Category Archives: Harassing Driver

Driver almost hits cyclist and then drives wrong way down Wayne Avenue

Type

Abrupt stop

What happened

Driver took a right turn from Grace on Wayne to head south on Wayne. I was traveling north on northbound, one-way Wayne.  Just as he took his turn he almost hit me so I pulled quickly to the side. He then stopped his car to roll down his window and scream obscenities about bikers taking over the rode. He then proceeded to speed the wrong way on a one way south on Wayne. The whole incident was unbelievable that I had to share.

Ed. note: The submitter didn’t suggest any improvements to this location. The only one I can think of is a traffic diverter (preventing the wrong-way driving, mostly), but while that would solve this specific problem it may be solving problems this particular part of the neighborhood doesn’t have (like reducing cut-through traffic). 

Bicyclist asks driver to stop playing video games, gets nicked instead

Type

Harassing driver

What happened

Driver was playing a video game on his phone (farmville?  It was a phablet phone and the screen appeared to have grass and animals on it) with both hands while vehicle was moving.  His window was down and I yelled at him to pay attention, put his phone down!  Driver replied with “what difference does it make to you?” and jerked the wheel in my direction, swerving his vehicle into me, hitting my arm with his mirror.

Suggested improvements for this location: Buffered or Protected bike lane along with Bike Boxes ahead of the stop bar.  Car traffic is almost always backed up at this location and there are a LOT of commuters on Lincoln.  Buffering would be an improvement over the current sharrows but a PBL would ideal.

Driver honks, follows, and harasses bicyclist in Evanston

Type

Harassing driver

What happened

I was taking my usual route to work and was stopped at the stop sign on Grove, attempting to cross Ridge. Ridge is very busy at this intersection and has no stop sign, so sometimes there is a wait to cross. A pick-up truck came up fast behind me and started honking. I turned to look and he had his right turn signal on. He gestured with his hand with a shooing motion indicating that I should cross, which was impossible with the given traffic, or move to let him through. I could do neither, because of space restrictions, so I held up my arm in front of me to let him know I was going straight and proceeded to wait for an opening to cross. He continued honking throughout my wait and then, when there was a break in traffic, I crossed. Instead of turning right, he also went straight, followed me and continued honking. He passed me on the next block far closer than the required 3 feet. I passed him on the right at the next stop light at Church and Asbury, where I went to the front of traffic, signaled, waited for the light to turn green and then turned left. He also turned left, followed me again, honking, and then had his passenger roll down the window to yell at me as they passed me, again unsafely, before blowing by me well over the speed limit.

I got their license number (K99 1437) but the police said they were not interested unless I was willing to be pulled out of work to be interviewed by an officer. I understand them having this requirement, but I was not able to take off the needed time from work.

Suggested improvements: [submitter didn’t provide any]

Bicyclists get harassed by driver wanting to turn right onto Ashland from Elston

Type

Right hook

What happened

I was bicycling northbound on Elston with four others on bicycles. Coming out of the intersection with Armitage, we are all positioned in the right-hand lane and continuing with the lane as it traverses Ashland. An impatient driver in a compact car wishes to turn right onto Ashland, but was not positioned behind us nor using a turn signal. The driver stops in the through lane at the Ashland/Elston intersection, honks and yells as we travel straight through the light.

As part of my regular commute home, I am nearly right-hooked at least once a week at this location.

Suggested improvements for this location: Narrow roadway north of Armitage with new curb (or, as interim measure, use bollards, planters, and paint). Square the intersection to remove right turn only lane at Ashland, making left lane a thru/turn lane. Extend bike facilities through this stretch, as they exist before and just after it.

Editor’s note: This is a frequent right-hook location. The following video I made shows the situation.

Bicyclist and driver vie for same space at poorly marked intersection

Type

Right hook or left hook

What happened

Your story: I was heading southeast on Milwaukee Avenue and came to a stop where Milwaukee meets up with Belmont. There was a red truck (fairly large, probably an F250 with the cab covering the bed) that was in the right lane.

I biked between the car that was in the lane to go straight and in between the truck, as I presumed the truck was going to turn.

As soon as I got between the two the light changed to green and the truck sped up really quick and was merely inches away from me. It felt VERY aggressive. The car behind me then honked at me because I had to maneuver over a little bit to avoid getting seriously hurt from this large truck.

There was another biker just a little bit ahead of me, but I don’t think he saw anything because he didn’t react at all. The large truck continued to go really fast down Milwaukee.

