street corners.

-Corrals offer a space where bicyclists can park and lock up where they won’t be in the way of pedestrians.

-Bicycle corrals can improve the visibly of your business from the street because they eliminate the parking of large vehicles in front of your store.

These new corrals are a direct result of the public-private partnership between the Wicker Park Bucktown SSA and the Chicago Department of Transportation. The SSA donated the facility, which was designed and constructed by CDOT.

If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, the personal injury attorneys and wrongful death lawyers at Abels & Annes offer free and confidential appointments to discuss your rights. Call (866) 99-ABELS. There is no fee unless you win.

More Blog Entries:

Illinois Department of Transportation Welcomes Bicyclists for Safe Summer Fun , Chicago Car Accident Lawyer Blog, July20, 2011

Chicago gets tougher on bicyclists disobeying the rules of the road, Chicago Car Accident Lawyer Blog, June 14, 2011

LaHood Applauds Improvements, Highlights Risks of Bicycle Accidents in Urban Areas, including Chicago, Chicago Car Accident Lawyer Blog, May 22, 2011