Tag Archives: Clark Street

Two motorists don’t look before turning, nearly hit bicyclist on Fullerton

Location

Fullerton and Clark
43rd Ward, Alderman Michelle Smith

Type

Right hook

What happened

First two blocks before Clark St between Orchard St and Geneva Terrance, a motorist was in their car standing still with no hazards on in the travel lane. Without a turn signal he began to turn right, in front of me, to enter a residential parking lot. I was already half-way into passing him so I had to do a U-turn and turn with him.

Then, a few seconds later approaching Clark St, all cars were standing at the red light. I was making my way to the front and the motorist in the fifth car closest to the traffic light decided to scoot further right (into me) forcing me to move as far right as I could, causing me to crash into a standing vehicle.

Suggested improvements

A clearly visible bike lane like the green ones in Wicker Park. Signs to remind drivers to look out for cyclists. A bike lane. No turn on red.

Bicyclist in terrifying incident with CTA bus driver who veers into them at bus stop

Location

1650 N Clark Street
Alderman Michelle Smith, 43rd Ward

Type

Passed closely

What happened

A southbound CTA 36 bus #1308 driven by a late 40’s white female passed myself and another cyclist very closely just before the Clark and LaSalle intersection. The cyclist in front of me was driven into an open door of a parked car. At that point I noted the number on the back of the bus, planning to file a report to CTA and went on my way, passing the bus at Clark and LaSalle. Approaching the red light at Clark and North, the bus driver again started to pass me very closely.

There is absolutely no way she didn’t know I was there. As the bus was at the less than halfway point past me with less than a bus length to go before the stop, she veered towards the stop with about 1 foot of space between the bus and the curb, with me in between. As this was happening, I was thinking the driver would slow for me to pass because it seemed inconceivable that the driver wouldn’t wait 3 seconds for me to reach the light.

I was screaming for her to stop and banging on the windows of the bus but she kept veering over towards the curb pinning me between the bus and the curb. I fell over onto the curb with my leg actually under the bus. I got myself and my bike up on the sidewalk (light still red) and the driver quickly closed the door so I couldn’t get on.

I banged on the door but she ignored me so I know she knows what she did. I noted the driver’s appearance and had already gotten the number on the bus from before when she passed so decided it best not to interact further and again passed the bus leaving it far behind.

Suggested improvements

Add PBL’s or at least some paint so drivers know there will be cyclists. Though in this case there is no way she missed seeing me. CTA drivers need to be certain that they have cleared bikers before veering towards the stop as well as pass with a minimum of 3 feet of space between.

Ed. note: This submitter has notified the Chicago Transit Authority of this incident, using their feedback@transitchicago.com contact point. 

Bicyclist on Clark Street almost rammed into by hospital courtesy van and driver

Location

2424 N Clark Street Chicago, IL 60614
Alderman Michele Smith, 43rd Ward

Type

Abrupt stop

What happened

I was riding in the shared bike/bus lane, southbound on Clark Street a bit after 8 am. In advance of the Fullerton/Clark intersection, I could see that there were a bunch of cars queued up to turn left. They were far back enough on the street that they were blocking any cars whose drivers wanted to proceed straight. At this point, the bike/bus lane is still clearly marked and divided from traffic, and is marked that way for another 50-60 feet.

Riding toward the intersection, I saw the Advocate Illinois Masonic Patient Courtesy van driver start to pull into the bike lane, in an apparent attempt to get around the jam of left-turning cars. Thinking they were going for it, I prepared to brake hard, but the van stopped, and I thought they saw me. I was wrong. As I pulled even with the front windows of the van, the driver hit the gas and the van jumped toward me and into the bike lane. I was able to swerve to the right and avoid the van. I yelled, “NO!” and pointed directly at the driver.

After I passed the van, the driver finished driving into the bike lane for the remaining 50-60 feet before the merged into the other lanes and pulled up behind me at the Southbound Fullerton/Clark red light. The light changed and the driver came up next to me, yelled something through the open passenger-side window. I couldn’t hear what they said, but their face looked none too friendly. I said, “Do you understand how bike lanes work?!?” but the driver was already gone, accelerating further down Clark street.

Suggested improvements

Short of building a buffered lane, which would mean it was no longer a rush hour bus lane, I’m not really sure.

Bicyclist ignored and honked at by taxi driver in Lakeview intersection

Location

2900 N Clark St, Chicago, IL
44th, Alderman Tom Tunney

Type

Had to stop abruptly

What happened

I was riding south on Clark in the buffered bike lane. There was a taxi on Oakdale at the stop sign waiting to cross Clark to continue west on Oakdale. There is no stop sign for Clark St traffic here so I proceeded. There was a long line of cars ahead of me, but I was far enough behind the other cars to be outside of any blind spots. After the last car in the line went through, the taxi pulled out just as I was crossing Oakdale, and honked at me as if I were in his way. I slowed down quickly but at that point I had already crossed his path.

