Monthly Archives: June 2013

Bicyclist told they don’t belong on the road, tries to run them off Kimball

Type

1. Passed really closely
2. Swerved into your path and then out of your path
Injury: No

What happened

Roadway description: No bicycle markings

Your story: The driver buzzed my shoulder on Lincoln just north of Devon. The driver was caught in traffic and I passed him after we both turned south-bound onto Kimball Ave. The driver revved his engine and swerved at me north of Peterson Ave on Kimball. I took the opportunity of both of us being stopped at the Peterson/Kimball light to get my phone and turn on the camera.

At Ardmore and Kimball he was stopped well ahead of me and I took pictures of his license plate.  The driver then put his car into reverse and drove at me in reverse nearly hitting me as I stood next to parked cars.

The driver then accosted me for “being in his way” and that I should “get off the road”. I told the driver he needed to keep 3 feet away from me [as required by city and state laws]. When the light changed I attempted to ride away and the driver revved his engine again at me, then drove alongside me and continued yelling obscenities.

At this point, just south of Ardmore, the driver swerved at me and ran me into parked cars and took off. The driver behind us witnessed the entire scenario and has offered to be a witness. The driver’s license plate number is CRD 5, it is a memorial Fire Fighters plate. The car is a bright red Honda Civic Si.

The incident was reported to a police officer and I plan to pursue charges.

Suggested improvements: Get this guy out of a car! The street is typically pretty safe and plenty wide. This one isn’t the fault of the road, it’s the fault of a single driver.

Cabbie drives into Kinzie bike lane without looking, almost hits 4 bicyclists

Type

Other
Injury: No

What happened

Roadway description: Cycle track/protected bike lane (you’re between parked cars and the curb)

Your story: Cab #770 crossed through a open spot in the parked cars facing eastbound on Kinzie Street and into the bike lane without looking. Almost took out 4 cyclists in front of me. When I passed and took his photo, he told me we should all just go around him when he’s picking people up. I told him there was plenty of legal parking right beside him and that he needed to yield to cyclists when in a bike lane. He rolled up his window and covered his face as I took the photo.

Suggested improvements: Actually enforce traffic laws. Educate cab drivers; most don’t seem to know the law.

Cabbie right hooks bicyclist on Milwaukee, blames and harasses bicyclist

Type

Right hook (car turned right, across your path)
Injury: No

What happened

Roadway description: Wide/buffered bike lane (between travel lane and parking lane)

Your story: Cab sped up to pass after crossing intersection of Grand and Milwaukee. He had obviously seen me, but decided he just HAD to get to the car wash an extra 5 seconds early. Instead of waiting for me to pass, he proceeded to turn. I grabbed both brakes firmly, but still did a slow roll/skid into the side of his cab.

He then rolled down his window and decided it was my “f-in fault and that I needed to watch where the f I was going”. I let him know that he needed to watch were he was going, especially if he was turning across a busy bike lane. I also let him know that he needed to learn to use his turn signal, not only to alert bikers, but also vehicle traffic behind him. He then turned on his signal, said it had been on the entire time and told me that I was “f-in blind”.

Before leaving, I let him know I was reporting him to 311 (which I did). He then started to chase me down, so I hopped up on the sidewalk– in order to use parked cars as a buffer. Somewhere between the car wash and the light to turn onto Kinzie, he decided to stop chasing me.  FYI– it was a Yellow Cab, Ford Escape. I’l keep the cab # to myself.

Suggested improvements: More education to cab drivers.

Driver fails to use turn signal, causing bicyclist to brake suddenly on Wells

Type

Right hook (car turned right, across your path)
Injury: No

What happened

Roadway description: Bike lane (left of parking lane)

Your story: About to cross North Avenue going southbound on Wells Street. Light turned green, two cars turning right in front of me. Parked cars on the right side of the street. Van without a turn signal turns right just in front of me and I have to use my front brake to slow down. No acknowledgement from the driver, no words exchanged.

Suggested improvements: [refreshed] bike lane markings, or a yield to bicycles sign could potentially help in this case.

