Category Archives: Car Turning

Bicyclist nearly right-hooked on Kedzie at North Ave

Location

Kedzie Avenue at North Avenue, southbound
Ward 26, Alderman Roberto Maldonaldo

Type

Right hook
Had to stop abruptly

What happened

The driver of a gray Dodge SUV turned right onto North Avenue from Kedzie Boulevard on a green light but didn’t yield for me at the intersection. I crept to the intersection and they paced, just before they right-hooked me did they seem to fully realize the significance of the situation. As I stopped before the impending collision I was met with stares as though by being there i was somehow breaking a law. Driver and lady passenger stared contemptuously, safe in their steel tonnage after having come within inches of collision, then sped off…

Suggested improvements 

Join the two halves of the bike lane by dotted lines and paint the word yield on either side (not in the bike lane)

Editor’s note: The bike lane ends 150 feet before reaching North Avenue in favor of marking a right-turn lane for motorists.

Impatient motorists gains a few feet in the queue but not before nearly striking cyclist

Location

900 N Milwaukee Ave (south of Augusta)
27th Ward, Alderman Burnett

Type

Right hook

What happened

Typical rush hour traffic on southbound Milwaukee Ave: cars stopped, backed up in the main travel lane while a line of bikes was moving in the bike lane. The driver of a purple van was stopped in the line of cars. Instead of waiting, he swerved right out into the bike lane, nearly striking the cyclist ahead of me. He drove in the bike lane past a few cars and then merged back into the main travel lane.

Suggested improvements

An actual barrier or grade-separation of this “protected” bike lane would make it less convenient for drivers to use it as a passing lane.

Two motorists don’t look before turning, nearly hit bicyclist on Fullerton

Location

Fullerton and Clark
43rd Ward, Alderman Michelle Smith

Type

Right hook

What happened

First two blocks before Clark St between Orchard St and Geneva Terrance, a motorist was in their car standing still with no hazards on in the travel lane. Without a turn signal he began to turn right, in front of me, to enter a residential parking lot. I was already half-way into passing him so I had to do a U-turn and turn with him.

Then, a few seconds later approaching Clark St, all cars were standing at the red light. I was making my way to the front and the motorist in the fifth car closest to the traffic light decided to scoot further right (into me) forcing me to move as far right as I could, causing me to crash into a standing vehicle.

Suggested improvements

A clearly visible bike lane like the green ones in Wicker Park. Signs to remind drivers to look out for cyclists. A bike lane. No turn on red.

Driver stops just in time to avoid right-hooking bicyclist on Desplaines Street

Location

120 N Desplaines Street, Chicago, IL

Type

Right hook
Abrupt stop

What happened

I was cycling southbound on Desplaines Street when I was nearly right hooked by a driver turning their car into a parking lot. My loud yell caught the driver’s attention and thankfully they  stopped the Mercedes in time.

Suggested improvements

There are no signs here to indicate to a driver they are about to cross an additional lane of bicycle traffic while turning. Some sort of warning sign and/or green paint as used elsewhere in the city could be helpful to prevent this in the future.

Bicyclist has to stop abruptly to avoid SUV turning in front of view-blocking FedEx truck

Location

701 N Milwaukee Avenue, Chicago, IL
Ward 27, Alderman Burnett

Type

Abrupt stop

What happened

Was cycling northbound on Milwaukee in the marked bike lane. First had to navigate around illegally parked delivery truck completely blocking the bike lane leaving a totally blind intersection to cross through. Then, the driver of a large SUV makes a left turn into a parking lot and unexpectedly stops while completely blocking the bike lane.

Slamming on the brakes is the only alternative here due to another illegally parked delivery truck which is blocking the only other safe exit path from this situation.

Suggested improvements

For this location and others would be designated parking areas for delivery vehicles that don’t block traffic lanes or bike lanes and are located in such a way that don’t create obstructed views of intersections. Also, ticketing of illegally parked vehicles could help with the illegal parking.

Bicyclist right-hooked by taxi driver in River North

Location

Type

Right hook
Abrupt stop

What happened

I was riding eastbound in the bike lane on Illinois approaching a stale green light at State St. A cab driver from my left sped up to make it through the green light and abruptly made a right turn in front of me. I had to slam on the brakes to avoid a collision.

Suggested improvements

None provided.

Ed. note: call 311 (or go online) and report the cab number to the operator. The city Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection takes seriously the dangerous and poor quality behavior that professionally licensed chauffeurs exhibit. 

Motorist looking for parking, instead of for bicyclist in bike lane on Kedize

Location

1945 N Kedzie Ave Chicago, IL
1st Ward, Alderman Proco “Joe” Moreno

Type

Right hook

What happened

Riding westbound down Armitage, I was in the left-turn lane to turn left onto Kedzie. I pulled behind a driver in that lane, and when the light changed, he turned left into the traffic lane, and I turned left into the bike lane.

On Kedzie, the driver moved slowly enough that I pulled up alongside him in the bike lane. He then turned into the bike lane, heading towards me. I yelled, he noticed me, and made an apologetic gesture.

Suggested improvements 

Enforcement of motor vehicles that drive and park in the bike lanes. This driver behaved as drivers who are looking for parking do. However, there were no available parking spaces near the sport where he almost hit me. Had there been, I would have been aware that he was likely to turn and would not have put myself in a spot to get hit if he did so.

Therefore, I believe that he intended to pull into the bike lane to park there. Residents on this stretch of Kedzie are in the habit of using the bike lane as a loading/standing zone. This incident illustrates how that behavior is not just inconvenient to cyclists, but it is dangerous to them.

Pregnant Divvy rider almost gets run into riding in Halsted bike lane

Location

1900 S Halsted Street, Chicago, IL
25th Ward, Alderman Solis

Type

Right hook
Had to stop abruptly

What happened

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.

Suggested improvements 

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.

Bicyclist screams to prevent SUV driver from turning into them

Location

3600 N Southport, Chicago, IL

Type

Right hook

What happened

I’m not sure the exact date/time but it was during an afternoon Cubs game. 

I’m riding northbound on Southport through the Addison intersection. At the intersection, the driver of a black SUV, without using their turn signal, turns right into me, trying to head east on Addison. I scream, and they stop before hitting me. 

The driver and passenger both have Cubs gear on. 

Suggested improvements

Bike way sight lines through intersections. More police monitoring & punishment of drunk drivers during Cubs games in Lakeview.

Bicyclist right-hooked on Grand by ABT delivery truck driver

Location

Grand Ave at McClurg Ct
42nd Ward, Alderman Reilly

Type

Right-hook (a right-hook doesn’t actually mean there has to be a collision; if you had to react with your bicycle, you had a right-hook)

What happened

I was heading westbound on Grand ave when an ABT delivery truck pulled from the left curb near McClurg to make a right at the intersection of Grand and McClurg. There were no signals for changing lanes or turning and no apparent observation of me by the occupants of the truck. No words were exchanged.

Suggested improvements

Nothing inherently wrong with the location pertaining to this incident.

Ed. note: I think that the bike lane doesn’t even look like a bike lane. For the whole length of the video you see a faded line on both sides, no bicycle symbols (markings), the line drops out on the right side as it passes a driveway, and it is dashed on the left side as it passes a driveway. I wouldn’t be surprised if drivers couldn’t identify it as a bike lane.