Pat Nabong / Sun-Times file A protected bike lane near North Milwaukee Avenue and North Washtenaw Avenue. It happened nearly 20 years ago, but Chicago cyclist Anne Alt still has vivid memories of a bike ride home during evening rush hour.
As she tried to go around a parked vehicle obstructing the crosswalk at Clark Street and Broadway, a door swung open.
“One second, I’m going straight on Broadway,” Alt said. “The next second, I’m flying sideways off my bike and landing in the middle of a traffic lane.”
Alt remembers being in shock, unaware her tailbone was fractured.
“I was incredibly lucky because the woman behind me slammed on her brakes, put on her flashers, jumps out of the car, [asks], ‘Are you OK?’ ” Alt said. “I’m eternally grateful to that driver behind me who stopped because she literally saved my life.”
Alt, who’s now president of the Chicago Cycling Club, said bike safety in Chicago has only gotten worse since then.
“Chicago did very little during the pandemic,” she said. “We lost a lot of ground compared to a lot of other cities that acted more aggressively to make their streets safer.”With crashes involving cyclists on the rise, bike safety advocates want City Hall to speed proposed plans to upgrade cycling infrastructure.“I’m glad that they’re experimenting with more types of bike lanes to see what works and what doesn’t,” Alt said. “But I do feel like it’s going slowly.” More crashes There were 1,186 traffic crashes involving cyclists this year through Aug. […]