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Report: Chicago Leads Nation in Bicycling Growth

A cyclist wearing a helmet, blue shorts, and a striped shirt is riding a bicycle in a busy urban area of Chicago. The scene shows the cyclist stopped at an intersection, with historic buildings and skyscrapers in the background.

However, Bicyclists Are At Risk Due To Negligent Drivers

Every year, the nonprofit organization People For Bikes rates more than 700 cities worldwide for bike-friendliness. Chicago ranks near the bottom of the list every year.

But people who actually bike in the city seem to disagree. A study has found that over the last four years, Chicago has led the nation in bike ridership growth. (Note: Keating Law Offices is a sponsor of Streetsblog.)

The report from the Chicago Department of Transportation and the data analytics firm Replica closely examined biking trends in the city from Fall 2019 to Spring 2023. It found that bicycling is up 119%, the highest growth among the 10 largest cities in the U.S.

‘A Remarkable Growth In Cycling Trips Around The City’

The analysis found that crosstown trips are up 180%, and neighborhood trips are up 113%. More findings:

Who is biking more in 2023? 

  • 166% growth in non-White cyclists
  • 207% growth in zero-auto households
  • Every age group saw growth in biking

Which bike trips are up?

  • 117% for Shopping
  • 93% for Dining Out
  • 8% for Commuting

What do Chicagoans bike for?

  • Shopping – 28.1%
  • Recreation – 19.6%
  • Dining out – 18.3%
  • School – 15.7%
  • Work – 13.7%
  • Errands – 4.6%

Other sources confirm the surge in bicycling's popularity. Divvy Bikeshare notes that bike and scooter trips are up by 108%. In community surveys from Shared-Use Mobility Center (SUMC), more than 50% of respondents say they are bicycling “much more often” or “somewhat more often.”

Unfortunately, Bicyclists Are At Risk On City Streets

It’s the law – bicyclists have the same rights as other road users in Illinois. The problem is that too many drivers of passenger vehicles don’t drive responsibly around bicycles. Sometimes they don’t even notice bicycles around them. There are many ways these drivers can cause a bicycle accident, including:

  • Dooring: This occurs when a driver or passenger opens their car door into the path of an oncoming cyclist without checking for approaching bicycles. This can cause the cyclist to collide with the door or swerve into traffic to avoid it.
  • Making right turns across bike lanes: An accident can happen when a driver makes a right turn across a bike lane without noticing a cyclist traveling in the same direction. This can cut off the cyclist’s path, leading to a collision.
  • Failure to yield at intersections: Drivers may fail to yield the right of way to cyclists at intersections, particularly when making turns. Ignoring traffic signals or not stopping at stop signs can lead to side-impact collisions with cyclists who have the right of way.
  • Speeding: This reduces a driver’s ability to react to sudden changes in the road environment, such as a cyclist entering the road from a side street or changing lanes. Higher speeds also increase the severity of injuries in accidents.
  • Distracted driving: Using a phone, eating, or any other activity that diverts a driver’s attention from the road can lead to delayed reactions to cyclists’ maneuvers, resulting in rear-end or side-swiping incidents.

If You’ve Been Injured, You Need An Experienced Bicycle Accident Lawyer

Bicyclists who are hurt in accidents caused by negligent drivers deserve justice and financial compensation. But the legal process is complicated. Insurance companies take advantage of injured bicyclists and try to pay them as little as possible by blaming them for what happened, downplaying their injuries, or both.

That’s why you need an experienced bicycle accident attorney on your side. Keating Law Offices, P.C. has recovered millions for injured clients and their families since 2008. Our case results include:

  • $1,250,000 for the family of a bicyclist who was killed in a collision.
  • $1,000,000 for a bicyclist severely injured on a training ride.
  • $975,000 for a bicyclist who was injured as a result of a crash with a motor vehicle.

Learn more about how we can help you get justice. Contact us online or call us at 833-CALL-KLO to schedule a free consultation. We have two office locations in Chicago.

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