Monthly Archives: August 2013

Driver seems to completely ignore bicyclist and tries to make right turn across path

Type

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

What happened

Roadway description: No bicycle markings

Your story: I was in front of a driver, stopped at a light, waiting to turn right onto Lawrence from Pulaski. After making the turn, the driver behind me also turned. About 20-30 ft after the corner, he tried to turn in front of me into a parking lot or alley. It was a Dodge charger. I yelled at him and sped up to stay ahead of him so he wouldn’t run into me or get in front of me at the last second. Not sure if he ever noticed I was there.

Suggested improvements: [submitter did not specify any]

Driver speeds across Addison as two bicyclists approach and have right-of-way

Type

Other

Injury: No

What happened

Roadway description: No bicycle markings

Your story: Two of us heading East on Addison. Driver in a mini van was waiting at stop sign on Osceola, headed South. Had to grab the brakes because driver sped across the road directly into our path. She almost T-boned us. We both shouted at her. She waved at us as she kept on driving.

Suggested improvements: [submitter didn’t leave any]

Driver passing cab in oncoming lane almost collides with bicyclist

Type

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

What happened

Roadway description: No bicycle markings

Your story: A southbound cab was picking up (or discharging, I’m not sure) a passenger on Broadway just south of the crosswalk, where Briar crosses Broadway. A southbound driver swerved around the cab, riding entirely in the northbound lane (possibly because the car could not fit between the cab and the “Stop for Pedestrians” sign in the crosswalk there) where I was riding. Both of us had to swerve to avoid a collision.

Suggested improvements: Better driver education, particularly that cyclists are moving faster than drivers think and that it is not appropriate to swerve into oncoming traffic whether oncoming traffic is another car or a bicycle.

Broadway could use some measures to slow drivers as well.

Livery driver pulls out of parking space without looking, swerves into bicyclist

Type

Other, swerved into
Injury: No

What happened

Roadway description: No bicycle markings

Your story: I was headed East on the Inner Drive (east of Michigan, along the Oak Street curve, north of Walton) when the driver of Livery Car license 8929 pulled off the curb, directly into my path. I had to come off my bicycle to avoid hitting the car.

Suggested improvements: Better driver education about yielding the right of way to cyclists in the road.

Impatient driver swerves around waiting car and almost hits bicyclist

Type

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

What happened

Roadway description: Sharrows (bicycle symbol with two chevrons). Editor’s note: They’re severely faded here.

Your story: Headed northbound on N Milwaukee Near 1351 N Milwaukee. This was the typical change “lanes” on a one lane road to pass the turning motorist. Lead driver was turning the car left onto Wood Street, second driver grew impatient and attempted to pass with little room, I was forced to brake hard to avoid being pinched between swerving car and parked cars.

Suggested improvements:

1) No cars on Milwaukee through Wicker Park
2) Protected Bike Lane
3) Something to raise awareness to motorists and this deadly maneuver. Make it illegal to pass a turning vehicle on road with only one travel lane in each direction?

Typical right hook on Halsted/North becomes a collision

Type

Right hook

What happened

I was biking southbound on Halsted Street, approaching the intersection with North Avenue, when the driver of an SUV turned right in front of me, clipping my front wheel. I went over my handlebars after braking aggressively and lost consciousness.  An ambulance ride, X-Rays, CT scan and lots of pain meds later…I was mostly fine. Lots of road rash on my face, a fractured orbital bone, and a bruised cornea. All in all, I consider myself lucky.

Suggested improvements for this location: Remove the parking on the north side of Halsted near the intersection so that there is a longer right turn lane, and refresh the lane markings, clearly indicating a bike lane.

Editor’s note: This submission is clearly more than a close call but a collision. I’ve published this submission to discuss the results of what is an extremely typical maneuver by drivers (the right hook).

Right-hooked at Elston just north of Armitage (hotspot)

Location

2050 N Elston Ave, Chicago, IL
32nd Ward, Scott Waguespack

Type

Right hook (car turned right, across your path)

What happened

Traveling northbound on Elston – where there is no bike lane because it ends at Cortland – just before Ashland, but after the light at Armitage, I took the lane. I often do this to make it clear that I’m not planning to turn right onto Ashland and to give those who are going to turn right the room to move into the [faded] right-turn lane.

The driver of a 4-door sedan moved from behind me to my left and proceeded to move in front of me as the driver turned the vehicle onto Ashland from the right lane. He drove quickly and I narrowly avoided the right hook. (The video below clearly demonstrates the issue.)

Suggested improvements

The stretch of Elston north of Cortland needs clear on-street markings that delineate a bicycle lane and travel lanes.

[vimeo https://vimeo.com/74604351]

The Elston Avenue right hook, Steven Vance

Older driver oblivious to almost hitting bicyclist and runner in West Ridge

Type

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

What happened

Roadway description: No bicycle markings

Your story: As I rode south on California through the intersection with Peterson, a motorist turned right on to Peterson from the southbound through-lane, nearly striking me and a runner. We both shouted at him, but he obliviously continued. I saw his face, he was an older man and gave no indication of having seen either of us.

Suggested improvements:

  • Better bike facilities on California
  • Curb bump outs to narrow turn radii and increase pedestrian visibility
  • Better driver education
  • Stricter driver testing

Bicyclist turns left with utmost responsibility while cabbie attempts to blow stop sign on Wilson

Type

Other
Injury: No

What happened

Roadway description: Sharrows (bicycle symbol with two chevrons)

Your story: I came to a complete stop going south on Beacon before trying to turn left onto eastbound Wilson. Saw a taxi speeding up to the stop sign. As I motioned with my hand to turn left, the taxi started to slow down, and I began to turn through the intersection. The taxi sped up and started to run the stop sign (4-way stop at Wilson/Beacon), but the driver stopped the car when he saw me already half-way through the intersection. I took note of the taxi number, 2356, and time at the next stop sign and reported the cab to 311.

Suggested improvements: Intersections, even small ones, should be designed to reduce amount of conflict points between cars, bikes, and pedestrians, and cars should be subject to traffic-calming at the intersection so proceeding through a stop sign without stopping is difficult.

Driver makes eye contact with bicyclist but proceeds to ignore traffic rules, others’ safety

Type

Other
Injury: No

What happened

Roadway description: No bicycle markings

Your story: I had an extra special moment the other day. I was riding south on Damen approaching 94th – pretty quiet street with almost no traffic, even at noon on a Saturday. I approached the 4-way stop at 94th and was slowing down to stop. A minivan was approaching from the right. There was NO other traffic.

She looked towards me, appeared to see me, and was slowing down.  I paused very briefly, then started to roll, and then she started to roll right at me – without ever coming to a stop. I yelled out “STOP!” She said “I’m sorry” but still didn’t stop, just swerved behind me, making an extra wide swing to avoid hitting me as she made her right turn.

We were following the same route for the next few blocks.  She stopped at the red light at 95th – only because she had to (stopped traffic ahead). When the light turned green, she continued south on Damen. I slowed so she would pass me quickly and get the hell away from me. She slowed slightly at the next intersection (4-way stop) and blew through it, making a left turn.  I certainly got the impression that she wasn’t paying very much attention to anyone else on the road – unless they were in cars and blocking her path.

Suggested improvements: Give the drivers working brains that actually pay attention to what’s happening around them. This is a 4-way stop with wide-open sightlines. Except for poor visibility due to weather (definitely NOT an issue on Saturday) or lack of lighting and reflectors, there is NO excuse for drivers not seeing bikes here. It was bright and sunny. I could see her face clearly as she approached the intersection. She looked right at me and my presence didn’t register until I was right in front of her.