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3 Cyclists Killed In Chicago This Year, City Data Shows

By Heather Cherone | September 13, 2017 4:59pm
 A ghost bike to memorialize Jezniah Smith, a 34-year-old who was killed while riding his bicycle in Humboldt Park in January.
A ghost bike to memorialize Jezniah Smith, a 34-year-old who was killed while riding his bicycle in Humboldt Park in January.
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DNAinfo/Mina Bloom

CHICAGO — Three bicyclists have been killed on Chicago's streets through the first eight months of 2017, according to data presented to the mayor's Pedestrian Advisory Committee.

All three bicyclists who were killed were men, and two of the three died while riding at night, Chicago Department of Transportation Commissioner Rebekah Scheinfeld said.

In addition, all three of the fatal crashes occurred on the West Side and Near West Side in areas identified by Mayor Rahm Emanuel's Vision Zero campaign, which is designed to eliminate death and serious injuries from traffic crashes by 2026, Scheinfeld said.

The first bike fatality of the year happened at 10:30 p.m. Jan. 11 in Humboldt Park when 34-year-old Jezniah Smith was struck and killed by a Chevy Cruze.

 Jezniah Smith, a 34-year-old, was killed while riding his bicycle in the 3000 block of West Division Street in January.
Jezniah Smith, a 34-year-old, was killed while riding his bicycle in the 3000 block of West Division Street in January.
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DNAinfo/Mina Bloom

One of the fatal crashes involved a large truck, Scheinfield said. In July, the City Council ordered large trucks working on big projects for the city to have to have side guards installed so riders don't get pulled underneath.

In the first eight months of 2016, five bicyclists were killed in crashes.

City officials plan to concentrate their Vision Zero efforts in 14 neighborhoods that make up 20 percent of the city and 25 percent of its population — but account for 35 percent of all traffic-related injuries and deaths.

Those efforts will start on the Near West Side, West Garfield Park, East Garfield Park, Austin and North Lawndale neighborhoods, city officials said.

Three community meetings are scheduled in September to help craft an education plan, and possibly, street redesigns to make areas safer, officials said.

Those meetings will take place:

• From 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Sept. 26 at the Douglass branch of the Chicago Public Library, 3353 W. 13th St.

• From 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Sept. 27 at the Legler branch of the Chicago Public Library, 115 S. Pulaski Road

• From 1 to 3 p.m. Sept. 30 at the Austin branch of the Chicago Public Library, 5615 W. Race Ave.

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