Illinois Bicycle Lawyers

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July 1, 2019 is a notable day in the history of transportation in Illinois. Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed into law a bill that puts $45 billion towards state construction projects. Within that $45 billion is $50 million annually toward projects for pedestrians and bicyclists. This is a massive victory by the Active Transportation Alliance, other advocacy groups, and the legislators who worked to get the bill passed and on the governor’s desk. The funding will work towards efforts to increase bike ridership and public transportation use across Illinois. The additional resources will substantially increase the size of the Illinois Transportation…
Starting July 1, 2019 drivers in Illinois will automatically be ticketed if caught texting, looking at social media, or even holding their phone while talking. Under the previous version of the law a police officer had the authority to issue a warning to a driver. Not any more. Now a police officer who catches someone using their phone in any way other than hands free is required to issue a traffic citation.  And it is not just phones. Here’s what Illinois law says about all the devices that are banned:  “Electronic communication device” means an electronic device, including but not limited…
Ten different vendors are participating in Chicago’s e-scooter pilot program. Included in these ten are the companies Bird and Spin who were earlier entrants into the marketplace. The phrase “a Bird” is often used as a general term for an e-scooter, even those that aren’t the Bird brand. Both Bird and Spin use the same Xiaomi Mi Electric Scooters for their fleets of e-scooters. Remarkably, the “Mi Electric Scooter User Manual” makes several recommendations and identifies limitations that are incompatible with use on the often imperfect streets of Chicago. Since e-scooters are also operated amongst traffic, this puts not only…
“Public transportation” has traditionally consisted of buses, subways and light rail systems. Just as every other aspect of modern life has been affected by technological advancements with smart phones and apps, access to transportation options has expanded. New types of “alternative transportation” allows for the rental of different types of vehicles. What began with rental bicycles that could only be accessed from a fixed dock has expanded into other forms of bicycle share programs (bikeshare) that do not utilize a dock and also the emergence of electric assist bikes (e-bikes) and now standing electric scooters (e-scooters).  Standing Electric Scooters Standing…
The documentary team behind “Afghan Cycles,” a powerful story about women cyclists in Afghanistan, is looking for short videos from Chicago cyclists about what cycling means to you. The documentary is by Sarah Menzies. They are putting together a video segment in advance of the International Day of the Bicycle on June 3rd. Your video wants to hear about your name and your personal affiliation to cycling.  “Afghan Cycles” is by Sarah Menzies.  The documentary crew is asking you to email any 60 second or less videos to producer Caryn Capotosto at caryncappuccino@gmail.com. Caryn is a Chicago-area…
Bike Lane Uprising, a volunteer effort among Chicago bicyclists to fight for safer bike lanes, held a “Day of Service” last Sunday. The day was a giant succeess. The “Day of Service” involved Chicago bicyclists volunteering to “adopt” a segment of Chicago’s bike lanes. The volunteers then documented the bike lane conditions and then submitting their findings to Bike Lane Uprising. All of this data will be presented to the Chicago Department of Transportation for the purpose of helping them identify which bike lanes need improvement. A remarkable 90% of Chicago’s bike lanes were adopted by volunteers. Keating Law Offices
The Ride of Silence – Chicago is tonight, Wednesday May 15th. Riders should gather at the Picasso at Daley Plaza in advance of leaving around 6:30 p.m. The ride moves silently and slowly as a group through Chicago. It stops along the way at Ghost Bikes to honor Chicagoans who lost their lives while cycling.  In addition to honoring the lives of these Chicago cyclists, the ride also serves to send a message to all Chicagoans that our city’s streets need to be safe for cyclists. The ride serves as a reminder that we can always work to improve the…
Keating Law Offices is proud to co-host Bike Lane Uprising’s Day of Service. The Day of Service is an effort to document the conditions of bike lanes throughout the city and report the conditions to the City of Chicago. This effort will provide the City of Chicago legal notice as to any dangerous defects or conditions. The effect of the day of service will help the City of Chicago prioritize its efforts in maintaining bike lanes and lead to fewer dangerous conditions in Chicago’s bike lanes. The date for the Bike Lane Uprising Day of Service is May 19, 2019.…
