Fatality Tracker: Man dies in Chinatown while cycling on Archer Avenue

View 2400 S Archer Avenue in a larger map

2012 Chicago fatality stats*:

Pedestrian: 28 (13 have been hit-and-run crashes)
Pedalcyclist: 7 (1 is a hit-and-run crash)
Transit: 9
Skateboard: 1 (1 is a hit-and-run crash)

The details of Yuan Zeng’s crash on Thursday, December 13, at 10 AM, are odd and confusing, as some commenters on The Chainlink pointed out. He was 68 years old and died on Friday, December 14, in Stroger Hospital. The Chicago Tribune wrote:

According to preliminary reports, Zeng struck the passenger side of a vehicle shortly after 10 a.m. Thursday near Archer Avenue and 24th Street. The impact of the collision forced him onto the windshield and into the road, police said.

A commenter on The Chainlink said:

When I read that short “blurb” I thought how interesting it is how often pedestrians walk right into the middle of the sides of cars and cyclists ride right into the middle of the sides of cars. (link)

When I lived in Bridgeport a few years ago I would sometimes ride on Archer Avenue to work in the Loop. It was often a harrowing experience because the wide road (2 lanes in each direction + 1 conventional bike lane in each direction) combined with low traffic volumes meant people drove their cars very fast. Couple that with poor quality pavement and poor drainage, the road is not designed for safe bicycling. The curves at this part of Archer Avenue saw people driving cars and buses in the bike lane.

* The information is only accurate as of this post’s publishing time. View previous Fatality Tracker posts; see a data table listing all who’ve died. The Illinois Safety Data Mart is currently reporting 30 pedestrian fatalities. There were 7 pedalcyclist fatalities in 2011, as well.

2 thoughts on “Fatality Tracker: Man dies in Chinatown while cycling on Archer Avenue”

  1. i can’t make sense of the collision as described in the article. the cyclist t-boned the car’s passenger side and went over the windshield and into traffic? there would be no reason to go barreling down that side street to cross archer (in which the other side is the orange line tracks). as another bridgeport/chinatown commuter, the older chinese cyclists i see ride extremely slow and usually are on the sidewalk. if he was going down wrong way on archer, he would most likely be on the sidewalk and not in the street. i am highly skeptical that the cyclist hit the car. there’s a lot of information missing and i doubt the story is important enough for the tribune to print another article once the investigation is finalized.

  2. Thanks for picking up on the sarcasm in my comment on the Chainlink! Absent total distraction, this scenario seems next to impossible.

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