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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  • Editor I. Yam

    Month-typo at beginning of article.

  • Jake J. Phineas

    Part of being an urban cyclist is being aware of your surroundings. The urban environment is chaotic and full of danger. This is a bad intersection right now, in fact, I don’t like Halsted at all, especially from Jackson – Fulton. It would be best to avoid that section.

  • Has anyone pulled the construction site permits and checked it? They often use much more of the street than what they’re permitted for, good luck getting anyone to do anything about it though.

  • DoctorTecate

    Part of being an urban driver is being aware of your surroundings. It would be best if motorist did not run over people.

  • rohmen

    Avoid it how? By detouring to Green, which is full of buildings under construction with similar issues? Morgan, which is full of buildings under construction with similar issues? I think (or hope is probably the better word) you get where I’m going with this….

  • Jake J. Phineas

    What can you do about it? When there is construction it’s bad for traffic. Green and Morgan are better than Halsted still. Also, I might get flak about this, but ride on the sidewalk if you have to. It’s better than dying.

  • Jake J. Phineas

    True, but that sentiment doesn’t help when you get pulled under a vehicle.

  • rduke

    Take the damn lane people! There is no bike lane on Halsted through here, and the lane is a couple feet too narrow to safely share.

  • Michael

    The graveyards are full of people who had the right of way. Regardless of your rights, it is MUCH better to spend a tiny amount of extra time, cede the road to the bigger, unsafe vehicle (regardless of your right of way), walk your bicycle across the street and on the sidewalk until it is safe to get back on and ride again. “Wasting” the extra 30 seconds could save your life or keep you suffering through years of pain and rehab. As a longtime colleague of the National Safety Council – I can’t begin to tell you how many direct victims (or the families of victims) who have wished for the 30 seconds back. People who wasted entire lives in pain and agony all for 30 extra seconds. It is not worth it. Trust me on this one. You are not invincible and your body is weak flesh that doesn’t stand a chance against a ton of steel – even a ton of steel with “safety” bumpers.

    I’ve seen met Charlie Moorecraft a dozen times and seen his hour long safety presentation every year for 10 years. Here is just a less than two minute clip that is worth watching… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=249FHwsmQPo

  • TRPCLRMNTCST

    It is illegal to ride on the sidewalk in Chicago.

  • rwy

    So drivers are no different than armed robbers. Comply with their demands if you want to live?

  • JeBuS

    Hey John, any chance you could write more than about 6 words regarding the latest accident mentioned in the article title? Rather than, you know, copy-pasta of the fatal accident article?

  • johnaustingreenfield

    Look, that’s all the information that was readily available about the second crash, which isn’t surprising, since there were no injuries and no police report. But by reaching out to the police at 1:30 a.m., I was able to clear up rumors that were circulating on social media that another cyclist may have been seriously injured at the site.

    If you compare this post to our original article on the fatal crash, you’ll see that much of it is new-to-Streetsblog info, including updates on the issues of safety at this intersection and advocates’ calls for expanding the side guard ordinance, gleaned from CBS and Sun-Times reports. I also updated the post with Kevenides’ response to the news about the second cyclist.

    So, sure, there’s not a ton of original reporting here, but I believe the sarcasm is unwarranted.

  • Bruce

    I agree. take the lane. And in instances like this it’s probably better to sit behind a vehicle rather than try to pass it on the right.

  • Bruce

    There is much, much less traffic on those alternative routes. Thus, the construction presents less of a hazard.

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