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Evanston police say a 54-year-old Chicago woman suffered minor injuries this morning when the bike she was riding collided with a car at Sheridan Road and Lincoln Street.

Police Cmdr. Joseph Dugan says the car, a 2013 Honda being driven by a 24-year-old Wisconsin resident, was northbound on Sheridan attempting to make a right hand turn to eastbound Lincoln.

The bicyclist was riding northbound on the sidewalk, and as she rode through the marked crosswalk her bike struck the front right side of the car.

The cyclist, who was not wearing a helmet, was transported to Evanston Hospital for treatment.  The Honda driver was issued a citation for failure to yield when approaching or entering an intersection.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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5 Comments

  1. So let me get this straight…

    Based on the description of the accident in the article, it sounds like the cyclist hit the car.  But the driver of the car is the one who gets the ticket?  To me it looks like the cyclist is the one who failed to yield, not the driver. This is why there is such a problem between bicycles and cars: the bicycles do something stupid but the cars end up with the blame. The cyclist should have gotten the ticket.

    1. Straight…

      So, for purposes of discussion, let's first assume that the light at Lincoln and Sheridan was green for Sheridan Road traffic and both vehicles were in motion heading northbound.

      The cyclist, going straight and entering the crosswalk, has the right of way.

      The motorist, making a right hand turn, has to yield to persons in the crosswalk.

      What's so hard to understand about that?

      If the light was red for Sheridan traffic, then the car needed to have stopped before trying to make the turn, and though the cyclist should not have been crossing the intersection, the driver was not free to mow down people in the intersection, even if they weren't supposed to be there.

      Now, there are many other possible factors — like whether the sun was in somebody's eyes as well as momentary inattentiveness — that might explain why — without anybody having been malicious — an accident still occurred.

      But the outcome of the driver getting a ticket doesn't seem the least bit implausible to me.

      Your assumption that the bicylist must have done "something stupid" seems totally without factual basis.

      — Bill

  2. Why didn’t the cyclist feel safe on the street?

    It seems that the cyclist was riding on the sidewalk. This is an interesting detail. Sheridan is a designated bike route, but is also a heavily used car route. It would not be surprising if the cyclist was not comfortable using the roadway, but as this story shows, riding on the sidewalks can also be hazardous (to bikers, and also, to pedestrians). There is a broader issue for exploration about balacing the design of our public ways so that all users — motorists, cyclists and pedestrians — can be on them safely. Designing roadways in a more balanced manner is Illinois public policy, as expressed through its "Complete Streets" statute. The reality lags the policy quite a bit, however.

    This is worth keeping in mind, as some people agitate to remove the separated, protected bike lanes over on Dodge. We need to be adding more bike lanes, especially separated and protected ones, not removing existing ones. How misguided! 

    One minor further comment: As a cyclist who has ridden safely for over 35 years, I strongly advocate helmet use. However, wearing a helmet is advised but not legally required in Illinois. Whether or not it was intended this way, the inclusion of the fact that the cyclist was not wearing a helmet cast a negative aspersion on her, at least as I read it. If it had particular relevance to the story — e.g., the cyclists suffered a head injury that the doctors said might have been prevented by wearing a helmet, I could see including it. As it is, though, I don't understand why it was mentioned. A small quibble with an otherwise well reported story, and as a cyclist, I appreciate the coverage of this accident.

    1. Bikeing on sidewalk
      I thought it is illegal to ride on the sidewalk in Evanston and wrong to ride thru crosswalks??? Should be walking their bikes
      Bikers just go right across when riding in the croswswalks, I have observed many times when they are riding on the sidewalks, even tho they do not have the right a way.. I believe
      I need more information on legaliyts here

      1. Bikes on sidewalks

        A city ordinance makes it illegal to ride bikes on certain sidewalks in certain business districts.

        There's nothing that prohibits riding on the sidewalk elsewhere in town.

        Many people are misinformed about that, and the misinformation probably contributes to the hostility of some drivers toward cyclists.

        — Bill

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