Bicyclist right-hooked in River North but has a conversation with driver afterwards

Location

Franklin and Ohio, Chicago, IL
42nd, Alderman Reilly

Type

Right hook

What happened

I was riding north on Franklin, about to go through a green light, when a van turned right in front of me. I yelled and the driver stopped after a couple seconds, but I couldn’t stop in time to avoid my arm hitting her right rearview mirror. (I don’t know if it counts as a close call since there was a collision, but I didn’t fall and wasn’t injured except for a bruise on my arm.)

After she stopped she started yelling at me and I yelled back at her–she said I wasn’t in the bike lane (there isn’t a bike lane there) and that I should have seen her turn signal (I was riding at the same rate as traffic, so I didn’t see it–I think that’s also why she didn’t see me). We argued for a couple minutes and then she said she’d pull over so we could talk about it out of the way of traffic, which she did, and then asked if I was OK and if I needed her information. I said I was all right and left it at that–it seemed like she’d been trying to drive carefully and just hadn’t seen me next to her van.

Suggested improvements

A dedicated right-turn lane might help.

Ed. note: I would disagree. A dedicated right-turn lane would move the conflict point slightly, but maintain a conflict point. I think that drivers need better training and it needs reinforcing that a bicyclist will be on any street at any time and deserve a look to the right and to the mirror.