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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... but was he wearing a helmet? ;>

That may be a notorious crossing, and collisions have happened in that area before.  From the archives a few years ago:   "The Brown Line runs at grade level in that area, and the cyclist apparently went around the lowered gates and was hit by the train, according to Chicago Transit Authority spokesman Brian Steele."  Here's where that quote came from a few years back, and in that prior incident, the cyclist was pretty badly hurt: 

(again, this was a few years ago... this speaks to the hazard of the brown line at-grade crossings n that area)

Short of making the line elevated there are larger barriers not sure what else they can do. That crossing is exceptionally well marked.

That being said, thank God the cyclist walked away without serious injuries.

Tragic.  I guess if people are going to go around the large gate with blinking lights the other alternative would be some huge barrier that you can't get around.  I would think that would be technically difficult and slow to open.  Maybe better signage would be the trick...

It's a frustrating crossing but you just have to be patient. I used to commute regularly past that gate. I've sat at the gate with it going up/going down, waiting for a long time. I can see why some get frustrated and go around it but there's always so much danger in that. Always, always respect the gate and wait. A faster commute and/or general frustration aren't worth risking your life.

Good one Steve!   If he wasn't wearing a helmet, the crash was clearly his fault!

But seriously folks, as cyclists we've chosen a slow means of transport, generally speaking.  Why don't we STOP for traffic signals, busy streets, and flashing train crossings?  Are we really so impatient?  Do we have to act like drivers, hell-bent on not stopping for NOTHING!

My secret: platform pedals on my city bike.  That way it is easy to stop.  And safe, to pull over to the right-hand curb, put down my right foot on the curb, and wait.  And take my time getting going again, after the initial wave of cars accelerates after the light turns green.  And that way, I'm also safe from right-hooks by careless drivers. 

Hi Tom, yes, this sort of thing has in this area around Kedzie and the grade-level train before.  Here is more detail on the incident man who's picture and link was posted from the 2014 event:

Hi ketoguy...

    Thanks for that piece from Channel 7.  What a tragic loss to his family and the Chicago cycling community.  I'm sure I rode with him in a CCM at some point.  Just the kind of dedicated cyclist that we need in Chicago.  And an easy miscalculation to make...two trains!

     There for the Grace of God, go I....

Grade level trains are riskier in what used to be a quaint chill part of town.

So what does this mean for all of us, both as individuals with respect to our own safety, and, to set an example by abiding by traffic signs and signals to stop?  Laissez-faire, or compliant with the rules?  I imagine that folks used their judgement at this crossing.  But is judgement the guideline, or is following the rules the appropriate guideline?

It's just time for that part of town to elevate the train line. Judgement seems to falter in busy urban environments. 



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