Suggested improvements for this location:

I think there should at least be sharrows because drivers in this area do not seem to expect bikes. I’ve been passed very closely when I was doing absolutely nothing wrong more than once.

Editor’s note: This intersection, like most, could benefit from refreshed pavement markings. Secondly, the right lane could be marked as a right-turn lane (buses and bicycles excepted).

Driver revvs engine to play game with bicyclist who took the lane on Washington

Type

Passed really closely
Injury: No

What happened

Roadway description: No bicycle markings

Your story: The driver of a black Audi revved his engine as he passed me within inches this morning. I was riding in a straight line in the far right lane on Washington (eastbound). When I caught up to him at Washington and Michigan, he rolled down his window and told me to “Stay out of the road!”. I replied that he must not know the law. I explained that when no bike infrastructure exists and there are several lanes of traffic in the same direction, I have the right to take a lane. He laughed and said, “So that was too close for ya?”.  I said yes and started to explain the 3-foot law when he sped off laughing.

Suggested improvements: Educate motorists, enforce traffic laws and more “Bikes may take full lane” signs on streets without bike infrastructure.  I’ve had more than a dozen motorists yell at me when I do take the lane on Washington – they believe cyclists aren’t allowed on streets without bike lanes, sharrows, etc.

Driver revs engine, blocks bicyclist out of bike lane on Fullerton Avenue

Type

1. Passed really closely
2. Swerved into your path and then out of your path
Injury: No

What happened

Roadway description: Bike lane (left of parking lane)

Your story: The driver of a wide, black Toyota Tacoma pickup truck (license plate WI BIGFSH with handicapped plate) pulled up behind me at Fullerton and Ashland, revving his engine. When we got the green to cross, he sped ahead, then for several blocks tried to block me/squeeze me out from the bike lane, or rode behind me in the bike lane revving his engine. His small children (under 5 years) in the back seemed entertained by his behavior and actually tried to stick their arms out the window to hit me.

Suggested improvements: Police presence and bike lane enforcement. This stretch of marked old-school bike lane from Fullerton/Ashland to Fullerton/Racine is notorious for inattentive and aggressive drivers.

Bicyclist walks bike in crosswalk, truck driver blares horn and cuts them off

Type

Passed really closely
Injury: No

What happened

Roadway description: Crosswalk

Your story: I was walking my bike in the crosswalk because this intersection is too dangerous to ride in. I had the walk signal, but a large truck turning left (north onto Damen) let a long blast from the horn and drove through the crosswalk at high speed, missing me by about 10 inches.

Suggested improvements: Protected bike lane, bike signals.

Driver tells bicyclists to “get off the road” on Washington Street

Type

1. Passed really closely
2. Swerved into your path and then out of your path
Injury: No

What happened

Roadway description: No bicycle markings

Your story: Another cyclist and I were riding eastbound on Washington Street. As we passed across Dearborn Street, a motorist in a red SUV behind us squealed his tires as he sped up. He then swerved into the center lane when he was within a car-length of us. He did the same thing at the next two lights – buzzing cyclists as he yells “Get off the road!”.

Suggested improvements: Educate motorists and enforce traffic laws.

Bicyclist told they don’t belong on the road, tries to run them off Kimball

Type

1. Passed really closely
2. Swerved into your path and then out of your path
Injury: No

What happened

Roadway description: No bicycle markings

Your story: The driver buzzed my shoulder on Lincoln just north of Devon. The driver was caught in traffic and I passed him after we both turned south-bound onto Kimball Ave. The driver revved his engine and swerved at me north of Peterson Ave on Kimball. I took the opportunity of both of us being stopped at the Peterson/Kimball light to get my phone and turn on the camera.

At Ardmore and Kimball he was stopped well ahead of me and I took pictures of his license plate.  The driver then put his car into reverse and drove at me in reverse nearly hitting me as I stood next to parked cars.

The driver then accosted me for “being in his way” and that I should “get off the road”. I told the driver he needed to keep 3 feet away from me [as required by city and state laws]. When the light changed I attempted to ride away and the driver revved his engine again at me, then drove alongside me and continued yelling obscenities.

At this point, just south of Ardmore, the driver swerved at me and ran me into parked cars and took off. The driver behind us witnessed the entire scenario and has offered to be a witness. The driver’s license plate number is CRD 5, it is a memorial Fire Fighters plate. The car is a bright red Honda Civic Si.

The incident was reported to a police officer and I plan to pursue charges.

Suggested improvements: Get this guy out of a car! The street is typically pretty safe and plenty wide. This one isn’t the fault of the road, it’s the fault of a single driver.