Tag Archives: California Avenue

Bicyclist alerts driver to impending collision, driver avoids and revs engine


4100 N California Ave, Chicago, IL
33rd Ward, Alderman Deb Mell


Had to stop abruptly

What happened

Heading north on California Ave next to Horner Park and a driver abruptly decided to try and move into the parking lane in order to turn right into one of the Horner Park entrances. They saw me and I yelled and then told them to watch out, which the driver and 5 passengers didn’t seem to like, which led to the driver revving his engine while I continued in front of him north on California.

Suggested improvements

Repainting the shared bike lane markings would be nice. A protected bike lane would be better although I don’t know if the street is wide enough [it would be wide enough if you removed parking from one side, like the park side which has its own parking lots].

Something like California between Addison and Roscoe would be better (well defined lane, maybe buffered).

Bicyclist grazed, but not injured, at California/Addison


Passed closely

What happened

I was stopped at the red light on California at Addison, heading south. As I was waiting for the light to change, a car pulled up next to me – too close and grazed my left side – the car hit my handlebar hard enough I had to catch myself and bike on my right leg. The driver did not get out of the car or roll down his window to say anything to me, just waved.

I pulled up a little ahead of the car to see its license plate, which, I believe said “R59 8280” (though when the police did a license place search it didn’t seem to match the car). It was a light-colored Toyota Corolla. As I wasn’t hurt, just annoyed, and my bike was ok, I pulled ahead once the light changed and continued on my way. As I was biking, though, the guy passed me and blew a kiss at me. Because apparently, sexism solves traffic accidents.

Ed. note: This is a collision, but since the bicyclist wasn’t injured I’m unsure if this would merit showing up in the Illinois crash reports dataset. Since the goal of Close Calls is to report the unreported, I am including it here. The submitter didn’t provide suggested improvements. 

Older driver oblivious to almost hitting bicyclist and runner in West Ridge


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

What happened

Roadway description: No bicycle markings

Your story: As I rode south on California through the intersection with Peterson, a motorist turned right on to Peterson from the southbound through-lane, nearly striking me and a runner. We both shouted at him, but he obliviously continued. I saw his face, he was an older man and gave no indication of having seen either of us.

Suggested improvements:

  • Better bike facilities on California
  • Curb bump outs to narrow turn radii and increase pedestrian visibility
  • Better driver education
  • Stricter driver testing