Diagonal street crossings are creating a more dangerous situations for bikers.
The intersections with the most dangerous track records were diagonal roads in the Loop where Milwaukee Avenue, Lincoln Avenue and Clark Street feed, according to bicycle crash data released from the Chicago Department of Transportation.
There were 9,000 reported injuries during 2005-2010 in the city and 32 bicyclists were killed , according to the report. The study shows over half of the fatalities took place at an intersection.
The street with the highest crash rate per mile during the six years studied was a 0.7-miles stretch on Milwaukee Avenue between North Avenue and Division with 50 crashes. Clark Street between Racine and Fullerton Avenues came in second place with 78 collisions in 1.6 miles and Milwaukee Avenue between Fullerton and Armitage came in third with 34 crashes in 0.7 miles, according to DNAinfo.com.
At complex intersections, like those where diaganol streets meet other intersections, the dangers for cyclists were higher.
Intersections with the most crashes include:
- Halsted, Fullerton and Lincoln in Lincoln Park
- Milwaukee and Fullerton in Logan Square
- Damen, Fullerton and Elston in Bucktown
- Montrose and the Lakefront Trail entrance in Uptown
- Damen, North and Milwaukee in Wicker Park
Another crashing hot spot was where Lincoln Avenue and Clark Street converge, the study showed.
The most common cause of collisions was failure to yield from motorists and riding against traffic for bicyclists.
"Everyone should feel safe on our city's streets, from an 8-year-old learning to ride a bike for the first time to an 80-year-old who wants to ride to the store, " Gabe Klein, commissioner at the Chicago Department of Transportation said in a statement. "To achieve this goal, it is essential for us to look at all of the factors that contribute to the safety of bicyclists on our streets."
Since 2000, the number of bicycle commuters has increased by 150 percent in the city. Chicago ranks third in the nation for number of bicycle commuters resting shyly behind Seattle and Philadelphia.
Chicago provides 31 miles of buffered and barrier-protected bike lanes and the city’s protected lane along Dearborn Street makes Chicago the first major city in the U.S. to have a protected bike lane through a major central business district, according to Etan Potts of the Active Transportation Alliance.
“We’re stepping up,” he said. “Chicago’s going to be number one.”