Category Archives: Intersection Related

Bicyclist speeds up to avoid getting creamed by truck driven in the bike lane

Location

400 W Kinzie (at Kingsbury), Chicago, IL
42nd Ward, Alderman Reilly

Type

Passed closely

What happened

A smaller food delivery truck started merging into the eastbound Kinzie bike lane immediately after I crossed the bridge at Kinzie and the river. I had to swerve right and sprint to avoid the truck’s tires which were about 1 foot into the lane. When I cleared the truck I looked back at the driver who seemed to be annoyed to see me.

Steven’s note: this bike lane is now over three years and has no changes or upgrades since installation in May 2011. It had some restriping but with paint and not thermoplastic so the wear is noticeable. Most of the white, flexible posts are gone. At the point where this person had their close call there were no more posts and the bike lane was half filled with snow, as they mention below.

I rode by here several hours later and noticed some of the confusion this dilapidated situation and insufficient design causes: a driver drove in the bike lane all the way up to the stop sign, to the right of the three remaining posts (the ones that block the entry have been missing for months). 

Suggested improvements

It would be rad if the city did a better job of clearing the snow pile right at the east end of the bridge so I had more room to avoid this. Additionally, it would be helpful if the barrier poles which have been steadily were replaced to create a physical protection. I see people driving in the white here a lot.

Bicyclist speeds up at Milwaukee/Chicago to avoid getting run over by cement truck

Location

802 N Milwaukee Avenue, Chicago, IL
27th Ward, Alderman Burnett

Type

Right hook

What happened

I was biking southbound in the bike lane going through the intersection just after the green. I had just crossed the crosswalk when a cement truck on my left, preparing to make a right turn onto Chicago Avenue, started merging into the bike lane (of course there was no turn signal). The cyclist in front of me was cleared, but I was not yet. I sprinted to get out of the way.

Suggested improvements

There should really be a bike box in front of the turn lane here. Turning vehicles are almost always hanging out in the bike lane and drivers are not super mindful. I’d feel better if I could always be way in front of traffic stopped at the light.

Bicyclist left-hooked by driver who ignored red left-turn signal on Dearborn

Location

400 N Dearborn Street
42nd Ward, Alderman Reilly

Type

Left hook

What happened

Traveling north in the Dearborn PBL. Bicycle traffic signal was clearly green. Left turning motorist from N Dearborn (onto W Kinzie), decided to ignore the red left turn signal and almost kill me (left hook). I was already turning left, so my reduced speed is pretty much the only thing that got me through it.

Suggested improvements

Given this intersections configuration, if motorists can’t be bothered to obey traffic signals I’m not sure what other options there are instead of banning cars from N. Dearborn. A passive solution would be to get CDOT to install red light cameras for illegal left turners at all Dearborn PBL locations considering one sees this occur about once a week still.

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 clipped by frustrated driver on Milwaukee at Grand and Halsted

Type

Passed closely
Harassing driver

Location

495 N Milwaukee Ave, at Grand and Halsted
27th Ward, Alderman Burnett

What happened

I was headed northbound on Milwaukee. The light was red at Grand, which has a green bike box in the front of the intersection. A driver was blocking the bike lane, but not the bike box, and there was another cyclist in the box in front of her. I rode around the driver and stopped in the box, next to the other cyclist and was shortly joined by a third cyclist. The driver rolled down her window and yelled “why must you stop directly in front of me!?”. Before we could point out the bike box, the light turned, and she screamed “Move!” and honked her horn. As we started to move, she accelerated quickly and passed us closely, clipping one of the cyclists.

The clipped cyclist later caught up to her (since traffic was heavy, she quickly got stuck in a line of cars), and she drive into the other lane (into oncomming traffic) to get away from him, eventually turning right on Elston.

Improvements

Real separation between cyclists and impatient, reckless drivers.

Bicyclist almost slammed by errant and impatient driver

Type

Left hook (also a kind of “passed closely”)

Location

Winnemac and Ashland Chicago, IL  United States
Contact: 46th Ward (Cappleman) if northbound, 47th Ward (Pawar) if southbound

What happened

Your story: Black SUV driver was stopped behind car turning northbound on Ashland, I’m riding into the intersection, light is green, driver (2nd in line behind car turning) decides to pull around driver making turn into my path. I hit their back window with my gloved hand. 

Suggested improvements for this location: Bike path markings through intersections.

Driver almost turns into bicyclist, but bicyclist stops to avoid collision

Type

Had to stop abruptly

What happened

 

I was biking south on Clark towards Diversey and was riding in the traffic lane because I had to move around a bus that was stopped to pick up passengers. Driver was on Diversey and attempting to turn right onto southbound Clark.

The driver turned right immediately in front of me causing me to stop abruptly.

Suggested improvements for this location: Designate Diversey and Clark, if not already done so, a “No Right on Red” in all directions. If this is already designated the police [or cameras] should enforce it.

Illegal right-turn-on-red causes bicyclist to stop abruptly to avoid crash

Type

Had to stop abruptly

What happened

I was headed north on Lincoln Avenue. A driver whose car had NY plates was facing west on Wisconsin and waiting at the red light suddenly flicked her cigarette out the window and went through the red light to make a soft right-turn onto Lincoln, northbound. I and a taxi, both in the middle of the intersection (with a light that had turned green 5 seconds before) had to stop abruptly to let her through.

Suggested improvements for this location: Red light camera so she would at least pay for her nonchalance!

Ed. note: In Chicago, right turns on red are banned at all five and six-way intersections, with signs. New York City is the only known city in the country to ban the turns at all intersections. It would be better for pedestrian safety if the ban was switched in Chicago. 

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). 

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]