Chicago Completes First Protected Bike Lane

source NBC Chicago reported today that the Chicago Department of Transportation completed its’ first fully protected bike lane on a stretch of Kinzie Avenue in the River North neighborhood. The half-mile lane on Kinzie stretches from Milwaukee Avenue to Wells Street.  The lane completely separates cyclist traffic from vehicle traffic.

order Lyrica online usa The bicyclist lane is the first step by the Rham Emanuel administration, who pledged to make Chicago a state of the art bicycling city. The plan aims to make roads safer for bicyclists and hopefully clear up some of the congested traffic we see day in and day out in Chicago. 

enter site Typically, cycle tracks are separated from vehicles by planter boxes or construction barriers, however for this pilot project, flexible posts were used instead.The Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) originally received a $3.2 million federal grant to build a test track on Stony Island Avenue between 69th and 77th streets, but the project was dropped due to low cyclist traffic.The next phase of protected lanes are expected to be added to Jackson Street between Halsted Street and Damen Avenue.

Click here to watch the press conference from today’s announcement.
 
If you or someone you love has been injured in a Chicago bicycle accident or Chicago car accident, then call Chicago car accident attorney, Aaron Bryant, for a free consultation at 312-588-3384 or go to the firm website at www.blgchicago.com.

Mayor Emanuel Steps Up Protection At Pedestrian Crossings

“My administration is committed to making our streets safer for pedestrians.”  This is the pledge Rham Emanuel made recently when discussing the new ordinance that would provide stricter enforcement of pedestrian cross walks.

If you work in the Loop or live in one of Chicago’s dozens of neighborhoods, you know that many of the main streets and boulevards have designated cross walks for pedestrians. The purpose of these cross walks is to allow the free flow of walkers without having walk to a stop light or to j walk.  They are also designed for protection. Unfortunately many drivers to not recognize these cross walks by not stopping or slowing down when pedestrians attempt to cross.

Emanuel further stated “The ordinance … will clarify our safety laws to better protect pedestrians and support a vigorous, creative, public awareness campaign to help educate all who use our roads about pedestrian safety.”

Transportation Commissioner Gabe Klein is also suggesting narrower streets, slower speed limits and intersections where vehicular traffic is stopped for 14 seconds every other light cycle to give pedestrians a chance to cross in every direction, including diagonally. Further, the ordinance would would require drivers to come to a full stop when a pedestrian is crossing at an “uncontrolled crosswalk” — an intersection with no traffic signal or stop sign. The ordinance also would authorize Klein’s department to maintain “temporary awareness signs” on the public way to promote pedestrian safety. The signs would include temporary safety messages “stenciled on the sidewalk” or “crossing flags” at key intersections.

This is a positive step for the for the Emanuel adminstration, who also recently made a pledge to make Chicago one the most bicycle friendly cities in the united states. Click here to read the entire article about the proposed ordinance in the Chicago Sun Times.

If you or someone you love has been injured in a Chicago car accident or a Chicago pedestrian accident, then call Chicago accident attorney, Aaron Bryant, for a free consultation at 312-588-3384 or go to the firm website at www.blgchicago.com.

Chicago Completes First Protected Bike Lane

NBC Chicago reported today that the Chicago Department of Transportation completed its’ first fully protected bike lane on a stretch of Kinzie Avenue in the River North neighborhood. The half-mile lane on Kinzie stretches from Milwaukee Avenue to Wells Street.  The lane completely separates cyclist traffic from vehicle traffic.

The bicyclist lane is the first step by the Rham Emanuel administration, who pledged to make Chicago a state of the art bicycling city. The plan aims to make roads safer for bicyclists and hopefully clear up some of the congested traffic we see day in and day out in Chicago. 

Typically, cycle tracks are separated from vehicles by planter boxes or construction barriers, however for this pilot project, flexible posts were used instead.The Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) originally received a $3.2 million federal grant to build a test track on Stony Island Avenue between 69th and 77th streets, but the project was dropped due to low cyclist traffic.The next phase of protected lanes are expected to be added to Jackson Street between Halsted Street and Damen Avenue.

