Lobbying for New Bike Lane to Reduce Risks of Chicago Bicycling Accidents

Chicago’s Department of Transportation is lobbying for a new bicycle lane along one of the underserved commuter corridors to help increase cyclist safety and reduce the risks of a Chicago bicycle accidents.

The projected lane, called ‘Cycle Track’, will be constructed for recreational and commuter use and will consist of a barricade barrier to help protect cyclists from the speedy and potentially dangerous traffic, according to bikeradar.com.Our Chicago personal injury lawyers understand that cycling is done for fun, recreation and fitness. And it is an activity most popular with middle-aged men. Unfortunately those same men are the most likely victims of a serious or fatal accident, which can leave a family financially devastated. We encourage you to bike smart and watch for motorists.

The new bike lane, if approved, would provide a raised concrete planter box, acting as a shield, to separate a bike-only lane from traffic lanes. A portion of a $3.2 million federal grant would be used to fund construction of the lane from 69th to 77th streets down Stony Island Avenue.

“This type of bike route could offer a model for certain areas,” says Anne Alt of the Chicago Cycling Club, noting that the area would be a wise choice as hasn’t always been so cycle friendly. “Before the interstate highways were built, Stony Island was the equivalent of a highway for Chicago’s south side. It still carries a very high volume of traffic at higher-than-average speeds for a city street.”

As we recently reported on our Chicago Personal Injury Lawyers Blog, the city remains the most dangerous place in the state of Illinois for bicycling accidents. As the Illinois Department of Transportation reports Chicago bicycle accidents accounted for one-fourth of all fatal crashes, claiming five lives and injuring nearly 1,400 cyclists.

The City of Chicago’s Safety in Motion campaign offers our bicyclists these safety tips:

-First and foremost, always wear your helmet. This piece of protective gear can mean either life or death with an accident involving a motor vehicle.

-Make sure your bike is equipped with rear-reflectors. The bigger these reflectors, the more effective they’ll be in making your presence known to drivers. Be sure to angle them correctly, not too far up or too far down but straight back behind you. Remember that only red ones are legal.

-Put a headlight on your bike. Make sure it’s battery-powered and is either a halogen or strobe light. It is recommended for you to have the brightest, white light you can fine. Red is shunned as a front-bike light.

-Be sure to ride slower in the rain and remember that motorists may have a more difficult time seeing you in poor weather conditions.

-Plan your route ahead of time. This will allow you to choose safer routes, avoid busy traffic and keep yourself from being stranded from exhaustion.

-Be courteous around other bicyclists. When sharing a road or path, make sure to use signals and acknowledge one another as crashes can occur when the proper precautions are not taken.

If you or a loved one has have been injured in a bicycling accident, the Chicago bike accident attorneys at Abels & Annes offer free case evaluations to discuss your rights. Call (866) 99-ABELS. There is no fee unless you win.

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