The combination of bicycle and Chicago Transit Authority travel can get you where you want to go quickly. Just show up to the CTA station with your bike, and put it on the train. However, you should never ride your bike on the train platform. If you lose your balance, you could fall on the tracks and get hit by a train.
In spite of this danger, however, no warning signs are there to keep bicyclists off their bike seats. Also, there are no rules that say you can't ride on train platforms in Chicago. Most of us would probably err on the side of caution and choose to walk our bikes on the train platform. However, younger cyclists and those in a rush could be tempted to dangerously ride on it.
Young bicyclist recently lost his life on a train platform
Recently, an unfortunate accident illuminated why it's dangerous for cyclists to ride their bikes on train platforms. The incident claimed the life of a teenager who was riding his bicycle along the platform of the Chicago Transit Authority Red Line. His bicycle slipped onto the tracks at the worst possible moment, and a passing train struck and killed him.
Following the accident, authorities suspended service for the Red Line to conduct their investigations. They closed the line while a baseball game was in progress and reopened it just in time for the rush of traffic at the end of the game. The results of the investigation have yet to be released.
Does the CTA have the obligation to warn bicyclists?
After the loss of this teenager, community members immediately asked the question: Wasn't there a sign warning train customers not to ride bicycles on the platform? The answer is, no. The CTA never posted such a sign. Furthermore, passengers are free to bring their bikes on trains when it's not rush hour.
In some circumstances, governments and municipalities may have the legal obligation to warn bicyclists of potential dangers and hazards in public areas. For example, if a court deems a municipality's failure to warn as negligent - and the failure to warn results in an injury to a bicyclist - the injured bicyclist might have a viable claim for financial damages in civil court. Also, if the accident was fatal, close family members may be able to pursue a wrongful death claim.
Every bicyclist accident case is different. Some are just accidents and no one is to blame. In other cases, an at-fault or negligent party may be liable for damages. As such, injured Chicago cyclists may want to consult with a personal injury lawyer to determine if a viable claim for damages exists.