Bike Lanes Green Can Be “Mean”
In an attempt to reduce vehicle emissions and make their cities more accessible, many municipalities have created designated bike lanes for the exclusive use of bicycle traffic. Chicago is no different. Indeed, Milwaukee Avenue may serve as one of the greatest examples of this endeavor.
Unfortunately, sometimes green can be quite mean. On Tuesday, August 16, 2016, Lisa Kuivinen, a 20-year-old student of the Art Institute, died while riding her bike in just such a lane.
According to Chicago police, just prior to the accident a semi-truck moved from the traffic lane into the bike lane and ran over the young student. The driver of the truck was issued citations for driving in the bike lane and failure to keep a proper lookout for the cyclist.
This tragic accident highlights the other side of what is clearly a worthwhile undertaking. While cities continue to dedicate more resources and roadways for the exclusive use of cyclists, that does not necessarily mean that other motorists will recognize these lanes as not their own. Recognition of the signs and markings that designate these lanes should become part of standard driver’s education and be part of the testing process for anyone seeking a driver’s license, particularly a commercial driver’s license such as that held by the driver who killed her.