Category Archives: Other

Bicyclist stops abruptly on North Avenue to avoid colliding with driver exiting parking space

Location

2200 W North Avenue, Chicago, IL
32nd Ward, Alderman Scott Waguespack

Type

Car turning (leaving parking space)
Abrupt stop

What happened

Your A driver of a parallel-parked car to my left pulled out of the space without signaling, nearly running into me. I yelled “hey! hey!” while braking and avoided the collision. He stopped his car to apologize, stating he didn’t see me because his mirrors were covered with water (it was raining at the time).

Suggested improvements

Bike-car separation is really the only thing I know of.

The Fascist Automobile vs. Bicycle Rebellion

I won’t editorialize much on this website. As you know, it documents all the crashes that almost happened. It’s a tool to keep tabs on some of the reasons why people don’t take up bicycling in Chicago at a good rate.

Hart Noecker writes “Rebel Metropolis” from Portland, Oregon, and they’re not kidding around when they discuss all the ways that automobiles are terrible for cities. It’s a voice that’s not heard much. In Chicago, for all the ways that bicycling is being encouraged, there are not equivalent, or even a fraction of, ways to discourage running people over with cars, polluting, and causing the city to spend millions on road maintenance without full reimbursement.

Here’re the first two paragraphs of their latest blog post:

For months I haven’t had a hostile altercation with a motorist while riding my 12-speed 1987 Peugeot Corbier. It’s uncanny. In the war between bikes and cars, this cycling soldier hasn’t seen much action. Nor have I heard many tales of defying death from my bicycling comrades of late.

Granted, winter has just ended. Warm weather means more bikes in the street thereby making riders more visible, but a rising heat index can also elevate stress levels and increase incidents of road rage.

Keep reading.

Divvy rider rear ended but driver takes them to train station

Type

Other

What happened

I had rented a Divvy bike for the first time and was riding westbound on Madison toward the Ogilvie Transportation Center. I was in the bike lane, sandwiched between the bus lane and the car lanes. Suddenly, the bike I was riding on was struck from behind by a car. Fortunately, the driver was braking and struck the bike at a low speed. I was not knocked off the bike, but the back fender was pushed into the tire. After the collision, the bike could not be ridden. I was lucky not to be injured in this collision. Although I was riding defensively, there was nothing I could have done to protect myself from this collision. The driver of the car was not paying attention. He was attempting to make a right turn when he hit the bike. I call the Divvy customer service number and Divvy sent a van to pick up the bike. The car driver was very apologetic and gave me a ride to Ogilvie.

Suggested improvements for this location: I wonder why the bike lane is sandwiched between the car lanes and bus lane. Shouldn’t it be on the far right along the curb on this one-way westbound street? Seems like it would be safer.

Editor’s note: I have been advocating to stop using the centered bike lane design the way the City of Chicago has been designing them.

Driver speeds across Addison as two bicyclists approach and have right-of-way

Type

Other

Injury: No

What happened

Roadway description: No bicycle markings

Your story: Two of us heading East on Addison. Driver in a mini van was waiting at stop sign on Osceola, headed South. Had to grab the brakes because driver sped across the road directly into our path. She almost T-boned us. We both shouted at her. She waved at us as she kept on driving.

Suggested improvements: [submitter didn’t leave any]

Driver doesn’t stop at intersection and bicyclist stops quickly to avoid collision on Inner Drive

Type

Other
Injury: No

What happened

Roadway description: No bicycle markings

Your story: I was headed north on the Inner Drive, alongside the park. I came to a foot-down stop at the intersection, where all northbound traffic must turn left. I signaled my left turn. The southbound driver who arrived at the intersection at the same time I did and I moved into the intersection at the same time. As I began my left turn onto Briar, the southbound driver behind the first car moved through the stop sign without stopping. I had to swerve and stop short to avoid the collision.

Suggested improvements: I don’t know. It was the driver who ignored the stop sign who needs improvement!

Bicyclist alerts mid-block-crossing pedestrian to their presence avoiding collision

Type

Other
Injury: No

What happened

Roadway description: Cycle track/protected bike lane (you’re between parked cars and the curb)

Your story: In my case, a pedestrian crossing Dearborn Street mid block from east to west passed between parked SUVs and was about to step in front of me as I rode north in the protected bike lane. I was scanning the area ahead of me on both sides of the lane and saw him before he stepped between the SUVs. I called out loudly before he stepped into the lane and he stopped.