Click here to watch the press conference from today’s announcement.
 
If you or someone you love has been injured in a Chicago bicycle accident or Chicago car accident, then call Chicago car accident attorney, Aaron Bryant, for a free consultation at 312-588-3384 or go to the firm website at www.blgchicago.com.

Ford To Recall Over 20,000 Trucks

The Detroit News online site reported today that Ford Motor Company is recalling over 20,000 of its’ Ford Ranger trucks manufactured this year.  This has been a common occurrence by many of the major auto makers over the past year and a half. I have reported multiple times in the past about Toyota’s trouble with its’ brake and electronic systems.  BMW and Lexus both also had recalls in the past year.

Ford announced that it is recalling these pickup trucks because of a defective switch could cause the turn signal, tail lights and brake lights to fail. Ford said the recall affects about 20,000 2011 Ford Ranger pickups built between January and April at its Twin Cities Assembly Plant. It also includes about 6,000 vehicles that were serviced with a defective switch including some 2004-2011 Ranger, 2002-2005 Excursion SUVs, and 2002-2007 F-250, 350, 450 and 550 trucks.

Ford did report to the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration that they do not know of any accidents or injuries due to this default.  The company told dealers on July 8 to stop selling the vehicles with the defective parts until they were repaired. The vehicles being recalled that were previously repaired with faulty parts were serviced between January and June of this year.

If you or someone you know has been injured in a Chicago car accident or believe they have an Illinois auto defect case, then call Chicago auto defect attorney, Aaron Bryant, for a free consultation at 312-588-3384 or go to the firm website at www.blgchicago.com

2011 Safe Drivers Act Introduced In Congress

I have written many times in the past about the dangers of cell phone use while driving. These dangers including talking on your cell phone, texting, emailing or surfing the internet. Up to this point, the U.S. Congress has left it up to states to regulate their distracted driving laws.

This could change shortly as Carolyn McCarthy, D-N.Y., has introduced legislation that would federalize driving and cell phone usage, laws that are currently managed by individual states. [1] Under the proposed legislation, the bill would direct the U.S. Department of Transportation to set up a nationwide standard, prohibiting cell phone use while driving. The lone exception would allow drivers to call for help during an emergency.

The proposed legislation includes some exclusions such as allowing drivers to use voice-operated, vehicle-integrated devices, as well as voice-operated GPS systems. McCarthy’s bill would require the DOT to conduct a study on distracted driving, focusing particularly on the issue of cognitive distraction and the impact of distraction on young and inexperienced drivers. Within two years, the DOT would be required to report its findings to Congress, providing recommendations for revising the minimum distracted driving prohibitions and penalties states must comply with. States would be given two years to comply with the law or face a 25 percent reduction in federal highway funding.

This is a similar approach that federal government used in the 1990s when they strongly encouraged states to adopt stricter drinking and driving laws, specifically the .08 blood alcohol limits.

Many believe this is long over-due as distracted driving accidents are one of the leading causes of vehicle fatalities.  The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that 5,474 people died as a result of driver distraction in 2009, accounting for approximately 1 in 6 of all auto crash fatalities that year.

If you or someone you love has been injured in a Chicago car accident or a Chicago trucking accident, then call Chicago car accident attorney, Aaron Bryant, for a free consultation at 312-588-3384 or go to the firm website at www.blgchicago.com.

Chicago Honor Student Charged For Alleged Deadly Vehicular Crash

The Chicago Sun Times reports that a Chicago teenager and honor student, Marquis Harrison, has been charged with the vehicular death of Chicago 911 dispatcher Marciea Adkins.  The 16 year old admitted he was drunk on vodka and high on marijuana and ecstasy when he stole a car and crashed into a 911 police dispatcher, killing her as he tried to elude officers, authorities said Monday.

Adkins was driving home after her shift, said Roderick Drew, a spokesman for the city’s Office of Emergency Management and Communication.  Harrison is an honors student, basketball player and quarterback of the football team at Urban Prep Charter Academy’s East Garfield Park campus.

