Monthly Archives: June 2013

Double parking parents block bike lane, bicyclist almost gets doored

Type

1. Almost doored
2. Other

Injury: No

What happened

Roadway description: Bike lane (left of parking lane)

Your story: I rode past the school right before 8 AMN when parents double park in the bike lane. I was nearly doored once by a white sedan. I swerved into traffic to avoid it. Immediately after that I stopped short as a child jumped out of a minivan into my path. I came VERY close to running down this child. The parent witnessed it and was extremely alarmed. I explained to the parent how dangerous it was to leave their children off in the bike lane (a lane reserved for bike traffic!) and into car traffic. I told them no cyclist wants to be responsible for the injury of a child!

I was so shaken that I walked my bike into the school lot and asked to speak to someone in charge. The school principal, Wendy Oleksy, was there and listened to my complaint about the double parkers. She assured me that there would be police presence there on the next Monday to enforce the bike lane rules. I was not able to confirm if this happened.

Suggested improvements: Please have police [or volunteer monitors?] enforce bike lane rules around schools in the morning and afternoon dropoff times. Parents double park EVERYDAY at this school and at the other two schools I pass on my route to work every morning. This is a tragedy just waiting to happen. All it takes is one cyclist injuring a child and we will all be the most hated people in Chicago.

Shuttle buses’ poor parking blocks bike lane on Clinton Street

Type

Passed really closely
Injury: No

What happened

Roadway description: Bike lane (against the curb)

Your story: Communter Bus (The Free Enterprise System, 708-474-7474) stops directly in bike lane to allow passengers to board bus.

I was riding south on Clinton Street between Randolph and Washington [one-way, southbound]. This block is especially treacherous since there are taxicabs loading/unloading, a CTA bus stop ahead (at the NW corner of Clinton and Washington Streets); but I cannot easily avoid it as I park my bike in a building on this block.

As I was coming south, one of the (many) commuter shuttle buses from this company is stopped to load passengers DIRECTLY in the bike lane, which is separated from the curb by a parking lane (not even up against the curb where a CTA bus would stop to load/unload).

As a result, I am forced to ride into traffic to go around this bus (they sit there for several minutes) directly into southbound traffic; which includes cabs moving from the left lanes (picking up passengers) into my lane; all the while avoiding speeding cars already in the center lane. Two drivers buzzed me.

I stopped and politely asked the bus driver why she needed to stop in the bike lane (as opposed to pulling all the way over to the curb – as it creates a hazardous situation for me) and she (very beligerently announced) “it’s also a bus lane”. I then (also politely) asked what her name was and the phone number where I could report her and she then shut the door and ignored me.

Suggested improvements: better enorcement of existing bike lane laws. more signage. bollards.

[Steven doesn’t agree that more signage is an effective way to reduce the incidence of this kind of violation, or most kinds of violations. The more signage that’s added the more we tend to ignore it.]

Almost doored on Damen, but driver apologized

Type

Almost doored
Injury: No

What happened

Roadway description: Bike lane (left of parking lane)

Your story: I was riding north on Damen Avenue at night. Lots of bikers on the road. Almost got doored but I swerved out of the way. Just kept riding because I was late and heard the driver apologize as I rode away.

Suggested improvements: smarter drivers, fewer cars, better bike lanes [assuming this to mean bike lanes not in door zones].

Right hook near Milwaukee/Paulina

Type

1. Right hook (car turned right, across your path)
2. Swerved into your path and then out of your path
Injury: No

What happened?

Roadway description: Sharrows (bicycle symbol with two chevrons)

Your story: Ignorant driver, began to swerve right into parking lane w/o turn signal on NW Bound Milwaukee. Hard brake required. Avoided impact. Hard to fathom a driver not being aware of cyclists on Milwaukee Ave, she just left the stop light with 10 of us. No signs of driver distraction (e.g. phone). Driver honestly seemed confused.

Suggested improvements: 1) No cars on Milwaukee Ave. 2) Removal of one parking lane + PBL 3) Oprah as President 4) Curbside, parking protected PBLs (in order of likeliness)

Time is approximate. Waiting for update from submitter (time field was missing from form when submitted).

Driver turns into alley in front of cyclist on Lincoln

Type

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

What happened

Roadway description: No bicycle markings

Your story: I was riding north on Lincoln Avenue when a driver suddenly decided to take a right hand turn into an alley directly in front of me without slowing down or using his signals. The car was driven by an older white man with white hair in an early 2000 model silver Lincoln LS.

Suggested improvements: a protected bike lane, a buffered bike lane or even at the very least a visible bike lane throughout all parts of Lincoln ave that drivers can actually see.

