Google Map of the street Luster Jackson was killed on.
At 6:48 p.m., 58-year-old Luster Jackson was riding his bicycle north in the 7200 block of South Stony Island when he veered to avoid an open car door and was hit by another vehicle that was traveling north, according to Chicago Police and the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office.
Luster swerved to avoid a door only to be hit by a car. It is hard to read the article and not be completely infuriated at how many points of failure are involved here:
1. No bike infrastructure - no bike lane on a 4-lane one-way road in which there's plenty of room (see Google Map).
2. Too many lanes - There is likely a lot of speeding on the road due to the road having too many lanes (motorists tend to speed on wide streets and this street has four lanes).
3. Motorist shouldn't have been so close to the bike (3 feet rule) - just look at the photo and you'll see there's plenty of safe space so the driver was likely way too close to the cyclist. And yet, his "death was ruled an accident" and "driver of the vehicle that fatally struck Jackson was issued a citation, police said."
4. Parked motorist opened door, forcing bike into traffic - this driver is also at fault.
Where is the value for human life? What about the driver that doored Luster?
The city has promised Vision Zero and promisesd more bike lanes on South and West sides - Where are they?
Could you imagine having this poor of a set up on the North Side? Why haven't bike lanes been adequately built? This is what happens when they aren't AND when police ticket bike riders (mainly on South Side, mainly people of color) that are forced onto sidewalks for their safety.
Luster Jackson is a part of the Chicago cycling family because he was riding a bike. Rest in peace Luster. Riding your bike in Chicago, you deserved much safer streets and much safer riding conditions.
We all need to demand that all of our cyclists can safely ride their bikes to get to where they are going. Not just one area, all areas of the city.
Thanks for your perspective Curtis. I do believe this has a lot to do with being a wide street, 4 lanes each way. It encourages speeding and makes it less safe for people that ride their bikes. If they went down to three lanes each way and added a bike lane, I believe this could have been prevented - there could have been a safety buffer between the cyclist and the doors. As I mentioned in my comments, this was multiple points of failure in which poor infrastructure and bad motorists caused the death of a cyclist.
1. No bike lane on a busy street with too many lanes for traffic
2. Parked motorist swings door open
3. No buffer zone for cyclists riding next to parked cars
4. motorist driving on street did not provide 3 feet clearance when passing cyclist, leaving cyclist no room for error in case of being doored, avoiding potholes, etc.
Bike lanes and the laws meant to protect cyclists need to be followed and enforced in order to protect.
clp, have you ever been hit, or nearly hit, tapped/nudged by a vehicle coming up from behind in the lane you were taking?