Fatality Tracker: Semi-trailer truck driver kills bicyclist in Fuller Park, flees


American roadway design requires people riding bicycles and people driving trucks to “share the road”. Photo of a sign in California that says “bikes in lane” by Richard Masoner. Notice that the depicted bike is “in front” of the car.

2012 Chicago fatality stats*:

Pedestrian: 7 (6 have been hit-and-run crashes)
Pedalcyclist: 4 (1, this one, is a hit-and-run crash)
Transit: 6

According to the Chicago Tribune, a robotic semi-trailer truck struck and killed Evelyn Dean yesterday, while she was bicycling, as it was entering a Norfolk Southern (NS) railroad yard in the block of 300 W 47th Street in Fuller Park.

The semi was entering the Norfolk Southern facility in the 300 block of West 47th Street around 1:40 p.m. Monday when it struck the female bicyclist and immediately fled the scene, Chicago police said, citing early reports.

The unidentified woman, believed to be in her 40s, was dead the scene, authorities said.

The Tribune story (authored by “staff”) used robot car language, which perpetuates a dangerous pattern in crash reporting by removing the real actors of the story, by writing “[it] immediately fled the scene”. A person caused the truck to flee the scene.

According to the Chicago Sun-Times, police are seeking the driver and calling this a hit-and-run crash. The Google Street View for this location is below. The entrance to the intermodal yard is between multiple viaducts, which likely affects visibility of people cycling on this street. WGN TV has a news segment.

Transportation commissioner Gabe Klein tweeted yesterday a link to CBS Chicago’s article on the story, adding, “Very sad, why we need protected lanes”. The City hasn’t proposed protected bike lanes on this stretch of road.

View 300 W 47th block in larger map

* The information is only accurate as of this post’s publishing time and includes only people who died in the Chicago city limits. View previous Fatality Tracker posts.

Updated 10:01 to add unrelated photo and change what constitutes robot car language in the quoted passage. Updated 19:50 to add the woman’s name and a link to a WGN TV news story. 

The Bike-a-Bee project is generating quite a buzz


Jana Kinsman models a beekeeper’s veil by her hives at Eden Place nature center

Chicago cyclist Jana Kinsman has a honey of a plan. As a freelance graphic designer and illustrator, she did design, illustration and modeling for the 2011 and 2012 Thought You Knew pin-up calendars, featuring glamorous photos of local bicyclists. But last summer while apprenticing at an apiary (a place where bees, not apes, are kept) in Oregon, she got bitten by the bug. She decided to start Bike-a-Bee, a car-free beekeeping project back home in the Windy City.

Kinsman recently created a Kickstarter page to raise $7,000 for hive equipment and packages of bees, plus a bike trailer to transport the gear to apiaries she’ll maintain at urban farms and community gardens all over town. I’m never one to mind my own beeswax when it comes to innovative cycling ideas, so I caught up with her yesterday morning at Café Mustache in Logan Square, where she filled me in on the history and details of her plan, still in its larval phase.

Continue reading The Bike-a-Bee project is generating quite a buzz