The Chainlink

Angela Park, 39 y.o. Female Bicyclist Killed by Truck Driver Turning Right in Greektown

From WGN...

https://wgntv.com/2018/08/09/bicyclist-hit-by-truck-in-greektown/

CHICAGO — A bicyclist is in critical condition after being hit and pinned under a truck Thursday morning.

It happened at Madison and Halsted in the city’s Greektown neighborhood. The bicyclist was transported to Northwestern Memorial Hospital.

Eastbound Madison is closed from Halsted to the Kennedy Expressway. Westbound Madison is closed from Des Plaines to Halsted.

UPDATE 8/9:

So sorry to say the 39 y.o. female cyclist died. The truck driver was making a right turn (right hook). Our thoughts are with the cyclist's family and friends.
https://chicago.suntimes.com/news/cyclist-hit-by-truck-in-west-loop/

UPDATE 8/10:
Bicyclist has been identified as Angela Park. Our thoughts are with her loved ones. Rest in peace.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/ct-met-bicycle-tr...

https://blockclubchicago.org/2018/08/10/athletic-club-instructor-mo...

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Awaiting additional news. Streetsblog published an article about the crash:

https://chi.streetsblog.org/2018/08/09/right-turning-dump-truck-dri...

That is so, so sad.  I fear the right hook more than anything.

i wonder about the best way to prevent it while biking.   I try to be ultra aware about trucks getting close but it's not easy.

there have been a few times when i'm riding next to some big truck and I'll just stop and wait for it to go ahead.  those wheels are terrifying

Hell yeah!  I'll pull back, go down another street, go on the sidewalk, take a lane -- anything to avoid being on the right of a large, moving truck going past intersections.

I sense your anger Jim.  Good for you.   Of the options you mention, I'd choose taking the damn lane...blocking that guy off until you're good and ready to proceed through the intersection.  He can just learn to WAIT for cyclists!

Probably not a popular theory, but why is it women seem to be the ones most frequently 'right hooked?'    Could it be that they're just not aggressive enough to get out there in that guy's face, and CLAIM THE LANE?

As a woman, I want to disagree with you on principle, and the word "confident" might be better than "aggressive," but... maybe?

Women tend to follow the law more than men which puts us at more risk of being hit by cars. Couple that with the perception that we should "share the lane" rather than taking the lane and it's a deadly combination. 

In addition, construction accommodations aren't made for people riding bikes, they are made for pedestrian safety and enough space for cars. There was no accommodation in that space for a bike so she would have had to ignore the honking and take the lane. I don't know that this is an issue with her being a woman so much as too many points of failure:

1. No safe alternative/accommodation to get through a construction area (bike lane taken by pedestrian bump-out). "This is the way we always did it" doesn't cut it when bike commuting is a standard form of transportation.

2. No side guard because instead of focusing requirements on the size of the vehicle, the city has based it on the $ contract size

3. Did the driver use a turn signal? Did they look for bikes? Probably not.

4. We are encouraged to get out of the way of cars because they are very busy and important. Cyclists need to be prioritized (see points 1-3).

On point 3, Did the truck driver use side mirror before turn? nope. Did he pass her in the previous few blocks? No way to know for sure, but riding in the city for over a decade, I would assume he did.

Considering the number of crashes involving vehicles of all types (including trucks) where the driver says "I didn't see them," it suggests that either the driver didn't look, or that mirrors were inadequate to give the driver a wide enough field of view.

We need a requirement for convex mirrors mounted on the front corners of large trucks. This great reduces blind spots, and could significantly reduce the number of crashes like this one.

Here's a study related to crash types that has an interesting graphic showing coverage areas of different types and locations of mirrors.
https://deepblue.lib.umich.edu/bitstream/handle/2027.42/58728/99830...

I don't agree that following the law puts one at more risk of being hit by a car. 

There's a visibility issue at red lights and intersections. If you stay behind the lines and/or behind vehicles, you are less visible. I gently roll past the walk so that people can see me - I'm not blocking anyone. Technically, not legal but I don't care. I'd rather have people see me at the intersection. That's an example of following the law is putting us at greater risk.

I think you're right, Yasmeen. And that's what I do too.

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