During Sunday’s police chase, Harrison ran through a stop sign at Armitage and Hoyne avenues and slammed the silver 2004 Range Rover he allegedly stole into Adkins’ car, causing it to careen into a fire hydrant, Costello said.

Emergency workers had to extricate Adkins from her car before she was transported to Illinois Masonic Medical Center, where she succumbed to her injuries.

This is a tragis story obviously because of the pointless loss of Ms. Adkins, an innocent bystander. It is also tragic because Harrison, a promising young man, who apparently excelled both academically and athletically, will most likely lead the life as a felon, all for a pointless joy ride. I hate discussing stories such as these but they are all too common of a tale in a city the size of Chicago.

If you or someone you love is a victim of a Chicago car accident or Chicago truck accident, then call Chicago personal injury attorney, Aaron Bryant, for a free consultation at 312-588-3384 or go to the firm website at www.blgchicago.com.

Illinois Governor Quinn Signs New Seat Belt Law

The Chicago Sun-Times reported last week that Illinois Governor, Pat Quinn, signed into law which requires all vehicle passengers to wear seatbelts. The law requires those sitting in the back seats to buckle up as well.

The law was introduced and signed in an effort to help protect Illinois drivers from suffering serious injuries and lower traffic fatalities for those involved in car accidents.  The law carves out exceptions for taxi cabs and emergency vehicles, such as ambulances and police cars, and would also does not include buses.

State police director Hiram Grau aplauded the law and described the measure as “common sense legislation that we are very much in support of.” “We’re going to work very closely with other local and state agencies to make sure these laws are enforced,” Grau added, according to WJBD Radio.

Others opposed the law as an example of government overreach. Rep. Daniel Beiser (D-Alton) told the Daily Chronicle he did not support the measure as he was “not in favor in dictating what the public should do. It is a choice.”

The law; as well as a similar piece of legislation making it illegal for passengers to ride in trailers, wagons and other similar vehicles being towed on highways; will officially go into effect on January 1, 2012.

If you or someone you love has been involved in a serious Chicago car accident or Chicago truck accident, then call Chicago car crash attorney, Aaron Bryant, for a free consultation at 312-588-3384 or go the firm website at www.blgchicago.com.

HBO Documentary, Hot Coffee, Reveals Truth About Tort Reform

HBO released a documentary film this month called Hot Coffee, which debunks many of the myths about runaway juries and the tort reform lobby in the U.S.

The first story they discuss is about Stella Liebeck, who famously sued McDonalds in the early 90s after she spilled hot coffee on her lap. A product liability case was brought alleging that the coffee was too hot. Ms. Liebeck won a 2.86 million dollar judgement before a New Mexico jury. This verdict brought a swell of outrage from the media and from Congress. The funny thing was that neither the media nor members of congress ever looked at the actual facts of the case before rushing to judgement. The directors of Hot Coffee point out that Ms. Liebeck suffered serious burns to legs and pelvic region, which led to numerous surgeries and permanent scarring and pain and suffering. They also pointed out that McDonalds, up to that point, had received over 700 complaints of burns due to the temperature of their coffee, yet failed to take any action. The film also points out that following this verdict, McDonalds decided to lower the temperature of their coffee based on these safety concerns. Finally, the film also points out that the judge lowered the judgement against McDonalds down to $486,000.

I encourage everyone to watch this film and listen closely to each of the case studies. The photos of Ms. Liebeck, by themselves, will make you re-think your position on the McDonalds Hot Coffee case and tort reform in general.

The media, the Republicans in Congress and the Tort Reform lobby do an excellent job of shielding the truth about personal injury in this country.  Watch the film and encourage your friends to watch as well. What if this was you or someone you love who was seriously injured by the wrongdoing of someone else or some giant corporation?  Would you want Congress to determine how much you or your loved one is owed?  These types of cases are why we have juries and why the 7th amendment was enacted. I guarantee you will re-think your views on tort reform after watching Hot Coffee.

Click here to watch the trailor for this documentary.

If you or someone you know has been injured in serious accident or has personal injury case, call Chicago personal injury attorney, Aaron Bryant, for a free consultation at 312-588-3384 or go to the firm website at www.blgchicago.com.