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Hit-and-run driver killed Pablo Rodriguez, 55, on bike in East Side community

Looking north on Avenue L towards the viaducts where the van driver struck Rodriguez. This stretch is marked with “sharrows.” Image: Google Maps

With the hit-and-run killing of Pablo Rodriguez, 55, struck on his bike in the East Side community, Chicago has lost six cyclists to traffic violence this year.

According to police, on Thursday, August 11, at about 6:15 a.m., this driver fatally struck Rodriguez from behind as he bicycled north under a viaduct in the 9900 block of South Avenue L (3600 E.) According to witnesses, the driver was in a black van, and they fled north on Avenue L.

The Cook County medical examiner's office said Rodriguez's home address is unknown, but his next of kin have been notified of his death.

Avenue L is the north-south street shown in blue (non-protected bike lanes) and yellow (sharrows) north of 100th Street on the city's bike map. However, the stretch of bike lanes north of the crash site were eliminated when the street was repaved. Image: CDOT
Avenue L is the north-south street shown in blue (non-protected bike lanes) and yellow (sharrows) north of 100th Street on the city's bike map. However, the stretch of bike lanes north of the crash site were eliminated when the street was repaved. Image: CDOT
Avenue L is the north-south street shown in blue (non-protected bike lanes) and yellow (sharrows) north of 100th Street on the city's bike map. However, the stretch of bike lanes north of the crash site were eliminated when the street was repaved. Image: CDOT

There are three viaducts in this location, for the Chicago Skyway and two railroad right-of-ways. This stretch of Avenue L is identified as a bike route on the city of Chicago's bike map, and the area in the underpasses is marked with bike-and-chevron "shared-lane makings," also known as "sharrows," which studies have found have little to no impact on safety.

Looking south on Avenue L towards the viaducts in August 2011 after the bike lanes were striped, and in July 2019, after the street was repaved without replacing the lanes. Images: Google Maps
Looking south on Avenue L towards the viaducts in August 2011 after the bike lanes were striped, and in July 2019, after the street was repaved without replacing the lanes. Images: Google Maps
Looking south on Avenue L towards the viaducts in August 2011 after the bike lanes were striped, and in July 2019, after the street was repaved without replacing the lanes. Images: Google Maps

The bike map shows non-protected bike lanes north of the viaducts. However, a July 2019 Google Street View image shows that the bike lanes hadn't been replaced after the street was repaved.

Rodriguez's death was the second hit-and-run fatality in Chicago this week. On Wednesday, August 10, Taha Khan, 5, died after a Jeep SUV driver struck him at Devon and Cicero avenues in Sauganash, and then a Volvo driver hit the child.

Sign the Safe Streets for All petition demanding action from your alderpersons, Mayor Lori Lightfoot, and the Chicago Department of Transportation to address Chicago's traffic fatality epidemic.

Fatality Tracker: 2022 Chicago pedestrian and bicyclist deaths on surface streets (including one scooter-on-sidewalk case)

Pedestrian: 21
Bicyclist: 6

Note: Streetsblog Chicago’s traffic death numbers represent fatal crashes on Chicago surface streets, based on media reports and/or preliminary Chicago Police Department data.

2022 Chicago pedestrian fatality cases (including one scooter-on-sidewalk case)

2022 Chicago bike fatality cases

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