“I heard the screeching of tires. I don’t remember the thud, but the next thing I knew, I landed in the northbound lanes of Broadway.”
The driver was 18 and had his license for four days.
Since that day, Oct. 18, 2009, Bruce Greene has thought a traffic light belonged at the intersection of Broadway and Balmoral. That’s the day he was hit by a car.
It was 6:30 in the evening and Greene, then 40, was biking to a meeting at Epworth United Methodist Church, where he is a trustee, chair and historian.
The tibia and fibula in his lower left leg were broken. “I was in a long leg cast for nine weeks and a short cast for four months, then went through physical therapy for three months.”
Greene’s accident fueled him and the Edgewater Beach Neighborhood Association block club to start a letter-writing campaign to former Ald. Mary Ann Smith’s office, asking for a traffic light.
“I signed the letter personally and included a business card saying I was the one hit,” Greene said.
Smith never responded.
State Sen. Heather Steans called him to express sympathy. A staff member from Smith’s office sent him a plant, but the staff member signed the card personally, Greene said.
“We just didn’t have any status with [Smith],” said Killian Walsh, president of the block club.
On Sept. 30, current Ald. Harry Osterman (48th) announced the installation of a long-awaited signal at the intersection. The rationale for the light, Osterman said, is a 2007 study Smith commissioned. But neither Walsh nor Greene knew about it.
“There has to be some accountability involved,” Greene said, “either with the way the accident was caused, politicians dragging their feet, or on the community as a whole to better it for everyone.”
Osterman said the city delayed the project due to lack of funding. Other projects were completed before this and, he said, it took this long to get it done.
Smith did not return multiple phone calls for an interview.