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Pedestrian Suing Cyclist After Collision On Dearborn Street

By Rachel Cromidas in News on Jun 5, 2015 4:45PM

A pedestrian injured in a collision with a Dearborn Street cyclist last March has filed a lawsuit against the cyclist.

The lawsuit, filed Thursday, says Arely Lara was struck by a cyclist traveling south on Dearborn streets while she and her husband Christopher Craig were at the intersection of Dearborn and Madison streets on March 30. Lara and Craig are seeking $60,000 in damages.

The suit says Lara has suffered "severe" injury to her nervous system and disfigurement in the wake of the collision, according to the Sun-Times. She was hospitalized and required surgery and several weeks of rehab, Lara's attorney told the reporter.

The suit is against the cyclist, Matthew Gagui, who was riding in the special two-way Dearborn bike lane. The suit claims Gagui is at fault for "failing to equip his bike with a brake, failing to operate his bike in the appropriate right-hand side of the bike path, and riding "in a reckless manner."

The two-way bike lanes on Dearborn Street—the first of their kind in the city—have been heralded for improving safety on the heavily-trafficked downtown corridor since they were built in 2012. But almost three years later there is still some confusion over how to use the lane properly, particularly at times when pedestrians must traverse it to cross the street and some pedestrians and cyclists alike pass through the lane against the traffic light. It is hard to gauge how many cyclist-pedestrian collisions truly take place in the city every year because most go unreported.