Chicago Bicyclist Fatalities Increase in 2014

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Last year in Chicago, seven bicyclists were killed in collisions with automobiles. That is an increase from three bicyclist fatalities in 2013, even as Mayor Rahm Emanuel has pledged to make Chicago the most bike-friendly city in the country.

According to the Chicago Department of Transportation, bicyclist fatalities over the past five years were as follows: seven in 2014; three in 2013; eight in 2012; seven in 2011; and five in 2010. With regard to bicyclist injuries from auto collisions, data from 2014 was not yet available. However, there were 1,567 bicyclist injuries in 2013; 1,479 in 2012; 1,279 in 2011; and 1,566 in 2010.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel has said that by May of 2015, he wants Chicago to install 100 miles of protected bike lanes. According to Rebekah Scheinfeld, the Chicago Department of Transportation Commissioner, the city is on track to meet that goal, with 85.5 miles of protected bike lanes installed as of January. She said that the remaining 14.5 miles of bike lanes would be installed in the spring of 2015. “Protected” bike lanes refers to bike lanes that are separated from automobile traffic lanes by a barrier.

Scheinfeld called the increase in bicyclist deaths “significant” and said that any traffic death is one too many. She said that Chicago had launched a “Zero in Ten” campaign to eliminate all bicycle, pedestrian and overall traffic deaths by 2020. To achieve that goal, Sheinfeld said that the city would continue to invest in barrier-protected bike lanes and increase target enforcement efforts.

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