Suggested improvements

Sometimes it feels like drivers do not look out for bicyclists and believe there are only cars on the road.

This stretch of Clark St has no traffic controls (stop lights/signs) from Wellington to Diversey. There should be traffic calming measures to slow down car traffic and make it easier for pedestrians and bike riders, who are often ignored, to be visible. In general, all drivers need to learn that cars are not the only vehicles using the streets.

Driver buzzes bicyclist on Clark Street “with just a few inches between us”

Location

1925 N Clark St Chicago, IL
43rd Ward, Alderman Michele Smith

Type

Passed closely

What happened

A maroon Nissan Sentra passed me with just a few inches between us. This occurred in the right lane, just north of the Lincoln/Clark intersection, going south. The driver didn’t honk, just pulled up right beside me and started to pass me. I yelled, “HEY! MOVE! OVER!” and the driver did nothing.

At the light, there was enough time for me to knock (gently, I swear) on the window and tell the driver they have to give cyclists at least two feet of room when they pass. The driver and his passenger ignored me completely while I said that, stared straight ahead. After I turned right on to Lincoln, then left onto Wells, the driver caught up with me and stayed just off to my left and behind me until I hit the intersection of Wells and Chicago, at which point the car traffic was such that they lost me.

I’m not sure what their motivation was for following me, perhaps they were just taking the same route and were now afraid to pass me after our initial interaction.

Suggested improvements

That stretch of Clark after the bike lanes disappear has always resulted in bad car/bike interactions for me, especially once Clark expands south of Dickens. Add that to the potholes there and it results in some very close passing. My only suggestion would be an actual lane, or least better marked sharrows.

Taxi driver buzzes two cyclists, doesn’t understand rules of the road

Location

1600 N Clark St
43rd Ward, Alderman Michele Smith

Type

Passed closely
Harassing driver

What happened

The same taxi driver passed myself and another cyclist with about eight inches to spare two times in a row where both of us had to swerve into parked cars to get out of his way. Clark Street at this location is quite wide and there was plenty of space to pass safely.

When I pulled up next to him at Clark and North I asked him to roll down his window and requested that he not pass cyclists so close. His response was “This is not a bicycle path. It is illegal for you to bike here”.

I told him that legally we are allowed to bike on the streets and that the law was that he has to pass with at least three feet of space. At this point he started yelling at me “How much taxes do you pay? I pay taxes.”

I’m not sure where he was going with his class-based argument. Was he implying that people who pay more taxes are more entitled to public space? I informed him that I pay property tax, income tax, sales tax and though I rarely use it I have a car which I also pay tax on. At that point I could see I was getting nowhere and I was getting pretty steamed so I just left.

Do taxi drivers have to take some sort of test indicating that they understand road rules before getting a license? It seems that this guy really had no idea that cyclists are legally allowed to bike on the street.

Ed. note: Taxi drivers indeed take a public chauffeur course at Harold Washington College before the Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection will issue them a chauffeur permit. 

Suggested improvements

[None provided]

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.

Driver leaving parking lot sees right through bicyclist on Clark Street

Type

Other

What happened

Riding southbound on Clark, after crossing Chestnut, I had overtaken another biker. After getting ahead by 20 feet, I began to return to same path as the other biker when a vehicle started exiting the parking lot on the west side of Clark.

The driver appeared to see through me and focused on other vehicles only to block the other rider’s path and continued to pull into the street. The driver forced me nearly into the opposite direction travel lane while a cluster of northbound cars were approaching us.

Ed. note: submitter declined to suggest improvements. 

Clark Street bicyclist right hooked, falls and hurts ankle

Type

Right hook
Had to stop abruptly

What happened

I was biking northbound on Clark past the Francis Parker School. I had been riding next to this black SUV. Suddenly the driver decides to turn into a parking lot. I got right hooked. Had to slam on my brakes, swerved off the road and landed on my ankle wrong 🙁

Suggested improvements for this location: this woman should have been paying attention.

Ed. note: The street is too narrow to accommodate existing parking and a bike lane. The bike lane would have made a minor improvement on visibility of bicyclists. 

Driver blows through red light at Clark/Madison, nearly hits bicyclist

Type
Other
Injury: No

What happened

Roadway description: Bike lane (left of bus lane)

Your story: I was biking westbound on Madison. I had a green light as I crossed Clark. A southbound driver of a black sedan on Clark blew through the red light and almost hit me; the driver slammed on the brakes and we barely avoided each other.

Suggested improvements: I was too shaken up to have the wherewithal to talk to the driver before (s)he drove away. I would like to know if this was the result of distracted driving, or what. To just blow through a red light (the Madison Street green light was nearing the end of its countdown, so this driver was not simply trying and failing to beat a yellow) seems egregious to me. Maybe if there isn’t a red light camera at that intersection, there should be.