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


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.