IN THE NEWS: Keating Law Offices attorney Mike Keating was quoted in the Chicago Tribune about the dangers of distracted driving. Distracted driving is an increasingly dangerous habit among many drivers. The dangers posted by distracted driving are particularly dangerous to vulnerable users of the roadway such as pedestrians and bicyclists. Here’s the quote from the Chicago Tribune: “Mike Keating, a personal injury attorney who often represents injured bicyclists, said that if any police agency does not enforce the laws against distracted driving, it defeats the purpose.”  “These laws have to act as a deterrent to keep people from texting on…
The Chicago Department of Transportation is pushing the City of Chicago to implement changes that will allow for more e-bikes and e-scooters on the city’s streets and in our bike lanes. This is no doubt in large part due to the City of Chicago agreeing with Lyft for the ride share giant to take over the city’s successful Divvy bike share program.  At the March 2019 Mayor’s Bicycle Advisory Council meeting, CDOT officials and Lyft representatives discussed how Lyft will incorporate e-bikes into the Divvy fleet. Lyft has also played a role in pushing e-scooters onto Chicago’s streets. Theses proposed CDOT
Keating Law Offices attorney Mike Keating was invited by the American Association for Justice to speak to the attendees of the 2019 AAJ Winter Convention in Miami. Mike’s subject was Bike Share and the emerging threats posed by E-Scooters. The speech was entitled “Looking Beyond Automobiles: Bicycles and Electric Scooters.” Chicago’s Divvy program is one of the nation’s largest bike share systems.  Mike’s presentation was a part of a program of Continuing Legal Education where other trial lawyers from throughout the country learn about different areas of the law. This was a part of the convention’s lecture series, “Specialized Track:…
Illinois Department of Transportation data shows dooring crashes on the rise across the state. In 2015 alone there were more than 300 doorings reported. This number, which only represents those doorings that made it onto a police report, nonetheless represented a 50% increase from 2014.  As part of an effort to fight the plague of doorings, the Illinois Secretary of State will now be required to include the “Dutch Reach” as a part of the Rules of the Road for Illinois motorists. The “Dutch Reach” is where a motorist opens the car door across their body with their right hand.…
Bicyclists are often referred to as “vulnerable users” of the roadways. Even the most experienced bicyclist on the most advanced bicycle is at a disadvantage if there is a crash with even the smallest motor vehicle driven by a non-attentive motorist. Sheer physics are blind and unfortunately do not take into account fairness when a collision occurs and what might be a fender bender on a car can lead to serious or even fatal injuries to the bicyclist. Bicyclists are even more vulnerable in Illinois due to the state’s sheer number of citizens and its densely populated urban centers including the metropolis…
Keating Law Offices attorney Mike Keating recently appeared on the “Road is Dead” podcast to discuss legal issues surrounding bicycling. The “Road is Dead” podcast is hosted by Rob Curtis and Anthony Mikos of the Psimet Custom Wheels company and is recorded at their bike and coffee shop in Dundee, Illinois right on the banks of the Fox River.  “The Law Episode” included fellow bicycle law attorneys Jessica Cutler from Washington state as well as Arley Kemmerer and Joe Piscitello of Piscitello Law in Philadelphia. Topics included what to do when you’ve been involved in a bike crash, the number…
The World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims was held today at Federal Plaza in Chicago. The World Day of Remembrance is held every year to remember the millions injured and killed every year on the roadways. The World Day of Remembrance is a joint effort between Vision Zero Chicago, Chicago Department of Transportation, Illinois Department of Transportation, AARP, the Active Transportation Alliance, Ride of Silence Chicago and Ghost Bikes Chicago.  This powerful display at the World Day of Remembrance consists of 132 pairs of empty shoes to represent the 132 victims of fatal traffic crashes in Chicago over…
Attorney Michael S. Keating of Keating Law Offices has filed a lawsuit on behalf of a Chicago bicyclist who was tragically killed in a hit-and-run crash on September 23, 2018. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of the Estate of Jesse Rodriguez, the Chicago bicyclist who was riding near the intersection of Devon Avenue and the North Shore Channel trail when a juvenile driver turning from McCormick Boulevard to Devon Avenue jumped the curb and struck the bicyclist. The motorist then ironically struck a “Yield To Bikes” sign before fleeing the scene. The North Shore Channel trail runs alongside McCormick…