The Chainlink

Cyclist with minor injuries 'lucky to be alive' after he was clipped by a Brown Line train

A cyclist was clipped by a CTA Brown Line train Friday afternoon on the Northwest Side — and walked away with only minor injuries.

The cyclist was crossing the tracks near the Kedzie stop around 4:40 p.m. in the 4600 block of North Kedzie Avenue in the Albany Park neighborhood when he was hit by the train, Chicago police said. The tracks are street-level on that stretch of the Brown Line.

The cyclist was taken to Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center for minor injuries. Officials previously reported he refused treatment.

“He’s lucky to be alive,” said Walter Schroeder, deputy district chief of the Chicago Fire Department.

The Brown Line is operating with a delay after the incident.

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Spend money because a few idiots aren't smart enough to follow blinking lights and a closed barrier?  Include me out of this idea. 

Well Bob I believe that from the earliest days railroads in Chicago were required to elevate their tracks...specifically to avoid the frequent train crashes, injuries and deaths to regular street traffic.  Notice that the far ends of not only the Brown Line, but also the Purple and Pink lines have several grade crossings...outside the original limits of the City of Chicago.

But being a frequent Metra rider, I know that some suburbs have a police officer stationed at crossings during rush hours, handing out $100 tickets to cyclists and pedestrians that go around lowered crossing gates.  Maybe Chicago could do the same thing. 

Some suburbs have also limited trains from using whistles as a warning because it's too disturbing to the residents.

In the earliest days of railroads in Chicago railroads were new and many were unaware of their existence.  Today blinking lights and gate closings should be enough.

the yellow line also has a bunch of at-grade street crossings in skokie.

here are the at-grade street crossings of the el:

purple line - 2 in wilmette

yellow line - 7 in skokie

brown line - 1 in lincoln square, 5 in albany park

pink line - 3 in north lawndale, 7 in cicero

so there are only 9 at-grade street crossings within city limits.

Metra has A LOT more in city limits, way too many for me to bother counting up.

So, are we all going to heeding traffic signals? Or.... going to do our own thing and view traffic signals as optional? Is this a new year's resolution?  Or are we going to do what so many others do, and view them as something for others to follow, but not ourselves?  I'm really curious the take-home folks have from all if these incidents and circumstances. 

Take away? Don't go around a lowered crossing gate -duh!

And, save your preaching for church.

Church, Mike?  With a few questions up there, I'm eager to get a sense of folks' take-aways from all of this with regard to the latitude folks would choose to extend to themselves to substitute judgement, versus heeding the traffic signals (of which the crossing signal is one of course).   

Certainly not going around the lowered gate as you suggest has some wisdom behind it, although we see folks ride through all manner of signals, and learn from the Metra example above too that peoples' disregarding of signals is fairly widespread.  So while I don't disagree with your crossing suggestion per se, we know folks take matters into their own hands with some regularity, and I'm wondering what folks see as the appropriate latitude or limit to that.

There's a phrase i learnt from a family member in the Navy- it applies to stupid, or self-destructive and self-defeating individuals: They're a self-cleaning oven.

Eventually such riders either learn or get removed from the gene pool.



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