The inconsistent patchwork of protected bike lanes can make Chicago’s streets a dangerous place for bicyclists.
From 2012 to 2019, an average of five to six bicyclists were killed every year in Chicago. But since the pandemic began in 2020, that number has ticked upward to nine deaths in 2020 and 10 deaths in 2021. So far this year, three bicyclists have been killed by cars, and the Chicago Metropolitan Planning Agency reported a 25% jump in serious injuries to cyclists and pedestrians from 2020 to 2021.
But despite the city’s stated plans to do more to protect cyclists, transit advocates say there is a long way to go to make the streets welcoming for bikes.
Avid cyclist Lena Guerrero Reynolds frequently passes the corner of Kilbourn and Milwaukee Avenues on her commute – the site of two cyclists’ deaths since 2019. “It’s scary when stuff like that happens because it could be any one of us, right? And it’s sad too, for the folks that have lost someone,” said Guerrero Reynolds. “I still think that biking is like the best way to get around town. It’s so efficient. It’s so affordable. I just want it to be safer, so that we don’t have to see tragedies like this happen in our neighborhoods.”
“We’re a flat city, which I think is an incredible asset that we have. We have a great grid network and we have a lot of people who want to find more sustainable, affordable equitable transportation in the city,” Guerrero […]