1900 S Halsted Street, Chicago, IL
25th Ward, Alderman Solis
Had to stop abruptly
I was biking north on Halsted headed toward the Divvy station around the corner on 18th. Northbound traffic was backed up from south of Canalport – normal for this time of day. The driver that swerved into the bike lane and, consequently, me was probably trying to get around a car waiting to turn left onto 19th through a gap in the similarly congested southbound traffic.
I screamed loudly enough that other drivers (including cops in a southbound police car) looked over, but was too busy swerving out of the way to see if the driver noticed me.
My left foot was scuffed from the driver’s front passenger-side tire. Thankfully the heavy-as-a-tank Divvy bike kept me upright. The driver didn’t stop, nor did any other drivers or passersby.
I’m (conspicuously) 8 months’ pregnant, and this close call was enough to guarantee that I won’t be riding until after my baby is born.
The Halsted bike lanes are treacherous, particularly around rush hour. Buses commonly drive in them southbound – I’ve experienced this from Lincoln Park all the way down to Pershing.
Better signage won’t do much – I was maybe 5 feet from a bike lane sign. Better enforcement of traffic laws might help, but I made eye-contact with a cop immediately after the near-miss, and he didn’t intervene.
Physical separation of the lanes seems like the only long-term intervention that will really make a difference in this location.