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.
646 N Franklin St, Chicago, IL
42nd Ward, Alderman Reilly
A driver in a gold/champagne-colored, early 2000s Nissan Altima passed too close to me (~1-2 inches of separation) northbound on Franklin, just south of Erie. I yelled “HEY!” when the driver got too close. We both stopped at the red light at Erie, at which point the driver rolled down his window, hung up his cell phone call, and told me to “Get the hell off the road.” I was pretty worked up, so when I angrily told him that he had to give me 3 feet at minimum, he insisted that he was right and I had to get out of his way and that bikes should get out of the street.
I asked (still pretty angrily and adrenaline fueled) him if he’d like to talk to a cop about it, even offering to show him exactly which law he violated with the Bike Laws app. He told me to fuck off and said, “I’ll turn you into one of those white bikes with flowers on them.”
When the light finally changed, the driver sped off straight, I chose to turn right on to Erie rather than deal with encountering him again.
Just any bike infrastructure would be nice, really. [There aren’t] even sharrow markings on that part of the street.
The road is also very narrow as it’s under the El tracks, so I think adjusting/removing parking along that part of the street would also help.
Franklin and Ohio, Chicago, IL
42nd, Alderman Reilly
I was riding north on Franklin, about to go through a green light, when a van turned right in front of me. I yelled and the driver stopped after a couple seconds, but I couldn’t stop in time to avoid my arm hitting her right rearview mirror. (I don’t know if it counts as a close call since there was a collision, but I didn’t fall and wasn’t injured except for a bruise on my arm.)
After she stopped she started yelling at me and I yelled back at her–she said I wasn’t in the bike lane (there isn’t a bike lane there) and that I should have seen her turn signal (I was riding at the same rate as traffic, so I didn’t see it–I think that’s also why she didn’t see me). We argued for a couple minutes and then she said she’d pull over so we could talk about it out of the way of traffic, which she did, and then asked if I was OK and if I needed her information. I said I was all right and left it at that–it seemed like she’d been trying to drive carefully and just hadn’t seen me next to her van.
A dedicated right-turn lane might help.
Ed. note: I would disagree. A dedicated right-turn lane would move the conflict point slightly, but maintain a conflict point. I think that drivers need better training and it needs reinforcing that a bicyclist will be on any street at any time and deserve a look to the right and to the mirror.