Category Archives: Abrupt Stop

Driver turns across Dearborn cycle track and forces bicyclist to run into car

Location

320 N Dearborn St Chicago, IL

Type

Right hook (but actually to the left)
Had to stop abruptly

What happened

I was northbound in the protected Dearborn bike lane during rush hour. The driver of a black livery car turned left into the Westin Hotel driveway and I was forced to slam my brakes. I skidded into his driver’s-side door (at relatively low speed, but unavoidable).

He kept his window rolled up as I berated him, not seeming to understand that I had the right of way. I’d guess there was a customer in the back seat. Several other bicyclists were northbound with me, and remarked upon how scary a spot that driveway is. This is a perennial close-call spot in my commute, with drivers both entering and exiting the hotel driveway.

Suggested improvements

I can’t recall exactly, but I don’t think there’s any vertical signage there marking the bike lane for left-turning drivers. A green box extending into the gap in the parking lane would help, I suppose.

Ed. note: Another possibility is raising the bike lane at this point to the curb level and putting the driveway ramp in the “gap” in the parking lane. The ramp should be a different color and texture to highlight that this is a different situation that requires additional care.

Bicyclist ignored and honked at by taxi driver in Lakeview intersection

Location

2900 N Clark St, Chicago, IL
44th, Alderman Tom Tunney

Type

Had to stop abruptly

What happened

I was riding south on Clark in the buffered bike lane. There was a taxi on Oakdale at the stop sign waiting to cross Clark to continue west on Oakdale. There is no stop sign for Clark St traffic here so I proceeded. There was a long line of cars ahead of me, but I was far enough behind the other cars to be outside of any blind spots. After the last car in the line went through, the taxi pulled out just as I was crossing Oakdale, and honked at me as if I were in his way. I slowed down quickly but at that point I had already crossed his path.

Suggested improvements

Sometimes it feels like drivers do not look out for bicyclists and believe there are only cars on the road.

This stretch of Clark St has no traffic controls (stop lights/signs) from Wellington to Diversey. There should be traffic calming measures to slow down car traffic and make it easier for pedestrians and bike riders, who are often ignored, to be visible. In general, all drivers need to learn that cars are not the only vehicles using the streets.

Impatient driver speedily passes another in oncoming lane narrowly missing bicyclist

Location

651 S Wells St, Chicago, IL
2nd Ward, Bob Fioretti, soon to be 25th Ward, Danny Solis

Type

Had to stop abruptly

What happened

Traveling soutbound on S Wells St with blinking lights. The first vehicle was traveling northbound on Wells mid block at approximately 20mph. Second driver behind it thought that was to slow and swerved around first vehicle at a high rate of speed, greater than 35mph. As he swerved out it was directly at me. He missed me by about two feet. If it weren’t for my slight evade, I would have probably died and that’s not an exaggeration.

Suggested improvements

Traffic calming everywhere in the city, where roads encourage speeding. 

Construction makes Halsted confusing and gets bicyclist almost hit

Location

501 S. Halsted St Chicago, IL 60607
25th Ward, Alderman Danny Solis

Type

Had to stop abruptly

What happened

There is a ton of construction in this area due to the Circle Interchange work. Halsted is down to 2 lanes, one in each direction, with a continuous concrete barrier abutting the NB lane. I was turning left off of EB Harrison onto NB Halsted. With a green light in my favor, I made my left turn and narrowly averted a head-on collision with a car driving SB in the NB lane of Halsted.

After slamming on the brakes and swerving to dodge the first car, I saw there were multiple cars driving on the left side of a double yellow line heading my way. I fortunately was able to make a u-turn into the SB lane (where there stopped cars) and get to the sidewalk. I assumed I had made a mistake, and Halsted might have been one way b/c of construction, but as I crossed the bridge on the sidewalk, NB vehicle traffic continued across the bridge.

Suggested improvements

Suggested improvements for this location: This whole area is really dangerous currently. I’m not sure what you can do to stop people from driving on the wrong side, but if the construction on Halsted could move the barriers even five feet over they could add a cycle track.

Ed. note: Use Peoria Street while that bridge is still open. 

Bicyclist nearly hit as drivers use bike lane on the right to pass stopped car

Location

2000 W. Roscoe St, Chicago, IL
32nd Ward, Alderman Waguespack

Type

Had to stop abruptly

What happened

A driver was waiting to turn left from westbound Roscoe into the Speedway gas station (at the southwest corner of the intersection with Damen).

