Turning Driver Killed Cyclist Lisa Schalk, 50, Near Midway Airport

Archer and Lorel, from the driver's perspective. Image: Google Street View
Archer and Lorel, from the driver's perspective. Image: Google Street View

A 79-year-old male driver who fatally struck Lisa Schalk, 50, yesterday morning has been cited for negligence, according to police.

At about 8 AM, Schalk was riding northeast on Archer Avenue at Lorel Avenue, two blocks north of Midway Airport in the Garfield Ridge neighborhood, police said. The motorist was driving north on Lorel when he made a left turn onto Archer, westbound, and struck the cyclist.

Schalk, who lived three blocks southwest on the 5500 block of West 55th Street, was transported to Advocate Christ Hospital, where she was pronounced dead at 8:43 a.m., according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office.

The driver was charged with failure to exercise due care for a bicyclist in the roadway, according to police. His court date is Thursday, December 14, at the Daley Center.

Ghost Bikes Chicago hopes to contact Schalk’s family and offer to install a white-painted bike at the crash site as a memorial, according to member Kristen Green.

Archer, a direct route between the Southwest Side and downtown, was identified as a bike-priority Spoke Route in Chicago’s Streets for Cycling Plan 2020, published in 2012. But few safety improvements were made to the busy multilane street during the following five years, and there are no bike lanes on the street southwest of Bridgeport.

Fatality Tracker: 2017 Chicago pedestrian and bicyclist deaths
Pedestrian: 34
Bicyclist: 4

Note: Streetsblog Chicago’s traffic death numbers represent fatal crashes on Chicago streets. The pedestrian count above is based on Chicago Police Department data for January through July released by the Chicago Department of Transportation, plus media reports for August through November. In addition to the on-street bike fatalities, on June 24 a cyclist was riding on a CTA train platform when he fell on the tracks and was fatally struck.

  • JeBuS

    That’s terrible. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve ridden this stretch. I’ve never felt unduly endangered there, but that stretch is slightly narrower than other parts of Archer to the east and west, when cars are parked at the curb. But it’s not as bad as some streets in the city without bike lanes. It would take a truly unobservant driver or a truly careless rider to cause an accident here, in my opinion.

    One minor correction. This is the Garfield Ridge neighborhood, not Chicago Ridge (which is a suburb).

  • johnaustingreenfield

    Thanks, I’ve edited the piece accordingly.

  • Snotty

    I hate to be ageist – but an 80 year old driver is most likely a dangerous driver. I remember having to take the keys from my grandpa. He was upset – but he was a danger on the roads. No Grandpa – the shoulder is not a driving lane.

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