Tag Archives: Augusta Boulevard

Bicyclist right hooked at common spot: southbound Milwaukee at Augusta

Type

Right hook (car turned right, across your path)
Injury: No

What happened

Roadway description: Green-painted bike lane between two vehicle lanes

Your story: Travelling SB on N Milwaukee just before the W Augusta Boulevard/Kennedy Expressway intersection. I was in the green-paitned bike lane there, which is surrounded by a through lane on the left and a turning lane on the right. Driver in the through lane decided he wanted to be in the turning lane without checking his six, or using a turn signal. I was going slow enough I was able to hard brake.

Suggested improvements:

  1. Bare minimum: Repaint the green lane.
  2. Improved signage for motorists. For example, at least a sign that says “Right Lane W Augusta/Kennedy Expy”. I get a lot of last minute lane changers throughout this whole intersection. Many drivers travel through the left, through lane past Augusta, then attempt to right turn onto the Kennedy.
  3. Blow up the Kennedy
  4. Reconfiguration of the intersection with cycle track and bicycle lights. Or those “fancy” European intersections that prevent motorists and cylists from having that conflict. You know the barnes dance-bicycle-dutch type.

Steven’s note: I see this happen 50% of the time I’m at this intersection. 25% of the time I see it it’s happening to me. I wrote about this on Grid Chicago. The pavement markings could be improved immediately to have “through the intersection” lines – the lanes already have “THROUGH ONLY” but the right lane has a through arrow + a right-turn arrow. There is a single sign that denotes how drivers should position their automobiles based on their destination: The sign shows two right-turning arrows and a through-arrow. However, it seems that too many people interpret these directions as forcing them to turn right onto Augusta.

Here’s another idea: ban right turns onto Augusta so that all right turns are onto the Kennedy. If you want to make a right turn onto Augusta, you can turn off Milwaukee onto southbound Noble Street (which is currently one-way northbound, though).

Which of these cars on the left will merge towards the left and block bicyclists?

It’s often very easy to tell which driver in the through lane will actually turn into the Kennedy Expressway on-ramp to the right, likely cutting off a bicyclist: look at where the car wheels are. If they’re on the line between the through lane and the bike lane, or in the bike lane, likelihood is high.

There’s a game I like to play here: which driver will turn into the Kennedy on-ramp from the through lane?

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.