Monthly Archives: August 2013

Bicyclist left hooked by driver illegally crossing lanes to get onto LSD

Type

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

What happened

Roadway description: No bicycle markings

Your story: I was going east on Wilson to get to the Lakefront path. There are two lanes in each direction the block before the onramps to Lake Shore Drive. A driver in the left lane, without signaling, turned right across my path (I was the “first in line” at the light at Sheridan), to get onto southbound Lake Shore Drive.

Suggested improvements:

Either:

  1. Install stop signs at exits to force drivers to slow down instead of speed up to ramp,
  2. Lower turn radius onto on-ramps so drivers can’t enter them so quickly,
  3. Install a bike lane with markings “to lakefront” and mark the roadway lane so the left driving lane prohibits turning right onto the ramp (least helpful)

Almost doored on Milwaukee Avenue in Logan Square

Type

Almost doored
Injury: No

What happened

Roadway description: Bike lane (left of parking lane)

Your story: It was raining. The driver of a navy blue mid 80s 4-door Buick economy car opened his door suddenly as I was passing by, going northbound. The driver missed hitting me mid-leg by 1-2 inches. No one else was in the bike lane, nor were there pedestrians around who observed. I had no confrontation with the driver.

Suggested improvements: This is the first time I’ve ever had an encounter in this spot in over a year of riding Milwaukee daily. I think that this was mostly an issue of driver education. The bike lane at this point is actually fairly wide and reasonable.

Steven’s note: The bike lane here is the minimum width of 5 feet for bike lanes next to a row of parked cars. The minimum width for bike lanes against the curb (without any parked cars) is 4 feet. Some bike lanes expand to 6 feet, like parts of Elston Avenue. 

Driver revvs engine to play game with bicyclist who took the lane on Washington

Type

Passed really closely
Injury: No

What happened

Roadway description: No bicycle markings

Your story: The driver of a black Audi revved his engine as he passed me within inches this morning. I was riding in a straight line in the far right lane on Washington (eastbound). When I caught up to him at Washington and Michigan, he rolled down his window and told me to “Stay out of the road!”. I replied that he must not know the law. I explained that when no bike infrastructure exists and there are several lanes of traffic in the same direction, I have the right to take a lane. He laughed and said, “So that was too close for ya?”.  I said yes and started to explain the 3-foot law when he sped off laughing.

Suggested improvements: Educate motorists, enforce traffic laws and more “Bikes may take full lane” signs on streets without bike infrastructure.  I’ve had more than a dozen motorists yell at me when I do take the lane on Washington – they believe cyclists aren’t allowed on streets without bike lanes, sharrows, etc.

Driver revs engine, blocks bicyclist out of bike lane on Fullerton Avenue

Type

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

What happened

Roadway description: Bike lane (left of parking lane)

Your story: The driver of a wide, black Toyota Tacoma pickup truck (license plate WI BIGFSH with handicapped plate) pulled up behind me at Fullerton and Ashland, revving his engine. When we got the green to cross, he sped ahead, then for several blocks tried to block me/squeeze me out from the bike lane, or rode behind me in the bike lane revving his engine. His small children (under 5 years) in the back seemed entertained by his behavior and actually tried to stick their arms out the window to hit me.

Suggested improvements: Police presence and bike lane enforcement. This stretch of marked old-school bike lane from Fullerton/Ashland to Fullerton/Racine is notorious for inattentive and aggressive drivers.

Bicyclist doored on Lincoln Avenue in the bike lane, visits hospital

Steven says: This close call is a crash. I will not accept actual crashes in the future as you should make a crash report so that information is collected by the police and seen by local departments of transportation and researchers. 

Type

Almost doored
Injury: Had to visit a hospital later

What happened

Roadway description: Bike lane (left of parked cars)

Your story: I was riding southbound on Lincoln in the bike lane. There weren’t many cars parallel parked except a big SUV and the driver opened her door right into me. I flew over my handlebars and landed on my side and shoulder and broke my collarbone.

Suggested improvements: Cars should park as far to the curb as possible. If I had had a few more inches I maybe wouldn’t have been doored.