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Navy Pier Flyover Wouldn’t Have Prevented Yesterday’s Bike Crash at Grand/LSD

Yesterday’s crash took place at the intersection between Grand and the southbound exit ramp of LSD, 100 feet or so west of the flyover. Image: Google Street View

Some folks may have been tempted to blame the slow-moving Navy Pier Flyover project for a bike crash with injuries that took place Tuesday at Grand and Lower Lake Shore Drive. However, details released by police today indicate that the bike bridge wouldn’t have made a difference in this case.

DNAinfo reported yesterday that a Subaru driver struck a bike rider around noon near the construction site for the flyover, with the crash resulting in injuries requiring hospitalization for the cyclist. The vehicle’s windshield was shattered by the impact, and a photo published with the DNA piece shows the bike’s front wheel was badly bent. Police and the driver, who was still present when reporter David Matthews arrived on the scene, declined to be interviewed.

The flyover, slated for completion in late 2018, according to Chicago Department of Transportation spokesman Mike Claffey, will carry Lakefront Trail users up to the level of Upper Lake Shore Drive between the south bank of the Chicago River and Ohio Street Beach. Thus it will eliminate conflicts between bicyclists and pedestrians on the path and motorists on Grand, Illinois, and Lower Lake Shore Drive.

The Navy Pier Flyover will prevent crashes between Lakefront Trail users and drivers on surface streets. Image: CDOT
The Navy Pier Flyover will prevent crashes between Lakefront Trail users and drivers on surface streets. Image: CDOT

However, it appears that the flyover wouldn’t helped in this case. Police News Affairs told me via email today that the cyclist is a 40-year-old male who was pedaling westbound on Grand he was struck in a crosswalk by the Suburban driver, who was coming from the southbound Lake Shore Drive exit ramp. Therefore the crash occurred on the west side of Lake Shore Drive, 100 feet or so from where the flyover will run.

The good news is that the cyclist, who was taken to Northwestern Hospital, is in good conditions with “non-life-threatening/minor injuries,” according to News Affairs. Here’s wishing him a speedy recovery.

It's not clear who had the right of way when the crash occurred. There's a "No Turn on Red" sign for drivers coming off the ramp. No citations have been issued.

While the Navy Pier Flyover wasn’t relevant to this crash, it will greatly improve safety for cyclists and pedestrians on the Lakefront Trail, as well as provide beautiful views of Lake Michigan, so I look forward to its opening next year.

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