Fullerton and Clark
43rd Ward, Alderman Michelle Smith
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.
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.
1. Passed really closely
2. Swerved into your path and then out of your path
Roadway description: Bike lane (left of parking lane)
Your story: The driver of a wide, black Toyota Tacoma pickup truck (license plate WI BIGFSH with handicapped plate) pulled up behind me at Fullerton and Ashland, revving his engine. When we got the green to cross, he sped ahead, then for several blocks tried to block me/squeeze me out from the bike lane, or rode behind me in the bike lane revving his engine. His small children (under 5 years) in the back seemed entertained by his behavior and actually tried to stick their arms out the window to hit me.
Suggested improvements: Police presence and bike lane enforcement. This stretch of marked old-school bike lane from Fullerton/Ashland to Fullerton/Racine is notorious for inattentive and aggressive drivers.
Left hook: oncoming (opposite direction car turned left, across your path)
Roadway description: No bicycle markings
Your story: I was heading south on Oakley while towing my daughter in a Burley trailer. I stopped at the stop sign at Fullerton. Another car was stopped at the stop sign across Fullerton facing north with no turn signal. When there was a gap in the cars on Fullerton long enough to stop safely, I proceeded, but the car coming towards me turned left, nearly hitting me. I hit my brakes in time to avoid an accident. I saw a look of horror on the driver’s face as she realized she nearly took out a bike pulling a child.
1. More driver education and better licensing.
2. Better bike infrastructure near Fullerton and Western Avenue. Both streets are difficult to cross when you don’t have the protection of a light, but the streets with that protection tend to be terrible to bike on. My daughter’s daycare is near Fullerton and Western, and we keep trying different routes to find one to safely pick her up.
3. Speed enforcement and traffic calming on Fullerton. I suspect the reason the driver made the mistake she did was because she was nervous about all the high-speed traffic on Fullerton that would be coming if she didn’t make the left turn quickly enough.