Evanston Bicycle Accident Attorney
The Attorneys of Zneimer & Zneimer P.C. represent the injured and family members of victims that were killed as a result of a bike crash that occurred in Evanston Illinois or a nearby area in Cook County. Located approximately 12 miles north of downtown Chicago, Evanston is a prosperous community, known for its thriving independence, and refusal to be overshadowed by the city of Chicago. In addition to its many cultural outlets, architectural beauty, successful business economy, Evanston is also home to Northwestern University. With its miles of sidewalks and bicycle lanes, access to ample modes of public transit, and vast array of lakefront activities, bicycling continues to be popular throughout Evanston, both for transportation and recreational purposes.
Evanston has long been recognized for its efforts to promote the use of alternative modes of transportation, such as bicycling. As provided on the city’s website, “biking is one of the most environmentally and personally healthy ways to move around Evanston.” In conjunction with encouraging the use of bicycles, Evanston has also taken note of the need to implement ongoing improvements to enhance safety and reduce the rate of injuries and fatalities caused by bike accidents.
Observing the increasing levels of ridership in Evanston, the city contracted with a local planning firm in 2001 for the purpose of preparing a Bicycle System improvement Plan. In conjunction with a team of consultants, an initial plan was developed through a process of assessing local conditions, road use, and crash data, while also incorporating public input obtained through extensive community outreach. In 2007, citywide development efforts expanded to include project implementation of on-street bike lane markings and bike route signaling. Substantial improvements were made over the next several years, and as of 2014, the Evanston Area Bike Map shows an extensive network of bike lanes, bike routes, and off-street bike paths.
In addition to enhancing infrastructure, the city continues to pursue other channels that may assist in making Evanston a more bike-friendly atmosphere, such as: (1) Expanding the Divvy Bike Share Program, including working with the City of Chicago and Village of Oak Park to develop a regional transit network; (2) Encouraging involvement in community events and activities (i.e. Walk n’ Roll), such as those hosted by local groups (i.e. Evanston Bike Club), as well as national groups (i.e. League of American Bicyclists); (3) Implementing ongoing revisions to local laws, such as the June 2014 amendment, which increased fines for sidewalk-use and right-of-way bicyclist-related-violations; and (4) Enforcing current regulations, more of which is discussed below.
In observance of the safety benefits achieved through ordinance regulation and enforcement, Evanston’s Bicycle Ordinances set forth detailed regulations regarding the ownership, use, and operation of bikes within the city. A notable distinction between Evanston and other Chicago suburbs, is its helmet-use requirement for all bicyclists under the age of eighteen, pursuant to section 10-9-5(D). In addition, section 10-9-4 provides an extensive list of guidelines pertaining to bicycle operation, including:
- Every person operating a bicycle upon a roadway shall be granted all the rights and be subject to all of the duties applicable to the operator of a vehicle by the laws of this state except as to special regulations in this chapter and those provisions which by their nature have no application.
- Every person operating a bicycle upon the roadway at less than normal speed of traffic shall ride as close as practicable to the right hand curb or edge of the roadway except when passing another vehicle proceeding in the same direction, when preparing for a turn, or when reasonably necessary to avoid conditions that make it unsafe to continue along the right hand curb or edge.
- No bicycle riding on sidewalks is permitted in the central business district designated as D1, D2 and D3 districts in the proposed Evanston zoning ordinance or in any other district where signs prohibiting sidewalk riding are posted. When riding on sidewalks where permitted, such person shall yield the right-of-way to any pedestrian, shall give an audible signal before overtaking and passing such pedestrian, and shall have the bicycle under control at all times.
- The operator of a bicycle shall not suddenly stop, slow down or turn without giving a legal arm signal. A continuous arm signal need not be given if the hand is needed in the control or continuous operation of the bicycle.
- No bicycle shall be operated if its mechanical condition shall impair the safe operation of the bicycle.
- No person shall operate a bicycle at a speed or in a reckless manner such that the safety of others is endangered.
- No bicycle shall be used to carry more persons at one time than the number for which it is designed and equipped.
- No person operating a bicycle shall carry any package, bundle or article which prevents the use of both hands upon the handlebars or obstructs the operator's vision.
- No person while operating a bicycle shall cling or attach himself or the bicycle to any other moving vehicle or object.
- No bicycles shall be operated on a public roadway so as to obstruct motor vehicle traffic.
- No person shall ride a bicycle on a public roadway or sidewalk while using any device which would impede awareness of auditory or visual warning signals.
- No person shall ride a bicycle on a public roadway or sidewalk in a reckless manner, such as riding on one wheel or performing any other stunts.
- Any person operating or riding a bicycle in any alley in the City of Evanston assumes the risk of operating that bicycle in any alley as that person shall not be considered to be an intended user of an alley. The City shall have no duty to upgrade and maintain alleys for purposes of bicyclists operating bicycles in alleys. Persons operating or riding a bicycle as an unintended user in an alley will not be liable for any fine under this subsection.
The Bicycle Accident Attorney of Zneimer & Zneimer P.C. understand the beneficial role that community development efforts can play in the reduction of pedestrian and bicycling-related injuries. Although we continue to support safety improvements, we also recognize that most bike crashes are connected to human factors, which can neither be prevented nor predicted.
If you or a loved one were involved in an incident caused by the reckless, unlawful, or negligent actions of another, our experienced team of personal injury lawyers want to help you obtain the compensation that you and your family deserve. Protect your legal rights; contact us today at 773-516-4100 to schedule your FREE personal injury consultation.