Second Car Crash on the Lakefront Trail in Lakeview in Two Weeks

The aftermath of last night's crash. Photo: Matheis Carly
The aftermath of last night's crash. Photo: Matheis Carly

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Early in the morning of November 14, a 27-year-old woman was driving a Volkswagen Passat north on the 3100 block of North Lake Shore Drive in the Lakeview neighborhood, when she struck a tree, a light pole and then a wooden snow fence before coming to rest on or near the Lakefront Trail. She was later cited for negligent driving, operating a motor vehicle without insurance, and driving under the influence of alcohol.

Only two weeks later, last night at about 2:40 a.m., a driver crashed on the 3500 block of North LSD, according to Police News Affairs. That’s a mere four blocks north of the previous collision.

The police didn’t immediately provide additional info, but Streetsblog reader Mattheis Carly provided photos taken during his morning commute that show the driver crashed through a steel guardrail near an offramp just south of Addison Street. The front end of the vehicle, a gray sedan, appears to have been completely demolished by the impact with the railing, and possibly other factors such as an engine fire.

The vehicle from last night's crash. Photo: Mattheis Carly
The vehicle from last night’s crash. Photo: Mattheis Carly

Crashes like this seem to be more common late at night, when a higher percentage of motorists are intoxicated or fatigued, which reduces the chances of pedestrians and cyclists on the trail being struck. If this collision had happened on summer day, it could have easily resulted in multiple injuries or deaths of path users.

Disturbingly, the collision shows that even heavy-duty guardrails aren’t always enough to protect the public from reckless drivers. It’s yet more evidence that additional enforcement of the speed limit, and laws against intoxicated and distracted driving, is needed on the drive.

This post is made possible by a grant from Freeman Kevenides, a Chicago, Illinois personal injury law firm representing and advocating for bicyclists, pedestrians and vulnerable road users.  The content belongs to Streetsblog Chicago, and Freeman Kevenides Law Firm neither endorses nor exercises editorial control over the content.

  • Greg

    Tear up LSD… borders on insane to have an intra-urban highway on the lakefront.

    Elevated light rail with park space below?

  • Courtney

    We already have laws against intoxicated and distracted driving so I’m not sure if more will help…..heavier penalties MIGHT be helpful but it doesn’t prevent intoxicated and distracted driving from happening. Also, I’ve seen police officers using their phones while driving too so if they think it’s okay….I have less faith they’ll actually pull people over for the same behavior.
    More protection for users of the path is needed as well. I don’t think that will happen until someone is killed and their family successfully sues the city.

  • planetshwoop

    On the North Side, the trail is simply too close to the road.

    I rarely take the bike route despite being chastised sometimes, because even if it were 100% perfectly safe, the noise pollution isn’t worth it either.

  • TRPCLRMNTCST

    Yes, let us all wait for our impending deaths to do something about traffic safety. How about prioritizing transit along the highest density travel corridor instead?

  • Courtney

    I’m all for that! If you’ve seen previous comments of mine on other articles, I am strongly FOR a bus-only lane on LSD for Northbound and Southbound traffic.

  • Carter O’Brien

    You’re preaching to the choir here, IDOT is the 800 bazillion pound elephant in the room for that conversation.

  • Concrete. Barricades. Now.

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