Biking advocates are renewing their calls for safer roads in Chicago after a beloved bicyclist was struck and killed by a driver last month at a busy intersection near DuSable Lake Shore Drive.
Broderick Ade Hogue, 32, was hit by a woman driving a van as he crossed Grand Avenue on Oct. 27, according to Chicago police. He died two days later at Northwestern Memorial Hospital.
The driver of the van told police she had the green light and was headed toward the ramp onto DuSable Lake Shore Drive when she struck Hogue. Police said witnesses backed up her account, but members of Hogue’s bike club have raised questions about it. A lawyer for Hogue’s family said he is seeking surveillance footage.
“It’s very difficult to make it out as a bike route,” said Christina Whitehouse of Bike Lane Uprising. “You have speeding traffic that’s trying to get on Lake Shore Drive. It’s a known problem.”
Alex Perez, advocacy manager for the nonprofit Active Transportation Alliance, said Hogue’s death “is definitely a call to city officials to look at where these fatal crashes are happening and have an understanding of why that is.”
Earlier this year, Kevin Clark, who starred in the popular “School of Rock” movie, was struck and killed while riding a bike at a notoriously dangerous intersection on the Northwest Side.
Seven bicyclists have been killed in Chicago so far this year, matching last year’s total, according to city records. Five bicyclists were killed in 2019 and six each in 2018 and 2017.
Hogue was a member of the Half Acre Cycling team and a talented graphic designer who had done work for such companies as Target, Nike, RCA, Mercedes-Benz and Aldi, according to friends and his website.
Police said Hogue was hit after he “failed to stop for traffic at a red light” on Grand Avenue. The 47-year-old woman who was driving the van was not issued any citations.
A witness said the intersection was clear of cars for what seemed like a couple of minutes before Hogue started to pedal across. “I understand why he would want to take the red light because there were no cars, period. No cars passing at all,” said the man, who asked not to be named.
“As he was getting to the other end of the sidewalk, past the light, out of nowhere the minivan flew by and hit him,” he said. “It happened so quickly.
The man and other witnesses stayed with Hogue and tried to keep him awake before an ambulance arrived. He said the driver of the van was “crying, scared for her life and didn’t know what to do” after the crash.
“Ever since that day I keep my eyes open and be cautious of everything,” the man said. “My condolences to his family.”
Brenden Kevenides, a lawyer representing Hogue’s family, called on the city to increase protections for both new and experienced riders.
“The city of Chicago is not nearly as bicycle friendly as it should be,” he said. “It seems to me that the city of Chicago, given the sheer number of people that enjoy riding their bikes, needs to step up and make this a city that’s much safer for cycling and one that de-emphasizes driving.”
Whitehouse said the problems at the intersection where Hogue was killed are “essentially repeated over and over and over up and down the lakefront. There’s absolutely zero regard for any of the bike lanes that get to and from the lakefront.”
The Chicago Department of Transportation said it’s in the middle of a push to add 100 miles of new and upgraded bikeways in 2021 and 2022.
“This is more new bikeways than any other two-year period and includes almost 25 miles of new protected bike lanes,” CDOT said in a statement. “Chicago will have more than 450 miles of bikeways by the end of this two-year expansion period.”
Hogue will be buried next to family members in Virginia.
Andrew Lucas rode with Hogue on Half Acre’s team. He said Hogue was more of a triathlete when they met, but Hogue jumped in “two feet first” into cycling and developed into an exceptionally strong cyclist.
The two often rode together and became close. “He went from just an occasional hey, let’s do something wild and crazy to now he’s doubling the miles,” Lucas said. “He’s one of the strongest cyclists I know.”
Lucas said Hogue was a humble guy who would often put others ahead of himself. “To the point where if you paid him back for something, he would get mad at you. The only time he would get mad at you. He was a great friend.”
A GoFundMe page has raised over $165,000 from supporters. On Tuesday, hundreds of mourners held a vigil in honor of Hogue and dedicated a “ghost bike” memorial to him.