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Mayor Rahm Emanuel got the opportunity to be a hero while drinking his morning coffee in mid-September, when he overheard a bicyclist near the intersection of Milwaukee, Chicago and Ogden avenues get hit by a truck, according to the Chicago Tribune. “The mayor ran around the corner to find a woman on a bike had been hurt in a crash, and he stayed with her until an ambulance arrived,” spokeswoman Sarah Hamilton told the Tribune. The intersection is one of the busiest cycling spots in the city, with Milwaukee Avenue often dubbed “the hipster highway” for its heavy bike traffic. Charles Festa, a patron of Big Shoulders Coffee, where the mayor had chosen to have his morning caffeine, said that, “he saw three cyclists and their rides on the ground near a tractor-trailer. Emanuel was kneeling next to a woman,” Festa told the Tribune.
Festa said that from his perspective he supposed that the tractor-trailer had attempted to turn right onto Ogden “from the middle lane of Milwaukee,” instead of from the right-turn lane, when he struck the woman. The cyclist, however, was lucky: according to the Tribune, “nobody was hurt seriously enough to require hospitalization, according to the Chicago Fire Department spokesman Larry Langford.” Adding bike lanes and starting a bike share program similar to the one that has taken off in New York in 2013 has been a priority of Mayor Emmanuel.
Cycling has become an increasingly popular mode of transportation in major cities across the U.S. in recent years. According to BicyclingInfo.org, there is no clear number of cyclists in the U.S. “because bicycle usage varies widely—from children riding to school to people commuting to work to racers going for training rides.” In 2011, however, there were 677 pedalcyclist fatalities in the U.S., accounting for 2.1 percent of all traffic deaths in the U.S., according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The majority of these “occurred in urban areas (69 percent) and at non-intersections (59 percent),” according to the NHTSA.
If you or someone you know has been injured in a pedalcyclist crash, you may be eligible for compensation. Don’t go through it alone. Contact a dedicated Chicago-area personal injury attorney today.