Family harassed on Montrose while crossing Ravenswood

Type

Other
Injury: No

What happened

Roadway description: No bicycle markings

Your story: My wife, two kids (ages 5 and 6), and I were cycling to Margie’s Candies for some good old fashioned family fun. We were slowly crossing N Ravenswood on the south side of Montrose on our bikes (using the sidewalk as my kids are small and one is still on training wheels). My wife corked the intersection to ensure cars wouldn’t go through as my kids were crossing. A man driving a dry cleaning van began to honk and scream at my wife to get the “f” outta the way – while my kids were crossing. He was heading southbound on N Ravenswood and wanted to cross Montrose, but was apparently inconvenienced by a family crossing his path. He started to come forward while my son was still crossing. That’s when he saw me – I gave him a piece of my mind – and he backed down like the coward he is. I wish I got the plate number of the white van, so I could have reported it to his employer, but my rage got the best of me and I was focused on verbally undressing this ass.

Suggested improvements: I don’t know – road rage classes for all drivers.

Pinch point on Harrison on bridge over the Chicago River

Type

1. Passed really closely
2. Passed with room, but then merged in front of me
3. Swerved into your path and then out of your path
Injury: No

What happened

Roadway description: No bicycle markings

Your story: This westbound side of Harrison, right before Wacker, gets a fair amount of bike traffic during rush hour. There are concrete strips on both edges of the bridge, but the eastbound one leads right into a single traffic lane. Cars often come flying up from behind, only to slam on their brakes and honk because a cyclist is in the lane in front of them. It’s consistently a problem with cars trying to beat the cyclists to the single lane or crowd cyclists out of the way – probably the worst spot on my entire commute.

Suggested improvements: Speed enforcement. Shared lane signage. Marked bicycle signage on cement strips and the “priority lane” markings on single lane that continues through the intersection.

Driver blows through red light at Clark/Madison, nearly hits bicyclist

Type
Other
Injury: No

What happened

Roadway description: Bike lane (left of bus lane)

Your story: I was biking westbound on Madison. I had a green light as I crossed Clark. A southbound driver of a black sedan on Clark blew through the red light and almost hit me; the driver slammed on the brakes and we barely avoided each other.

Suggested improvements: I was too shaken up to have the wherewithal to talk to the driver before (s)he drove away. I would like to know if this was the result of distracted driving, or what. To just blow through a red light (the Madison Street green light was nearing the end of its countdown, so this driver was not simply trying and failing to beat a yellow) seems egregious to me. Maybe if there isn’t a red light camera at that intersection, there should be.

Cabbie swerves into bike lane, and then starts reversing into bicyclist’s path

Type

Swerved into your path and then out of your path
Other
Injury: No

What happened

Roadway description: Bike lane (left of parking lane)

Your story: Driver passed me on the left, then swerved into the bike lane and started moving in reverse. I swerved to his right (into an empty parking spot) and told him he nearly hit me. His response was, “I am going to park there”. I explained he needed to look before pulling into a bike lane, but he didn’t seem to understand. He wasn’t hostile, just stupid.

Suggested improvements: I’m pretty sure the driver was a cabbie on his way to work at the cab company located there, which indicates better education of cab drivers about cyclists may help.

Waiting in parking space for traffic to clear, bicyclist almost gets backed into

Type

Other
Injury: No

What happened

Roadway description: Wide/buffered bike lane (with hatch marks on one or both sides)

Your story: Many cars were parallel parked outside of REI.  After leaving the store, I was astride my bicycle in an empty parking spot waiting for bike traffic to clear so I could move into the lane.  The woman in the car in front of me decided to back up so she could move out of her spot into the road, but she didn’t look back at all. I started shouting and trying to move back, but there was a parked car behind me as well. I slapped her trunk, and she heard that then stopped and waved an apology.

Bicyclist passed really closely on Green Bay Road in Glencoe

Type

Passed really closely
Injury: No

What happened

Roadway description: No bicycle markings

Your story: There’s a section of Green Bay Road with narrow lanes and a raised median. I was riding southbound through this section about a foot from the right of the lane, and the driver of an older-model brown minivan revved his engine at me and then passed within two inches of me on the left side. Unfortunately he sped off and I wasn’t able to catch him/write down his plate number.

Suggested improvements: Always take the lane in this section until cycling infrastructure is improved.