450 S Franklin Street
Alderman Solis, 25th Ward
As a reminder, Chicago code and Illinois statute require that motorists pass bicyclists with at least three feet of space between.
I was riding north on Franklin Street towards a Divvy station when the driver of a dark gray SUV (license plate #QLDOG) sped up from behind and steered towards me in an attempt to intimidate. They sped off, running yellow/red light at Van Buren.
Include a bike lane on east and west side of street.
1900 S Halsted Street, Chicago, IL
25th Ward, Alderman Solis
Had to stop abruptly
I was biking north on Halsted headed toward the Divvy station around the corner on 18th. Northbound traffic was backed up from south of Canalport – normal for this time of day. The driver that swerved into the bike lane and, consequently, me was probably trying to get around a car waiting to turn left onto 19th through a gap in the similarly congested southbound traffic.
I screamed loudly enough that other drivers (including cops in a southbound police car) looked over, but was too busy swerving out of the way to see if the driver noticed me.
My left foot was scuffed from the driver’s front passenger-side tire. Thankfully the heavy-as-a-tank Divvy bike kept me upright. The driver didn’t stop, nor did any other drivers or passersby.
I’m (conspicuously) 8 months’ pregnant, and this close call was enough to guarantee that I won’t be riding until after my baby is born.
The Halsted bike lanes are treacherous, particularly around rush hour. Buses commonly drive in them southbound – I’ve experienced this from Lincoln Park all the way down to Pershing.
Better signage won’t do much – I was maybe 5 feet from a bike lane sign. Better enforcement of traffic laws might help, but I made eye-contact with a cop immediately after the near-miss, and he didn’t intervene.
Physical separation of the lanes seems like the only long-term intervention that will really make a difference in this location.
I was riding southbound on a Divvy bike past Marina City. I had lights on my helmet to supplement those on the bike. A car that had been standing at the curb suddenly started to pull out into traffic when I was next to it. I called out loudly as I veered left in the lane. The driver stopped and waited until after I’d passed.
Suggested improvements for this location: Sharrows
Ed. note: You can fit a protected bike lane here.
Had to stop abruptly
I was traveling as far to the right on Van Buren Street as safely possible, and there was little traffic on the street. A taxi cut across all lanes of traffic and almost ran into me at a 90-degree angle in the middle of the street. I stopped quickly (luckily the Divvy brakes were responsive enough and I was traveling slowly). No words were exchanged, only a head shake and eye contact with the driver.
Suggested improvements for this location: A protected lane to get east and west in the Loop, as well as vigorous and random enforcement of taxi drivers. I could submit a close call and taxi complaint every day based on the behavior of taxi drivers not looking before maneuvering.