Another Cyclist Struck at Madison/Halsted, a Week After Angela Park Was Killed There

Fortunately the second bike rider was uninjured, but this latest collision is a symptom of dangerous conditions at this location

Madison and Halsted, as it appeared last fall. Image: Google Street View
Madison and Halsted, as it appeared last fall. Image: Google Street View

On August 9, a right-turning truck driver fatally struck spin instructor and triathlon coach Angela Park, 39, at Madison and Halsted in Greektown as she biked to her job at the Chicago Athletic Club. A GoFundMe campaign has been launched to help cover funeral expenses.

Yesterday at 5:30 p.m. a car driver struck a cyclist at the same intersection, according to Police News Affairs. Thankfully, no injuries were reported, but it’s disturbing that there was another bike crash at this location only a week after Park’s death.

This second bike collision was likely not simply a coincidence. A developer is building a 44-story tower at the southeast corner of the intersection, and there’s a bottleneck at the junction caused by temporary pedestrian walkways by the work site. Yesterday CBS Chicago reported that there have been 28 reported crashes within 100 feet of the tower in the last year, compared to 10 in 2014, 12 in 2015, and 10 in 2016, according to Illinois Department of Transportation data. The Chicago Department of Transportation says city inspectors come by the site on a daily basis to make sure proper traffic control measures are in place, CBS reported.

The dump truck involved in last week's fatal bike crash. Photo: Mitch Dudek, Chicago Sun-Times, used with permission
The dump truck involved in last week’s fatal bike crash. Photo: Mitch Dudek, Chicago Sun-Times, used with permission

The vehicle that killed Park was a dump truck owned by Lakeshore Recycling Systems. It did not have side guards, safety gear that prevents pedestrians and cyclists from going under the vehicle, which can prevent fatalities. Last year City Council passed an ordinance requiring side guards on all trucks over 10,000 pounds being used for city contracts over $2 million. In the wake of the recent tragedy, bike advocates have called for expanding the legislation to include more trucks being used in Chicago, according to a Sun-Times report.

According to Christina Whitehouse from Bike Lane Uprising, a site that tracks bikeway parking violations, Lakeshore Recycling Systems vehicles frequently block bike lanes, and their trucks were spotted in bikeways shortly after the fatal crash.

Update 8/17/18 12:30 PM: After hearing about the second crash, bike attorney Brendan Kevenides from FK Law (a Streetsblog Chicago sponsor) tweeted, “Construction in that area should be shut down until a proper assessment of safety measures can be completed. Lives are at risk.”

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