11 injured and 3 dead in ‘One Day’ – Do We Need New Bike Infrastructure?

Background Reading



blackfriarsroad © Transport for London


Chicago police investigate a multiple shooting March 9, 2015, at 105th Street and LaSalle Avenue. (Eric Clark, Photo for the Chicago Tribune)


A stretch of the Bloomingdale Trail in Bucktown. DNAinfo/Alisa Hauser



There is a wild incongruity between the idea that Chicago is planning on launching a viewing party for the Bloomingdale ‘606’ Trail and that the same sort of thing is being done in London with the launching of the longest bike superhighway in Europe alongside the fact that today’s Tribune head reads:

Three people were killed and at least 11 others were wounded, including several children, in Monday shootings on the North, Northwest, West, South and Far South sides, officials said.

Now in many cities people would be fleeing the county knowing that in a single day 11 people were wounded by gun fire. But here in Chicago all we want to know is whether the killings all took place in the ‘niggerareas. And you can almost see the release of anxiety cross our faces as we learn that the killings were not concentrated in a single area. I suppose our reasoning is that the shootings have to be random and that they are not racially motivated and perhaps not gang-related.

What bothers me most however is that Chicago has become like Beirut in that it is no longer troubled by gun violence. It’s Urban  Movement activists just want to know if the 606 is going to open on time. Why?

Well like the recent stupid ass article on Naperville points out:

We are still convinced that automobiles are our biggest threat to personal safety! Huh? If you are riding in Chicago on a bicycles can you be any more vulnerable to gun violence? Perhaps being on foot would be worse, but frankly people are dying while sitting inside their homes or riding on the bus. The place is simply not safe.

So why are we keeping tabs on the rollout dates for bicycle trails? You have the head of the Active Transportation Alliance trying to vilify the governor because of his budget choices where mass transit is concerned but says but cannot find the time to offer up and wisdom on the efficacy of putting in bicycle infrastructure on streets where you chance of being shot while biking (SWB) is far too high.

Why would we be concerned with budget issues when we cannot get basic safety on our streets under control? Are these folks in the Urban Cycling Movement crazy? They say they feel threatened by automobiles passing to closely on streets but seem strangely silent about gun violence.

Why would we be rushing headlong to be as bicycle-friendly as other big cities when we have not got the basics under control?

Call me when you have this figured out. In the meantime I am going to sit and worry about automobiles passing a yard or more away from my left shoulder.