Driver Kills Cyclist on Clybourn, Where IDOT Is Blocking Protected Bike Lanes

Looking northwest at the Infiniti car, Photo: Jon Kobiljak, via DNA Info.
Looking northwest at the Infiniti car. Photo: Jon Kobiljak, via DNA Info.

Police are questioning the driver of a Mercedes who was involved in a head-on collision with an Inifiti and then fatally struck cyclist Robert “Bobby” Cann, 26, from behind. The crash took place while the Mercedes driver and Cann were traveling southeast on Clybourn Avenue near Larrabee Street in Old Town. The driver, who stayed on the scene, is in policy custody but any charges have yet to be filed, pending an investigation, according to Police News Affairs. Police have not released the driver’s name, but DNAinfo reports that he is 28 years old.

Marcus Moore, owner of Yojimbo’s Garage, a bike shop (the building with the red door in the photos), didn’t see the crash, but helped the three occupants of the Mercedes exit the car. He said they did not appear injured. While Moore was helping them out of the car, someone on the sidewalk said, “Where’d the bicyclist go?” It was then that he realized a cyclist was involved and saw Cann lying in the street 40 feet from the damaged cars, with his leg severed and blood coming out of his mouth, he said.

Overhead view of the Mercedes on Clybourn Avenue. Photo: Jon Kobiljak, via DNA Info.
Overhead view of the Mercedes on Clybourn Avenue. Photo: Jon Kobiljak, via DNA Info.

Moore believes the driver of the Mercedes rear ended Cann, after which Cann landed on the hood and collapsed the car’s windshield. He said it’s possible the crash occurred in the intersection of Larrabee and Clybourn, or within 20 feet. Cann worked at Groupon on Larrabee/Kingsbury a half-mile south. Given that it was after work, and Cann lived in Lakeview, Moore believes Cann was cycling north on Larrabee before the crash and that the impact happened within the intersection, though he ended up lying on Clybourn.

The car-bike crash might have been avoided if this stretch of Clybourn had protected bike lanes. The Chicago Department of Transportation has proposed building protected lanes on Clybourn. However, Clybourn is an Illinois Department of Transportation-jurisdiction street, and IDOT has instituted a ban on PBLs on roads that fall under its jurisdiction until 2014, when three years of “safety data” on existing Chicago protected lanes becomes available.

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Looking northwest on Clybourn.

Philip Bird, a friend of Cann’s, has proposed dedicating Friday’s Critical Mass ride in Cann’s honor, and has put out a request for help on The Chainlink, a local social networking site.

Fatality Tracker: 2013 Chicago pedestrian and bicyclist deaths

Pedestrian: 8 (7 were from hit-and-run crashes, 2 in truck crashes)
Bicyclist: 2


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Note: Keating Law Offices, P.C. has generously agreed to sponsor two Streetsblog Chicago posts about bicycle safety topics per month. The firm’s support will help make Streetsblog Chicago a sustainable project. Keating Law Offices is not involved in the Bobby Cann case. Just over a month ago, the Illinois Department of Transportation started constructing curb-protected bike […]

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Last Thursday, about a week after the May 29th death of cyclist Robert “Bobby” Cann, killed by an allegedly drunk, speeding driver at Clybourn and Larrabee, the Chicago Department of Transportation announced plans to stripe buffered bike lanes on the entire 3.5-mile length of Clybourn, from Division to Belmont. Construction should start either this week […]