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John Greenfield, Cycling Advocate And Streetsblog Editor, Making ‘Great’ Progress After Crash Downstate

Greenfield's family suggested fans donate to Streetsblog if they want to show their support as he recovers.

John Greenfield, cyclist and transportation writer, seen in 2021 next to one of his bikes that he used for cross-state travel.
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CHICAGO — A prominent transportation writer was injured in a bike crash Friday in southern Illinois, but friends and family are optimistic he will make a full recovery.

John Greenfield, co-founder and editor-in-chief of Streetsblog Chicago, was riding his bike on the sidewalk in Marion, Illinois, when someone in a pickup truck passed him and a plastic pipe sticking out of the truck hit him, said his brother, Dave Greenfieldboyce.

The vehicle itself did not hit Greenfield, his brother said, clarifying earlier reports that stated he was hit by the truck.

The Tribune reports that the driver was cited for having an unsecured load.

Greenfield experienced head trauma, and several of his ribs and his clavicle broke, Greenfieldboyce said. His doctors placed him in a coma most of Saturday as a precaution for his head injury; his sedation was largely lifted Sunday, and he’s breathing on his own, Greenfieldboyce said.

“Every day, he’s been a little more awake,” Greenfieldboyce said. “Yesterday, for the first time, he was able to respond to commands. He’s having periods of vague awakeness.”

Although it’s not clear what Greenfield’s recovery will look like, his family is staying optimistic, Greenfieldboyce said.

“Progress has been great,” Greenfieldboyce said.

Steven Vance, co-founder of Streetsblog and founder of Chicago Cityscape, announced the crash in a statement on the transportation site.

Greenfield was on one of his regular bike tours of the Midwest, Vance wrote. He rode a train from Chicago to Carbondale on Thursday and started the bike tour Friday morning, posting a photo of his bike in front of a home.

Greenfield was on his way to the scenic hiking and camping area Garden of the Gods in Herod, Illinois, he wrote on Twitter before his trip. The crash happened about 50 miles away from his destination.

Regular publishing on Streetsblog will be paused until further notice, Vance wrote.

Friends and fans of Greenfield and his work have visited the hospital and posted supportive messages on social media, his brother said.

“We really appreciate all the responses,” Greenfieldboyce said. “We can tell a huge number of people really care about him. A bunch of people have come down here . … We’re staying optimistic.”

Greenfield has insurance, and people who want to show support can donate to Streetsblog online, his brother said.

“John has insurance, and we’ll make sure he doesn’t have any financial burden beyond what that covers. … We understand people want a way to help though, so we suggest people donate to Streetsblog,” Greenfieldboyce said.

Greenfield’s Surly bike, which he customized and has used for many long rides in the past, was undamaged, Greenfieldboyce said.

Greenfield, of Uptown, has lived in Chicago since 1989, writing extensively about cycling, transportation and bike safety in and around Chicago.

Greenfield and Vance co-founded Streetsblog in 2013. It covers transportation advocacy, street safety and more.

Before Greenfield launched Streetsblog, he and Vance wrote for Before that, he worked for the Active Transportation Alliance and as a Chicago Department of Transportation consultant, managing the installation of roughly 3,500 bike parking racks.

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