Driver caught blocking the Kinzie bike lane

Type
1. Other
Injury: No
Roadway description: Bike lane (next to curb)

What happened

Your story: White car parked in the Kinzie PBL (Eastbound). I went around the driver and then stopped in front of his vehicle to take a photo. He then sped out of the bike lane very close to me. Squealed his tires and then did the same thing turning North onto Wells at the next light. CPD was standing on the corner and saw how fast and reckless he was driving. I pointed the car out to them as I rode by. The cop shrugged and turned the other way.

Suggested improvements: Actually enforce traffic laws.

[time unknown]

Confusing intersection at Clark/Broadway/Diversey

Type

1. Passed really closely
2. Other
Injury: No

What happened

Roadway description: Other
Your story: Waiting in left turn lane to turn left to continue northbound on Clark. Driver in left hand turn lane wanted to go right, got irate, swerved past to turn right and proceed north on Broadway.

Suggested improvements: Need better street marking and signage indicting that left lane is left turn only, right lane is for right turn only. Continue Clark St northbound bike lane through intersection.

[Waiting for correct time.]

Driver leaving parking space not looking for bicyclists on Dearborn

Type

1. Right hook (car turned right, across your path)
2. Other
Injury: No

What happened

Roadway description: Bike lane (left of parking lane)

Your story: The Dearborn bike lane drops those heading north into a nightmare of curbside parking, cabs picking up riders, and vehicles high tailing it to the expressways [it’s also on the left side of the street]. I usually avoid it like the plague – hopping over to travel north on State Street even though I live on Dearborn near Lincoln Park. However, since summer has arrived and there are more bikers on the streets I decided to travel with a pack of cyclists north of Kinzie. A few drivers passed with less than 3 feet of space while I was riding in the bike lane painted in the door zone but overall not too bad until a woman parked in an SUV on the left of the bike lane decided to pull out of the parking spot and into the bike lane without looking. I had my eye out for her though as I know how dangerous that stretch is and was able to stop in time and yelled out to her to stop as well, which she did. Why are we painting bike lanes in door zones?? Why oh why? Accidents waiting to happen. I will definitely not be continuing north on Dearborn after Kinzie during rush hour again.

Suggested improvements: State is much safer as there are fewer opportunities/reasons for cars to turn right and less street parking. They should put in a PBL on state heading north if Kinzie. Is anything in the mix there in the 2020 plan?

[time is approximate]

Swerving driver on California, cops don’t care

Type

1. Right hook
Injury: Broke three teeth, bruised palms
Roadway description: Sharrows (bicycle symbol with two chevrons)

What happened

Your story: I had to squeeze the brakes to avoid hitting a car that suddenly swerved into the sharrow. I panicked and hit the brake a bit too hard, flew over my handle bar, and landed on the pavement with my mouth. I broke three of my front teeth and bruised my palms pretty bad, but other than that, I did not sustain any serious injuries. Just partially deformed and very, very sore. A couple of very nice bicyclists and a passerby stopped and helped me, and another nice lady drove me to the emergency room. I couldn’t have been more lucky.

So… fast forward to Monday. I was feeling good enough to move around, and I had a dentist appointment to make. Thought I’d go to the police station to file a report. At the 14th District station, the sergeant told me that he cannot file a report since I never made contact with the car. Told me that I caused this for myself, that I should not have been riding on a street without a bike lane. Then he went on to lecture me about how the PBLs were funded by car owner’s money and the least I could do is to stay out of their way. The report was filed as a “hospitalization” and we called it a day. I was pissed.

First of all, the stretch of California Ave near Humboldt Park has sharrows, and while riding on it, my upmost concern is to stay out of the ways of car doors. Secondly, a jerkwad swerved into the sharrow… for what purpose? The sharrow is half as wide as his traffic lane. What did he think he is going to accomplish? Thirdly, I’m saddened by the fact that because I didn’t actually collide with the car, I’m responsible for my own injuries.

[time is approximate]

Taxi driver doesn’t know what a bike lane is, hits bicyclist with door

Type

1. Other
Injury: No

What happened

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

Your story: Cab sitting in Kinzie bike lane westbound. I pulled in between the cab and the van in the car lane to my left. I pointed at the bike lane under him without saying a word. [some stuff happened that I’ve redacted] The driver pinned me between the van next to us and his cab. My clip and foot were stuck on the bottom of his cab door so I couldn’t get free. He opened and shut the door on me three more times before speeding off with his door still partially opened.

Improvements: Enforce traffic laws in this city.

[time unknown]