Fatality Tracker: Hit-and-run of pedestrian on Damen overpass, but charges filed

2012 Chicago fatality stats*:

Pedestrian: 19 (9 have been hit-and-run crashes)
Pedalcyclist: 4 (1 is a hit-and-run crash)
Transit: 6

Robert Butler, a 51-year-old resident of Bellwood, Illinois, was killed in a traffic crash on Friday, September 7, at 4:30 AM, on the Damen Avenue overpass of the Stevenson Expressway. He was a pedestrian in probably the least-pedestrian friendly area in the region. The driver and his passenger were arrested; the driver, Anthony Castillo, 23, was apprehended less than a mile away in the McKinley Park neighborhood and charged with:

  • Reckless Homicide-Motor Vehicle
  • Leaving the Scene of an Accident w/Injury or Death
  • Possession of Controlled Substance
  • Failure to Reduce Speed

The passenger was charged with misdemeanor possession of cannabis. This story was originally reported by the Chicago Tribune. See a Google Street View image of the crash location after the jump, and more information on this type of highway intersection.  Continue reading Fatality Tracker: Hit-and-run of pedestrian on Damen overpass, but charges filed

Does the new “tied arch” bridge on Halsted encourage speeding?


Approaching the new bridge from the south. Here there are two travel lanes, bike lanes and parking lanes.

When new bridges are built in Chicago, the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) generally requires that they be built to accommodate projected traffic demands. The assumption is that in the future there will be more people driving than ever before, although most of us hope this won’t be the case.

So when the Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) rebuilt the North Damen Avenue bridge over the Chicago River in 2002, IDOT insisted that the old two-lane bridge be replaced with a four-lane, although Damen is generally only a two-lane street. But as a rule, if you give Chicago drivers the opportunity to speed, they will.

So it shouldn’t have been a surprise that as soon as the new bridge opened, motorists took advantage of the new half mile of wide open space between stoplights at Fullerton and Diversey to put the pedal to the metal. The speeding cars, plus the fact that bike lanes weren’t included in the project, turned a formerly bikeable bridge on a recommended bike route into a hostile environment for cyclists.

Continue reading Does the new “tied arch” bridge on Halsted encourage speeding?

Grid Shots: Sidewalk

The sidewalk. Are there any other names for this? I’m thinking of the Clorox bleach commercial that I’ve seen on Hulu where the announcer speaks at least 10 names for the toilet (commode, john, etc.). It’s where we all find ourselves. And find each other.


Three people wait for the bus on the sidewalk in front of Skewerz at 1560 N Damen Ave. Photo by Sam Dickey. Continue reading Grid Shots: Sidewalk