Bicyclist right hooked at common spot: southbound Milwaukee at Augusta

Type

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

What happened

Roadway description: Green-painted bike lane between two vehicle lanes

Your story: Travelling SB on N Milwaukee just before the W Augusta Boulevard/Kennedy Expressway intersection. I was in the green-paitned bike lane there, which is surrounded by a through lane on the left and a turning lane on the right. Driver in the through lane decided he wanted to be in the turning lane without checking his six, or using a turn signal. I was going slow enough I was able to hard brake.

Suggested improvements:

  1. Bare minimum: Repaint the green lane.
  2. Improved signage for motorists. For example, at least a sign that says “Right Lane W Augusta/Kennedy Expy”. I get a lot of last minute lane changers throughout this whole intersection. Many drivers travel through the left, through lane past Augusta, then attempt to right turn onto the Kennedy.
  3. Blow up the Kennedy
  4. Reconfiguration of the intersection with cycle track and bicycle lights. Or those “fancy” European intersections that prevent motorists and cylists from having that conflict. You know the barnes dance-bicycle-dutch type.

Steven’s note: I see this happen 50% of the time I’m at this intersection. 25% of the time I see it it’s happening to me. I wrote about this on Grid Chicago. The pavement markings could be improved immediately to have “through the intersection” lines – the lanes already have “THROUGH ONLY” but the right lane has a through arrow + a right-turn arrow. There is a single sign that denotes how drivers should position their automobiles based on their destination: The sign shows two right-turning arrows and a through-arrow. However, it seems that too many people interpret these directions as forcing them to turn right onto Augusta.

Here’s another idea: ban right turns onto Augusta so that all right turns are onto the Kennedy. If you want to make a right turn onto Augusta, you can turn off Milwaukee onto southbound Noble Street (which is currently one-way northbound, though).

Which of these cars on the left will merge towards the left and block bicyclists?

It’s often very easy to tell which driver in the through lane will actually turn into the Kennedy Expressway on-ramp to the right, likely cutting off a bicyclist: look at where the car wheels are. If they’re on the line between the through lane and the bike lane, or in the bike lane, likelihood is high.

There’s a game I like to play here: which driver will turn into the Kennedy on-ramp from the through lane?