Mayor Lori Lightfoot chastises security for bike lane parking

Following an uproar on social media, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot chastised her security detail for parking in a bike lane while she picked up doughnuts.

The controversy began on Twitter after @bikelaneuprise posted photos Nov. 9 showing Lightfoot’s security detail parked in the street outside Roeser’s Bakery on North Avenue while she was inside picking up doughnuts.

“Parking in bike lanes so you can get doughnuts means you value doughnuts over the lives of bicyclists,” the account tweeted.

Block Club Chicago reported on the situation Wednesday, followed by other media outlets. At her customary post-City Council news conference, Lightfoot said she’d first learned about it through “reports in the media” and chastised her security detail.

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, shown Oct. 27, said her security drivers should not have parked in a bike lane.

“Obviously they shouldn’t have parked in the bike lane,” Lightfoot said. “Pretty simple, no bike lanes, no fire hydrants. They shouldn’t have done it, period.”

It’s not the first time Lightfoot’s police detail has drawn headlines. In 2020, the Tribune reported that the city of Chicago dismissed the majority of tickets issued to Lightfoot’s security detail by red-light and speed cameras, including some that were recorded at times when the mayor was scheduled to be attending non-city events.

Lightfoot handled it differently than former Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who faced similar questions about his security detail running red lights and speeding. In response to news reports, Emanuel publicly told his detail to slow down and personally paid the tickets, ABC 7 previously reported. But even after Emanuel said “no one is above the law” and ordered cops to slow down, his detail kept getting tickets.

Despite Lightfoot’s spending on safety improvements for bicyclists, advocates have criticized her administration for not going further, particularly in installing more concrete barrier separations for bike lanes.

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