Nation Records First Bike-Sharing Casualty

Nation Records First Bike-Sharing Casualty

A 25-year-old cyclist was killed on July 1 following a crash involving a flatbed truck at Belmont and Sacramento avenues in Chicago. She is believed to be the nation’s first person killed while riding a bike-sharing bicycle.

The victim was identified as Virginia Murray. According to Officer Joe Estrada, a police spokesman, the incident happened about 9 a.m. He said that Murray and the truck were both traveling on Sacramento, when both turned east at Belmont and collided. Murray sustained serious injuries and was taken to Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center, but was later pronounced dead.

Statistics

  • Washington, DC was the first major city in the US to implement a modern bike share program. In 2008, Smartbike DC included 10 stations and 120 bicycles.
  • Denver became the second jurisdiction to implement a major bike share program. This was made possible in 2010 through a public-private partnership.
  • In March 2012, approximately 20 bike share systems exist across the nation.

Bike Sharing in General

As defined in the document entitled, “Bike Sharing in the United States: State of the Practice and Guide to Implementation”, bike sharing means “a nonmotorized transportation service typically structured to provide users point-to-point transportation for short distance trips.” This system provides any cyclist to pick up a bicycle at a bike sharing station and return it to any other bike sharing station.

There are several benefits in bike sharing, which include increased use of transit and other single occupant vehicle alternatives, reduced use of fossil fuels, reduced traffic congestion, and reduced pressures on motor vehicle parking supply.

Bike Sharing in Kentucky

As early as 2014, Louisville officials has discussed the plans of implementing a bike-sharing programing in the city. In fact, in December 2014, a bike-share public meeting was held. Cycling advocate Jackie Green said that such program would make for a better Louisville as it would lead to having more bicycles on the streets and that would mean better public transit and smarter land use.

Last April, Northern Kentucky University started its bike-sharing program. This is in response to the current transportation issues of universities throughout the country.  Students will be provided with high-tech bicycles featuring rust-proof aluminum frames, puncture-resistant tires, and GPS tracking systems.

As a Kentucky Accident Attorney, I am saddened with the death of Ms. Murray. I am sending my sincerest condolences to her family and friends. On the other hand, I am proud to say that Louisville has been recognized by the League of American Bicyclists as a bike-friendly community. This proves that with our earnest efforts, we are fulfilling our goal of making our roads safer for bicyclists, motorists, and pedestrians.

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