Other drivers were swerving around the turning car to pass it in the bike lane. I was riding in the westbound bike lane, and was nearly hit.

Suggested improvements

Protected bike lane on Roscoe.

Bicyclist nearly pinched on Milwaukee when impatient driver uses parking lane to bypass stopped car

Location

1324 N Milwaukee Chicago, IL 60622
1st Ward, Alderman Moreno

Type

Had to stop abruptly

What happened

Headed southbound on Milwaukee Avenue at Paulina Avenue. Single vehicle was waiting to make a left turn onto northbound Paulina from southbound Milwaukee. Driver of black SUV behind turning vehicle did the usual, swing out wide into the sharrow/parking lane to avoid being inconvenienced for four seconds.

I had nowhere to go except to slam on the brakes. I’m aware of this maneuver developing, so I generally approach it very slowly. Still, with full lights on and going 3 MPH, I was inches away from being pinched between the SUV and the parked cars. Also figures that the driver was on his cell phone during the time.

Suggested improvements

Ban cars on Milwaukee  no more pandering in my suggested improvements. If motorists can’t handle almost killing someone daily, they don’t deserve to use the road. Period.

Bicyclist must slow down to avoid being hit as driver doesn’t yield

Location

774 N Milwaukee Avenue, Chicago, IL
27th Ward, Burnett

Type

Left hook

What happened

I was approaching the intersection Milwaukee has with Ogden, going southeast. As is typical at this intersection, as CDOT hasn’t fixed it despite the issue being well known for years, northwest-facing drivers who want to turn left from Milwaukee onto southwest Ogden receive a red signal before southeast Milwaukee traffic receives a red signal. These drivers then make their left turn while oncoming traffic still has the right of way. I don’t blame them for this. The intersection and the signal doesn’t tell them how to behave.

Suggested improvements

This seems easy: add a left turn signal or ban left turns.

Bicyclist stops abruptly at Ohio/Milwaukee, a secretly problematic intersection

Location

600 N Milwaukee Ave Chicago, IL United States

Type

Had to stop abruptly

What happened

I was riding NB on Milwaukee Ave, in the bike lane. An SUV going westbound on Ohio ran the stop sign in order to turn right onto Milwaukee, across my path. As soon as I saw what he was doing, I started yelling while squeezing my brakes. I managed to stop just short of colliding with him, and he apologized.

Suggested improvements 

Stop allowing westbound traffic on Ohio on this block. Maybe there are less drastic solutions, but I cannot think of any.

This is possibly the most dangerous intersection I regularly ride through. Drivers pull out in front of bikes without looking on a regular basis here. I’ve learned to be very alert whenever I see a car approaching the stop sign, and it is only because of that that I didn’t crash in this instance.

Bicyclist maneuvers quickly to avoid getting hit by motorist’s sudden lane change

Type

Right hook or left hook
Had to stop abruptly

Location

801 N Milwaukee Ave (at Chicago Ave)
27th Ward, Alderman Burnett

What happened

A southbound motorist in thru lane on Milwaukee Ave had their lane partially blocked by vehicle turning left onto eastbound Chicago Ave. Motorist clearly had more important things to do than be inconvenienced for three seconds so they decided to swerve into my path. Dangerous maneuver by me, moving right into the right turn lane to avoid motorist.

Improvements

Lane markings and paint have reduced visibility at night and when coated in evaporated salt. Maybe some of those embedded lights?

Or, for that tiny pinch point middle bike lane, barrier preventing motorists from making last second lane choices. (Similar to the cluster at Milwaukee/Augusta/expressway.)

Bicyclist almost clipped when trying to avoid a dooring on Halsted Street

Type

Almost doored
Had to stop abruptly

Location

2601 N Halsted St (at Wrightwood)
43rd Ward, Alderman Smith

What happened

Was going north on Halsted, which just received buffered bike lanes north of Fullerton. I had just cleared the Wrightwood intersection, where there are still no bike lanes (just sharrows) after the light turned green when a man entering his car flung the door open as he looked at me coming in his path. I started to go to the left when I was cut off by a driver who turned right to swing into a parking spot. I stopped abruptly.

Improvements 

It doesn’t matter if you looked at me first, people getting into cars need to wait to open their doors.

Chicago needs to stop cutting bike lanes off at intersections and there need to be more good ways to get further north without having to go all the way over to a street like Damen.

We also need to stop pretending Halsted is a good bike route.