Suggested improvements: A curb between parking lane and bike lane, or raised bike lane, would make bike lane more obvious to mid-block-crossing pedestrians as well as drivers.

Are you including ped incidents [not at this time]?

Bicyclist falls because tires got caught in old train tracks on Magnolia Avenue

Type

Other
Injury: Minor scrapes, bumps and bruises

What happened

Roadway description: Train tracks on the road

Your story: I was riding northbound on Elston Avenue just south of North Avenue. I turned east onto Magnolia Avenue. Magnolia is not a high-traffic street so I took it planning to reach North Avenue. However there are old train tracks on the road with wide gaps where my front tire got caught causing me to slide off the left side of my bike and falling off. I scraped my knees pretty badly. I was lucky the oncoming car on the opposite side of the road was still far otherwise I could have been run off since I slid into the oncoming road lane. The oncoming driver was nice and stopped to ask if I was ok. Fortunately I didn’t break anything, but my knees do hurt a lot.

Approaching the bad intersection

Looking north on Elston Avenue, where the bicyclist turned right onto northbound Magnolia Avenue.

Suggested improvements: My suggestion is, fixing the roads. Chicago officials take so much pride in making the city bike-friendly and bragging about during press conferences but they forget the number one factor for this plan to work: safe roads for EVERYONE not just for bikers. It is great to create bike lanes, but the roads are still extremely dangerous. These train tracks on Magnolia Avenue are old and not in use anymore. The city should invest in fixing all major roads and fixing roads where train tracks are no longer in use.

Cabbie drives into Kinzie bike lane without looking, almost hits 4 bicyclists

Type

Other
Injury: No

What happened

Roadway description: Cycle track/protected bike lane (you’re between parked cars and the curb)

Your story: Cab #770 crossed through a open spot in the parked cars facing eastbound on Kinzie Street and into the bike lane without looking. Almost took out 4 cyclists in front of me. When I passed and took his photo, he told me we should all just go around him when he’s picking people up. I told him there was plenty of legal parking right beside him and that he needed to yield to cyclists when in a bike lane. He rolled up his window and covered his face as I took the photo.

Suggested improvements: Actually enforce traffic laws. Educate cab drivers; most don’t seem to know the law.

Waiting in parking space for traffic to clear, bicyclist almost gets backed into

Type

Other
Injury: No

What happened

Roadway description: Wide/buffered bike lane (with hatch marks on one or both sides)

Your story: Many cars were parallel parked outside of REI.  After leaving the store, I was astride my bicycle in an empty parking spot waiting for bike traffic to clear so I could move into the lane.  The woman in the car in front of me decided to back up so she could move out of her spot into the road, but she didn’t look back at all. I started shouting and trying to move back, but there was a parked car behind me as well. I slapped her trunk, and she heard that then stopped and waved an apology.

Double parking parents block bike lane, bicyclist almost gets doored

Type

1. Almost doored
2. Other

Injury: No

What happened

Roadway description: Bike lane (left of parking lane)

Your story: I rode past the school right before 8 AMN when parents double park in the bike lane. I was nearly doored once by a white sedan. I swerved into traffic to avoid it. Immediately after that I stopped short as a child jumped out of a minivan into my path. I came VERY close to running down this child. The parent witnessed it and was extremely alarmed. I explained to the parent how dangerous it was to leave their children off in the bike lane (a lane reserved for bike traffic!) and into car traffic. I told them no cyclist wants to be responsible for the injury of a child!

I was so shaken that I walked my bike into the school lot and asked to speak to someone in charge. The school principal, Wendy Oleksy, was there and listened to my complaint about the double parkers. She assured me that there would be police presence there on the next Monday to enforce the bike lane rules. I was not able to confirm if this happened.

Suggested improvements: Please have police [or volunteer monitors?] enforce bike lane rules around schools in the morning and afternoon dropoff times. Parents double park EVERYDAY at this school and at the other two schools I pass on my route to work every morning. This is a tragedy just waiting to happen. All it takes is one cyclist injuring a child and we will all be the most hated people in Chicago.