Friday, August 8, 2014

Niles Plans to Improve Bicycle Path Crossing at Location of Bicyclist's Death

In a previous post, we detailed the tragic passing of a 39-year-old bicyclist, Jeremy Ghisols. Jeremy was killed while bicycling in Niles near the intersection of the North Branch Trail and Howard Street. Prior to this bicycle crash, the Village of Niles identified the scene of the crash as one where safety improvements—such as flashing beacons, signage, and striping for a crosswalk—would benefit local bikers, pedestrians, and motorists.

Now, according to The Niles Journal, it appears that construction of a bike crossing is finally underway at this spot, no doubt inspired by Jeremy. Currently, there are no signals, signs, or markings whatsoever to indicate where the North Branch Trail crosses Howard Street, making the crossing incredibly dangerous for bicyclists and motorists alike. Soon, however, the new crossing will feature a push-button activated, rapid-flash beacon; advance warning signs; and even ADA-approved warnings and markings to make the crossing as safe as possible for the many bicyclists and pedestrians who use it every day.

While it is certainly a positive step by Niles to include these improvements, it is hard not to consider whether traffic safety infrastructure like this could have made a difference in the bicycle crash that took Jeremy's life. This is why it is important that all cities and the state make efforts to be proactive, rather than reactive. 

If you have any questions regarding this post or an issue involving Illinois personal injury law, contact Illinois Bicycle Attorney Mike Keating at 312-208-7702 or 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. All e-mails and phone calls are returned promptly. All initial consultations are confidential and free.