Bicyclist in terrifying incident with CTA bus driver who veers into them at bus stop

Location

1650 N Clark Street
Alderman Michelle Smith, 43rd Ward

Type

Passed closely

What happened

A southbound CTA 36 bus #1308 driven by a late 40’s white female passed myself and another cyclist very closely just before the Clark and LaSalle intersection. The cyclist in front of me was driven into an open door of a parked car. At that point I noted the number on the back of the bus, planning to file a report to CTA and went on my way, passing the bus at Clark and LaSalle. Approaching the red light at Clark and North, the bus driver again started to pass me very closely.

There is absolutely no way she didn’t know I was there. As the bus was at the less than halfway point past me with less than a bus length to go before the stop, she veered towards the stop with about 1 foot of space between the bus and the curb, with me in between. As this was happening, I was thinking the driver would slow for me to pass because it seemed inconceivable that the driver wouldn’t wait 3 seconds for me to reach the light.

I was screaming for her to stop and banging on the windows of the bus but she kept veering over towards the curb pinning me between the bus and the curb. I fell over onto the curb with my leg actually under the bus. I got myself and my bike up on the sidewalk (light still red) and the driver quickly closed the door so I couldn’t get on.

I banged on the door but she ignored me so I know she knows what she did. I noted the driver’s appearance and had already gotten the number on the bus from before when she passed so decided it best not to interact further and again passed the bus leaving it far behind.

Suggested improvements

Add PBL’s or at least some paint so drivers know there will be cyclists. Though in this case there is no way she missed seeing me. CTA drivers need to be certain that they have cleared bikers before veering towards the stop as well as pass with a minimum of 3 feet of space between.

Ed. note: This submitter has notified the Chicago Transit Authority of this incident, using their feedback@transitchicago.com contact point.